Clubs who break bank 'are like drug cheats'

FALKIRK manager Steven Pressley last night launched a blistering attack on Scottish football's debt-ridden clubs – insisting they are just as bad as drug cheats.

Pressley insists the Bairns, who are four points adrift at the SPL basement, are being punished for refusing to live beyond their means in a season that the Setanta television collapse has left the top-flight feeling the pinch.

Falkirk power-brokers have warned of a financial 'Armageddon' scenario if the club is relegated and loses it's SPL income.

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Former Scotland defender Pressley, who was reluctant to single out any club, wants a level playing field and has urged the SFA to act to ensure teams can't gain an advantage by spending cash they don't have.

He said: "Clubs which are operating properly are being punished in the game everywhere. I look at our own club and we are an example in many aspects of how a team's infrastructure is developing young players in the game. We put money into that side of the football club and try to operate with a footballing budget which is correct in how a business should be run in the parameters set.

"You can sometimes suffer from it because of others who spend outwith their means by signing players they really cannot afford. They then rack up unsustainable deficits. That is a form of cheating.

"It is similar to athletes taking drugs, although that is an illegal form of cheating while this is a legal form of cheating. They take drugs to enhance their performance while clubs spend money they don't have to enhance their performance. So it is a legal form of cheating.

"We are a good example of a club working within its means. Hibs are also a good example. But yet we both suffer not signing certain players because they are operating in the correct manner."