Neil Doncaster 'delighted' as SPFL win arbitration case against Hearts and Partick Thistle

Chief executive says league board’s approach was vindicated

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

Neil Doncaster declared himself “delighted” that the Scottish Professional Football League have been vindicated after winning their arbitration case against Hearts and Partick Thistle.

An independent panel found in favour of the league, plus promoted clubs Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers. Hearts and Thistle had their relegations confirmed and will not be awarded any compensation.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The ruling comes after the two relegated clubs petitioned the Court of Session claiming their demotions were unlawful. The court referred the matter to an independent tribunal through the Scottish Football Association’s arbitration process.

Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive, stated that he feels the verdict vindicates the actions of his board in ending the 2019/20 season early when coronavirus struck.

Hearts and Partick claimed rules were changed back in April as part of the resolution to end the campaign, which left them and Stranraer relegated with a number of games outstanding.

More than 80 per cent of SPFL clubs voted in favour, although Dundee controversially altered their vote from ‘no’ to ‘yes’ after the SPFL published the result of the poll.

The panel heard legal submissions from both sides in recent days and studied emails, phonecall logs and other documents relating to the dispute before declaring no wrongdoing on the SPFL’s part.

Doncaster said: “This is a clear, comprehensive and unanimous decision. I am absolutely delighted that our approach has been vindicated throughout, following an intense period of legal scrutiny and review.

“It has been a very demanding process, but I had complete confidence in the actions and decisions of the SPFL board and the SPFL executive team.”

Read More
Arbitration panel confirms relegation for Hearts and Partick Thistle

A message from the Editor: Thank you for reading this story on our website. While I have your attention, I also have an important request to make of you. The dramatic events of 2020 are having a major impact on many of our advertisers – and consequently the revenue we receive. We are now more reliant than ever on you taking out a digital subscription to support our journalism. Subscribe to the Edinburgh Evening News online and enjoy unlimited access to trusted, fact-checked news and sport from Edinburgh and the Lothians. Visit now to sign up.