Premiership chief makes Hearts and Partick Thistle legal challenge admission

St Mirren supremo Tony Fitzpatrick expressed understanding and concern over the tribunal case

St Mirren chief executive Tony Fitzpatrick has admitted that the Paisley club would be taking the same stance as Hearts and Partick Thistle as they battle with the SPFL over their relegation from the Premiership and Championship respectively.

Equally, the Buddies legend has noted his concern over the fallout of the legal challenge with the clubs seeking compensation totalling £10million if they are not reinstated.

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The independent tribunal through the Scottish FA’s arbitration process was expected to start this week but as of yet the clubs have not been given a date.

St Mirren chief Tony Fitzpatrick has backed Hearts and Partick Thistle's stance. Picture: SNS

While the tribunal falls under the auspices of the SFA, it is the responsibility of the arbitrators appointed by the clubs and SPFL to decide on timings.

It has been a cantankerous affair ever since the SPFL proposed their resolution to terminate the 2019/20 season to member clubs. Since then there has been a voting debacle, abundance of statements, league reconstruction failing to get off the ground twice and a court of session hearing.

“It’s been sad for Scottish football in general,” Fitzpatrick told the BBC.

“If St Mirren were in Hearts or Partick Thistle’s position we would be doing the same thing. We would be fighting all we could for our supporters and club, so I understand it.

“I understand you have to do everything possible to keep yourself in the Premiership and fight for your rights."

With the Scottish Premiership due to begin in two weeks’ time, the tribunal sits in the background awkwardly.

Fitzpatrick has also expressed his concern about the possible ramifications if it is decided Hearts and Partick Thistle are due substantial compensation.

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He said: “If it was going to happen, I thought maybe taking money off the Sky deal and giving it to Hearts and Thistle and teams who were going to be affected by it to help them get through it, that was my view at the time.

“When you feel it’s unjust, everybody becomes selfish and wants to look after their own ends.

“If this happens it could put a lot of clubs under, the money that’s been talked about.

“But I’m just really hoping they can sit down and get it fixed out because it’s not healthy at all. The league is starting in a few weeks’ time.”

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