'The endless point scoring is becoming tiresome' - Dunfermline chief reacts to bullying accusations

Pars chairman Ross McArthur released a statement on his take on the SPFL farrago
Dunfermline hit back at Inverness claims. Picture: SNSDunfermline hit back at Inverness claims. Picture: SNS
Dunfermline hit back at Inverness claims. Picture: SNS

Dunfermline Athletic chairman Ross McArthur has hit back at Inverness CT over bullying allegations.

The Highland club released a statement over the weekend, signed by chairman Ross Morrison and chief executive Scott Gardiner, revealing they would be testifying “to the bullying and threats made against our club on Friday 10th by an SPFL Board member and the threats against others by the same SPFL Board member”.

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It is believed ICT were referring to McArthur who is one of ten SPFL board members.

McArthur sought to address these claims and accusations in a statement of his own, firing back at Inverness and bemoaning the constant point scoring in Scottish football.

He feels that it is the Highlanders who have been “aggressive and confrontational”.

McArthur confirmed that any conversation he had ahead of the SPFL resolution vote on Friday, April 10 with other clubs was in his capacity as Dunfermline Athletic chairman, not as an SPFL board member.

He said: “It most certainly wasn’t a threat, simply a potential consequence of their action not to back the SPFL resolution currently put in front of them, in favour of a counter resolution which was being mooted at that time.”

On Tuesday the 42 member clubs will vote on Rangers’ proposal for an independent investigation into the SPFL.

Partick Thistle have confirmed that they will vote in favour.

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The Dunfermline statement in full:

“I have said many times over the last couple of months, there are much more important things happening in our community and the wider world at present, than football. These matters should be our priority.

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“In that context, it is not only regrettable but extremely embarrassing, that I have to provide this statement following the release of accusatory comments in a Club Statement made by the Chairman and CEO of Inverness, I am sadly now left with no option but to put the record straight.

“The individuals have been very careful not to mention me by name, but their intended target is clearly apparent.

“In life, you stand and fall by your reputation and your actions, and I thank the very many people from other clubs who have contacted me since these “leaked” WhatsApp messages first surfaced, to offer their support. I like the company I keep.

“Since the SPFL director’s resolution was first issued, a number of clubs in the Championship would confirm it is the behaviour of Inverness that has continually been aggressive and confrontational. However, no one felt it necessary to win points in public, as robust conversations take place in the normal course of a competitive business like football.

“Turning to the “allegation” regarding the information that was conveyed by me to Inverness FC, on Friday 10th April 2020.

“As confirmed by their own leaked What’sApp message group, I clearly did so as Dunfermline Athletic FC Chairman and NOT as an SPFL Board Member (as was expressly agreed and verified, before the call with other Championship clubs).

“It most certainly wasn’t a threat, simply a potential consequence of their action not to back the SPFL resolution currently put in front of them, in favour of a counter resolution which was being mooted at that time.

“This resolution would effectively have the same consequence as a “null and void” conclusion to the league season, but the SPFL central distribution monies would still be provided to clubs on their current standing. This was not going to be acceptable to Dunfermline Athletic, Alloa Athletic, Greenock Morton, Queen of the South and Arbroath.

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“This had been openly highlighted the previous evening, during a video conference call of all but one Championship club, and raised by two Championship clubs at the time. This meeting was set up by me in good faith.

“Therefore, the communication to the Chairman of Inverness, on Friday 10th April was that any vote in favour of an alternative resolution like this, should the existing one fail, may be entirely dependent on all clubs in the SPFL Championship obtaining an equal (“one tenth”) of the attributable distribution pot for the Championship.

“There are many more things I would like to say, but I will retain my dignity and continue to be more concerned about the long term future of Scottish football at this time. The endless point scoring is becoming tiresome, and I would have preferred to rise above it, but I have a duty to protect the reputation of Dunfermline Athletic FC.”