Stephen Halliday: Dundee at Hearts – you’re having a laugh

Dundee managing director John Nelms. Picture: SNS GroupDundee managing director John Nelms. Picture: SNS Group
Dundee managing director John Nelms. Picture: SNS Group
Dark Blues chief John Nelms faces frosty reception after vote fiasco

It’s good to see someone at the Scottish Professional Football League has managed to retain a sense of humour - and a mischievous one at that – during the game’s summer of discontent.

Yes, I know the fixtures are ostensibly generated by a computer program. But whoever inputted the data for the 2020-21 Championship campaign certainly appears to be having a laugh by sending Dundee to face Hearts in the opening round of matches, while Dunfermline will play host to Inverness Caledonian Thistle. “Play host”, it must be said, may not be the most appropriate phrase in the circumstances. There is unlikely to be much warmth in the Tynecastle boardroom towards Dundee managing director John Nelms after his bizarre and pivotal conduct in the chain of events which led to Hearts’ morally reprehensible relegation.

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The atmosphere is likely to be just as chilly at East End Park when Inverness chairman Ross Morrison and chief executive Scot Gardiner arrive to share pre-match canapes and drinks with Dunfermline chairman and SPFL director Ross McArthur, one of the men at the centre of the bullying allegations made during the 2019-20 season-ending voting process.

It may still be another two and a half months before the abbreviated 27-game Championship gets underway but the enmities created by Scottish football’s Good Friday disagreement are likely to linger for a long time to come.

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