Breaking Point for Big Guns; Scotland's Elite Demand Revolution

Article excerpt

Byline: GRAHAM HUNTER

THE top echelon of Scottish football is on the brink of a multimillion goldrush after 11 clubs yesterday resigned from the League and claimed power over their own future.

The Premier League, plus Raith Rovers, wishes to resign with effect from the end of this season, lay its hands on untouched millions of pounds of television, sponsorship and advertising investment and divide that bounty without giving any to the other 29 clubs.

This afternoon's announcement will reveal that the rebel 11 will play hardball with the Scottish Football League by offering to set up its autonomous marketing operation under the rule of the SFL only if the SFL agree to allow their resignation to take effect from the end of this season.

If the SFL disagree and stick to the terms of regulation 21 which demands a

resignation notice of two full seasons then the rebel 11's lawyers, Dundas and Wilson, will inform the SFL that the 11 clubs will press ahead with their move and form an independent company under the auspices of the SFA which will be run by an appointed chief executive officer.

Should that confrontation flare up, the SFL have the astonishing right, under rule 51, to claim the contracts of all the players from each of the rebel clubs.

Again, the 11 clubs are willing to play hardball and count on the public backlash which would hit the SFL should they try to invoke such a draconian ruling - with unimaginably farcical consequences.

The irresistable conclusion is that the SFL, although badly battered and bruised by the shock of yesterday receiving 11 letters of resignation from Rangers, Celtic, Aberdeen, Dundee United, Hibs, Hearts, Motherwell, St Johnstone,

Kilmarnock, Dunfermline and Raith Rovers will be forced to reach a settlement akin to the one which brought peace, and huge financial bounty in English football five years ago.

The aims of the new era are simple and refreshing.

Scotland's top ten clubs would market themselves centrally, draw a far higher revenue and divide it among themselves leaving the other 30 clubs to fend for themselves.

The clubs have kept an incredible degree of secrecy for the last six months while eight meetings of the 11 chairmen have been convened at Ibrox, Parkhead, Murray House and Fir Park. …