The Dangers of Sporting Uncertainty

We are witnessing several new developments in Scottish football almost on a daily basis. Inquiries are many and it is not disputed that fans are confused regarding the future of the game. Scottish football is reaching extremely dangerous heights and the subsequent free fall may be disastrous. The Ancient Greeks used to say that 'with one bad deed, millions of others usually follow'. We all hope that this is not the case here, but decisions need to be made very quickly.

Those of you who have been following my opinions, you could remember me pointing out to these dangers back in February. Experience from similar situations indicates that when leagues are going through a reconstruction, several dissatisfied clubs emerge out of such changes. The situation in Scottish football is slightly different, given that a major justification for the reconstruction of several leagues, may be the current situation with Rangers. Some may of course disagree with this contention and some others may attempt to 'dress' such justification with the need for a more efficient and comprehensive league competition in Scotland. Whatever your view is, the truth of the matter remains that those affected may wish to challenge any possible league changes.

If the affected clubs decide to challenge these changes, it is highly likely that a number of national divisions and competitions in Scotland may be brought into sporting uncertainty. If certain clubs start questioning the validity of these changes and the disputed fairness upon which such changes were effected, then inevitable delays would appear. Fixtures would have to be re-arranged or delayed, broadcasting contracts may have to be re-negotiated, players' contracts may need to be reconsidered and, of course, legal challenges could not be discounted. I am in a position to appreciate that two Scottish clubs are already taking legal advice and a number of others have already made inquiries.

We are not here to give instructions as to how the game should be run. Those entrusted with this difficult task are well equipped to deal with the situation effectively. We hope that any future decision would be for the good of Scottish football as a whole and in the absence of any collateral damage. A sporting competition is only fair when it observes and respects the rights of ALL participants and ensures that transparency and accountability prevail.

Dr. Gregory Ioannidis

24 June 2012


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