Falkirk chairman Gary Deans has demanded “urgent” change at the top of Scottish football after the decision to suspend everything beneath the Scottish Championship – and Rangers need to step up and play a leading role in any change.

The Bairns chairman released a lengthy statement on his clubs’ website after today’s SPFL meeting left the League One side just as in the dark over the justification for the shutdown as they were before.


Deans’ comments will surely go down well at Hampden (Photo by Alex Morton – UEFA/UEFA via Getty Images)

Deans highlighted the “unfairness, inconsistency, and double standards” in the decision-making at Hampden with his club having to figure out how to survive with no income for several weeks as a result of the enforced shutdown.

Rangers called for similar change last year during the row over the conclusion of the 19/20 season and the decision to curtail the competitions on a points per game basis.

Fans have long been unhappy with the leadership of Scottish football and now is the ideal chance for Rangers to push through the changes needed to get the domestic game heading in the right direction.

Deans’ statement will ring true with many Rangers fans as the Falkirk chairman’s frustrations are evident in his call for change at the top.

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Hopefully now, Rangers are just as eager to push for change as they were in the summer.

Deans’ statement in full:

“Some of you will recall that on Boxing Day I recorded an interview with Falkirk TV expressing concern at the allocation of Scottish Government funding designed to support all of Scotland’s senior clubs address the financial impact of the pandemic. Now, barely a fortnight later, I feel it right to communicate with you to express my disappointment yet again with the decisions made by our sport’s governing bodies to suspend Scotland’s League One and League Two. We’ve held off making our thoughts public for a few days awaiting further clarifications from the SPFL at a meeting scheduled for today (Wednesday). Unfortunately that meeting did not provide any clearer understanding of the justification for the decision.

“By way of background, on Monday morning we received a communication from the SFA and SPFL notifying us of their decision to suspend all Scottish football below Championship level. This decision came with no prior consultation with our Club and we have been forced to rapidly assess the impact that the suspension of fixtures and training will have on all our staff here at Falkirk. We continue to work through the implications of this decision and will take the action that we believe is in the best interests of our people, supporters, and club. We will have more to say on this at the Club’s General Meeting of shareholders which is due to take place on Thursday evening.


“Our staff have worked incredibly hard to ensure we comply with the varied and numerous pandemic directives and protocols from Scottish Government, the SFA and the SPFL. Quite frankly, our staff and supporters deserve greater respect from Scottish football’s decision makers who threaten their livelihoods and our club with decisions which we believe are ill-thought through and poorly communicated.

“We all recognise the wide-ranging and serious impact that the pandemic has had on every aspect of society and of course we commend and support the efforts of the Scottish Government to safeguard life and to protect the NHS. Football has been granted unique concessions which reflect its importance to our national consciousness and we are all aware of recent failures which have brought these concessions into focus.

“Unfortunately, only some clubs (namely those in League One and Two and those outside the SPFL) have been made to carry the can for those failings, whilst those in the upper reaches of the league pyramid have been allowed to continue on top of having been rewarded disproportionately with Scottish Government funding.

“The health crisis results in everyone – us included – having to make difficult decisions and that includes those in charge of our game, but some decisions, such as those to stop us playing and training while allowing other part-time clubs to continue are baffling. We will be accused of looking at this with the benefit of hindsight, but there were many medical and scientific professionals predicting a second wave of the virus last summer, and yet again Scottish football has proven itself unable to deal with undoubtedly difficult circumstances.

“The unfairness, inconsistency, and double standards on display is there for everyone to see. It is heartening to see other clubs express similar disappointment, but I know such expressions will ultimately fail to sway the decisions that are imposed on us and others. To not even be consulted is entirely unacceptable.

“Many of you will feel you have heard this record before, but the continued inability of our sport’s most senior decision makers to take decisions that seek to safeguard the future of all of Scotland’s clubs continues to baffle but not surprise. We have called for change and we are ready to play a leading role in the much-needed reform that our national game requires. Change is required and urgently.”

Rangers fans have had plenty to say about the circumstances surrounding Celtic’s draw with Hibs and also railed against the decision not to retest Celtic players pre-match.


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