Celtic legend Kenny Dalglish is concerned that clubs could be emboldened to challenge last season’s title winners in the SPFL if the upcoming Scottish FA investigation rules in favour of Hearts and Partick Thistle, writing in his Sunday Post column.
An independent arbitration panel, set-up by the SFA, will convene this week to decide whether or not their relegations should be reversed after SPFL members voted in favour of the action following the 2019/20 season’s curtailment.
Dalglish understands that Hearts and Thistle are simply looking after their own interests but has worries an outcome beneficial to them could set a precedent that others exploit nefariously.
As quoted by The Sunday Post, he explained: “Such a ruling may well open the door to many, many decisions in the SPFL’s four divisions being called into question.
“For example, if the relegation of Hearts from the Premiership, and Thistle from the Championship, is ruled to be unlawful, what’s to stop a club challenging the outcome at the top of the table as well?
“What’s to stop them asking that any titles given before the fixture schedule had been completed should also be ruled null and void? The argument would be that the same rules must apply to every place in the league, and not just the issue of relegation.
“The past few weeks have been bad enough for the reputation of Scottish football. But this scenario could lead to our game becoming absolutely chaotic.”
This is a pretty far-fetched scenario but, considering what else that has happened in 2020, at the very least highlights that Celtic need to remain vigilant to exactly what goes on within Hampden over the next few weeks.
Hearts and Thistle are on the warpath and don’t seem to be concerned about the consequences of their actions when it comes to other clubs.
We already know there are figures bitter enough in Scottish football to pursue ‘null and void’ options given the opportunity.
Relegation in the middle of a pandemic is a harsh reality for those impacted but hopefully the drama doesn’t spill out into any adjacent new controversies.