The SPFL have been embroiled in fresh controversy over the weekend after sending a letter to all 42 member clubs, including Celtic, The Daily Record reports.
Hearts and Partick Thistle published a furious joint statement yesterday taking Neil Doncaster and the SPFL to task for their latest communication, without detailing what was in it that angered them so much.
The statement said: “Along with the other 40 SPFL clubs, Hearts and Partick Thistle have received a letter, signed by Neil Doncaster, that relates to the forthcoming Court case.
“It is wrong and much of its content is misleading and the timing itself questionable, we are currently awaiting legal advice on what needs to happen next.”
The Daily Record obtained a copy of the letter and have now filled in the blanks.
They report that the SPFL have informed clubs if they want to see copies of documents submitted to the courts they will have to become respondents to the action taken by the aggrieved duo.
Doncaster’s letter read in part, as quoted by the paper: “A number of clubs have asked whether we can provide them with copies of the petition lodged by Heart of Midlothian PLC and Partick Thistle Limited naming The SPFL Limited and the companies owning the three promoted clubs (Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers) plus Stranraer FC Limited, as respondents in the action.
“Unfortunately, we have also been advised that it would not be appropriate, and arguably unlawful, to make available to non-parties to the litigation copies of the pleadings lodged in court.
“If SPFL Member Clubs wish to receive copies of documents lodged, then it would be necessary for each of them to apply to the court to become a respondent in the action and to lodge its own individual (or potentially joint) answers, or at least to formally associate itself with the existing answers of the promoted clubs.
“If any Member is considering doing so, it should contact Rod McKenzie and he will be pleased to advise on the required procedure and the options available.”
Hearts and Thistle are challenging their relegations to the Scottish Championship and League One, as well as the promotions of Dundee United, Raith and Cove.
In the event this is not possible, the duo have confirmed they will pursue a compensation claim that could have to be paid out by SPFL member clubs, including Celtic.
As reported by BBC Sport Scotland, this coming Wednesday is now a critical day in the ongoing drama with a hearing set at the Court of Session in Edinburgh.
That will commence from 11am and be conducted via video conference.
It’s expected to last two hours and determine where the case now goes from here.
All eyes in Scottish football will be on the outcome.