Is It Over Now?
Updated Friday, 27th June 2003
The SFA ruling on Thursday evening found in favour of the Mighty ‘Well. As the club and fans smile at the good news we have to hope that a final conclusion has been reached.
What is certain is that the case should have been closed when Falkirk did not meet the SPL criteria on April 1. After Falkirk lost the SPL vote on May 23rd, their whining continued and they forced the SFA to look into the way the SPL reached their decision.
SFA President John McBeth, Vice President George Peat and Lord MacLean, the Court of Session judge who chaired the meeting, heard the appeal. Falkirk, Motherwell and the SPL all made submissions to the panel. Whether or not all parties agree to abide by the decision remains to be seen.
From what FPC can gather, the main driving force to reject the appeal was Lord MacLean – who was adamant that Falkirk’s proof of first chance at New Broomfield was not legally binding.
As of right now, we can start preparing for season 2003/04 in the SPL. One thing is certain, if we want to avoid this situation next season, we must improve our performances on the pitch. This good fortune probably means that McFadden and Pearson will stay (or at least seriously consider it) and with a bit more experience, they should be more consistent. We also need to improve our woeful disciplinary record – with a squad our size, we cannot afford silly suspensions.
However, those are things that we can concern ourselves with in the weeks ahead. We have a relegation battle in the SPL to look forward to – Falkirk, rightly, do not.
Speaking after the verdict was announced late on Thursday, Bryan Jackson said, "We were always fairly confident with the initial agreement and we wouldn't have signed the players and planned for next season had we not been.
"We appreciate we have been the benefactors from the decision being upheld, but the club would have survived and there would have been no automatic winding up.
"However, we would have had to adapt and it would have been very difficult.
"Its a total relief. We were quietly confident but always anxious. This reflects the SPL directors behaved correctly at the time but we do have some sympathy for Falkirk."