PA Sport

Under fire SFA chief gets backing

Under fire SFA chief gets backing
By PA Sport

11/07/2012 at 15:23Updated 11/07/2012 at 15:54

Former Scottish Football Association president George Peat believes Stewart Regan had a duty to reveal the extent of the crisis facing the game in Scotland as a result of the demise of Rangers.

Charles Green's newco will discover on Friday whether they will be playing in the First Division or Third Division next season. The vast majority of Ibrox fans favour a fresh start in the bottom tier after the relaunched Govan club failed in their bid to remain in the Scottish Premier League, a view that, unsurprisingly, finds favour with most supporters from other clubs.

However, at a meeting with the SFL clubs last week SFA chief executive Regan claimed that the only way of preventing a £16 million loss in income and the "slow, lingering death for the game in Scotland" was to allow Ally McCoist's side to resume life in Division One.

Regan's assertion, and the way it was delivered, did not go down well with many of the SFL clubs, with Morton and Clyde leading the attacks on the Yorkshireman.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir is this week negotiating a package of reforms, including play-offs and a change in the share of monies and voting rights, with the SFA and the SPL, which he hopes will persuade his member clubs to allow the new Rangers to start again in the First Division but amid a climate of animosity and acrimony, that is not guaranteed.

However, Peat, who stepped down last summer after four years in the Hampden post, insists Regan had a responsibility to act for the greater good of the game and believes there could be a positive outcome.

"I believe Stewart has been unfairly criticised," Peat told Press Association Sport.

"Someone has to take the lead and that's what he did. He has to try to act as a go-between, between the SPL and SFL. He is not going to please everybody. All he has done is to spell out the road the game could go down and what will happen.

"Perhaps it didn't make good reading for some but in all of it, somebody has to explain the facts of the situation, whether they are pretty or not. He might have gone too far in some people's eyes but this is a situation that has far-reaching consequences for the game and sometimes you have to speak your mind and confront the brutal reality."