19 April 2020
CLUB STATEMENT (19-04-2020)
After another fraught week within Scottish football, it can be lost amongst the mass hysteria, that the primary cause behind all the football uncertainty remains the biggest single shockwave to hit modern life. Lives continue to be lost, with many people suffering illness, and everyone’s day-to-day existence being impacted to a significant degree. Doubtless, many will take a view along the lines of “it’s only football” and that’s only right – and Brechin City’s Management Committee remains entirely mindful of the real backdrop here.
Whilst the Club continues to fully endorse the public health message, work continues in an effort to steer Brechin City through these unconventional times via a regular series of online meetings. By way of a courtesy update the Club can share the following information with members and supporters:
The major talking point of the week was the vote by the SPFL member clubs to a resolution which would effectively close down the 3 lower leagues for Season 2019/20. Fans will be well aware of the result of this by now and that it sees Brechin City FC secure our SPFL status. Whilst it’s fair to say that the Club would much rather have secured this by performances on the pitch, the ultimate outcome of this vote brings the much-sought-after clarity around our immediate competitive future.
Although the voting through of this resolution (at 81%) did indeed see payments released to the 30 clubs outside the Premiership, we would like to correct some of the wild inaccuracies in press reporting of amounts concerned. A range of tabloids stated – as fact – that last week’s payment to Brechin City would be anywhere from £45k to £17k, depending on which publication is read. We’d like to go on the record and make it clear that in our case it was £3k – ie, less than one week’s wage bill.
Another common misconception we can clear up, albeit mostly through conjecture from fans of other clubs, is that around relegation. The simple fact is that 10th place in League Two is a Play-Off Place – not a relegation place. With no clear date on any likely return to competitive football, play-offs became entirely impractical for a number of reasons – regardless which clubs were in them. As a result, the SPFL resolution also removed all play-off games – not just the ones involving ‘Club 42’, and the Highland League or Lowland League winners.
We now move immediately into the next challenge – and that is the debate around any revision to the league structure. The Management Committee always perceived this as the second part of a 2-stage process, and will actively contribute to this debate. With so many differing views and preferences from everyone with an interest in Scottish football, this will be a real challenge – but it’s the Club’s wish that an early and satisfactory resolution is found in the most amicable manner. Clearly not everyone will get what they want and time will tell what the final structure will look like.
PLAYERS & MANAGEMENT
News was announced this week that the Government has extended the Furlough Scheme through to the end of June. This is a welcome development and effectively means that this public support now extends beyond the contract expiry dates of many of our players, ensuring that these contractual obligations can be met by the Club. Announcements on player movement may well be delayed as a result of the continuing uncertainty – but the Management Committee can only ask that members and fans remain patient, with the certain knowledge that news of this nature will be confirmed as it’s appropriate to do so.
As in the most recent Club updates, the Management Committee appeals to everyone connected to Brechin City (and those who aren’t) to do everything possible to protect your physical and mental health and that of those around you. We urge you to keep safe by following the public health guidance, stay at home, wash your hands regularly and observe social distancing protocol. We remain fully supportive of the inspirational ‘Clap for Carers’ recognition on Thursdays at 8pm to acknowledge the heroic efforts from those at the front line of our NHS and our care services.
Thanks for your support everyone – and stay safe.