20 April 2021
BCFC Management Committee
The Club are disappointed but not surprised to hear that our letter to the SPFL board, which was copied to all League 1 and 2 member clubs has been shared, in part, by various media outlets and feel that this statement is necessary to confirm our position.
Today, 30 minutes ahead of a crucial SPFL League match, we sit bottom of the SPFL pyramid, we are currently Club 42, just as we were at the curtailed end of season 2019/20. We have been the worst performing team in League 2 for 44 games, there is nothing unfair about that, we have lost points on the pitch against teams living and playing through similar conditions as ours and are currently in our rightful place in the league. We will continue to fight to improve that position over the next five games, starting tonight.
We also put on record our support for the pyramid structure. The teams entering the play-offs from the Highland and Lowland Leagues, who meet the required standards in terms of playing criteria and facilities, are helping drive improvement in the SPFL and they deserve to be given the opportunity to progress and improve our game.
However, this season, just like last season, is not normal by any means for the SPFL or indeed the Highland and Lowland leagues.
In our letter to the SPFL we reconfirmed our position that we felt it unfair to hold the play-offs in these unprecedented times and explained our supporting arguments for this view, a number of these arguments are based on SFA and SPFL laws and competition rules.
The most pressing complaint is not one of laws or legitimacy, it is about a level playing field for both sides in any play-off, we strongly believe that any Relegation playoff games this season will be fundamentally unfair on Club 42.
Club 42 will have been affected by injuries, suspensions, lack of recovery time and fatigue – these are part-time players, and most of these part-time players have full-time jobs which requires enormous amounts of travel to fulfil their footballing and work responsibilities.
That club will have played 13 league games in a period of 59 days, many of the games having been concentrated into periods of three or four games in seven days.
The winners of the Highland versus Lowland League playoff will have played two games in the same period and will not be affected to nearly the same extent by any of these issues (injuries, suspensions, lack of recovery time or fatigue).
We believe that league reconstruction is the fairest outcome for Club 42, the Lowland League and Highland League and it is true that we proposed to the SPFL board and our member clubs that as an alternative to a relegation play-off both Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers be invited to join an expanded SPFL League 2 from next season, so they are not unfairly punished by our position on the legitimacy of the play-offs this season.
In summary we believe in the play-offs, we believe that any team that plays a full league season and finished bottom of the pyramid should play off against the winner of the Highland or Lowland league team who has also played a full league season under similar conditions. Season 2020/21 is not that season.