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Rod Petrie: SFA president says Scottish football should not ‘feel pressured’ by English restart

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Rangers row with SPFL ‘unedifying’ – Scottish FA president Petrie

Scottish football should not “feel pressured” to restart next month even if plans to play again in England come to fruition, says Scottish FA president Rod Petrie.

England has begun “Project Restart” with a view to the Premier League season resuming with no fans on 8 June.

The Joint Response Group is assessing restarting in Scotland, but with no firm plans yet.

“It’s not the model for football clubs in Scotland,” Petrie told BBC Scotland.

“A middle ranking Premiership club might get four times the money through the gate as it would through the television contract.

“So the economics don’t work, let alone whether it works as a fillip for the nation, a morale booster.”

UK culture secretary Oliver Dowden says he has been in touch with clubs about restarting the English Premier League “as soon as possible”. But to do so would need players to be tested and isolated.

That is estimated to cost up to £5m, while Scottish clubs rely more heavily on matchday income than clubs in England, due to a much smaller television deal.

“In Scotland the fans are the lifeblood of the game and getting supporters into stadia is a major objective,” Petrie added.

“But we can’t do that until it’s safe. Would games behind closed doors be as meaningful in Scotland as they’re going to be in England?

“We need to be patient and not feel pressured by football happening elsewhere in other countries where they’ve got more resource than we have.”

SPFL vote saga ‘damaging’

Petrie described the controversy surrounding the SPFL’s vote to end the lower-league season as “unedifying”, with an EGM set for 12 May when clubs will decide if an independent investigation is needed.

The meeting was forced by Rangers – backed by Hearts and Stranraer – who say they have evidence of a “lack of fair play”.

“I think it’s damaging for the game that this has taken as much attention as it has and we need to move on from that,” the former Hibernian chairman said.

“We need to give the SPFL and the member clubs the courtesy to resolve the matter themselves.

“Ultimately the SFA is the overarching regulatory body and if there’s any complaint that comes out of this process then potentially we might be required to hear that in some dispute resolution process.”

You can listen to the full interview with SFA president Rod Petrie on Sportsound on Saturday, 2 May from 14:00 BST on BBC Radio Scotland.

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