St Mirren and Ross County Chairmen Defend Vote against Scottish Football Restructure

April 16, 2013

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour and Ross County counterpart Roy MacGregor have defended their decision to vote against plans to restructure the football leagues in Scotland.

Ross County joined St Mirren in voting against the proposals that would see the four divisions reduced to three, made up of 12, 12 and 18 teams.

The two clubs voting against meant that the majority of 11-1 of SPL clubs was not met.

Gilmour has received negative responses from Aberdeen chairman Stewat Milne, who said Gilmour failed to see the long-term benefits on the proposals.

Celtic manager Neil Lennon also tweeted: “Disappointing outcome from the SPL meeting today. Seems (that) some people not willing to take the game forward.”

But Gilmour has defended himself and commented: “Let all of them blast their shotguns. I’m still firmly of the belief, with all my heart and not letting it rule my head, that what I did at Hampden was the right thing to do.

“I still want to see elements of the reconstruction proposals – like a single league body – implemented, but not at any cost.

“First of all I’ll tell the St Mirren supporters later today the reason for doing what the club did at Hampden.”

MacGregor defends stance

MacGregor told the Daily Record: “I don’t feel great about what happened. I don’t feel great for my colleagues and for the First Division clubs who need more money now.

“So there are no winners out of this. For a day or two there will be some soul-searching and challenging decisions. But I can look myself in the mirror knowing I acted for all the right reasons. I couldn’t do that if I had voted the other way. That’s why I had no option.

“I just hope sense will prevail and somehow in the not too distant future we can try to resurrect this in a way that can get backing from everyone.

“Unfortunately, there were road blocks placed up against any other kind of league structure. That was the surprising thing for me as a businessman.

“In all walks of life, if you know you are going to lose something, you try to find a compromise. But in football circles that doesn’t seem to be the case, for whatever reason. The situation we were in was all or nothing and I don’t know why.

“I can’t tell you whether there are agendas going on that I don’t understand. I certainly don’t see them. But maybe there are things going on that I don’t understand.

“Maybe the city clubs should have a look at this sort of God-given right to be in the top six or the top eight. I don’t know.”

MacGregor added: “It’s not a good day. But it’s a day for reflection and hopefully, once the dust settles, we need to move forward again.

“In my time in the SPL there has been a real positive attempt to make changes. But maybe we all need to go back to our fans and start listening to them a bit more.

“I feel privileged and honoured to have been around the table. I’ve had a vote when I’ve only been in that league nine months.

“I’m only a beginner so I may have made the wrong decision, in the long-term interests of the game. I feel humbled that I might have made the wrong decision for football but I can only make my judgement on what my shareholders and fans are telling me to do.

“If I didn’t do that there would be no point in me being chairman. I would be committing suicide.”