EAST FIFE FOOTBALL CLUB STATEMENT
SPFL TRIBUNAL RULING 29th APRIL 2021
By now you will all be aware that East Fife players refused to play our scheduled SPFL League 1 game against Clyde on Tuesday (27th April 2021). We were informed that a Clyde FC player had returned a positive COVID-19 test result only two minutes ahead of the scheduled 7.00pm kick off.
At that time, the player had been in the dressing room and warming up with the other players before being withdrawn after the positive result came to light. When our players and management were informed of this, they took the stance that the risk of infection was too great, leaving the match referee no option other than to postpone the match.
The decision of the players and management was fully backed by myself & the board of directors of East Fife Football Club.
We received a notice of complaint from the SPFL on Wednesday (28th April 2021) charging us with breaching SPFL rules G5 & G53 in that we failed to fulfil a scheduled league fixture, a charge we immediately accepted.
A tribunal was convened yesterday (29th April 2021) at which we were able to put forward our reasons for reaching our decision on Tuesday night. We were treated very cordially by the tribunal panel who listened to our case but informed us that the game should have been played as the risk of transmission of COVID-19 between players on the field of play is very low.
We do understand, particularly at this difficult time, that the importance of completing the fixtures is paramount and that any postponement at this stage of the season could have had a serious implication on the completion of the league programme.
After deliberation, the tribunal panel informed us that we would be fined £11,000, with £10,000 suspended, and that the game against Clyde FC would be rescheduled for next Thursday (6th May 2021). We accept the decision of the tribunal unreservedly.
I would like to put on record that East Fife Football Club does not apportion any blame on our friends at Clyde FC. They were also placed in a difficult situation and we look forward to playing them next Thursday.
Lastly, we have been overwhelmed by messages of support, not only from our own fans but the whole Scottish Football Community. The setting up of a GoFundMe page has raised a staggering amount of money in a matter of hours and we have been contacted by others offering financial support. We are eternally grateful for the support and financial backing shown to us during a difficult week.
East Fife Football Club, Locality Hub Bayview Stadium, Harbour View, Methil, Fife, KY8 3RW