Caley Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner has stated the club wants the Scottish Championship to continue.
Gardiner insists the club’s position about the future of the Championship has been misrepresented by the game’s governing bodies.
Scottish FA chief executive Ian Maxwell wrote to all second-tier clubs on Friday, asking for their thoughts on the future of the season. It was in response to comments made by Caley Jags boss John Robertson in his Thursday press conference, when he questioned why football was continuing just to serve the terms of the league’s broadcast contract.
Maxwell apparently interpreted Robertson’s comments as a public endorsement to put the Championship season on hold, a stance Gardiner whole-heartedly refuted.
Speaking on BBC Sportsound, Gardiner said: “It was a surprise to us to receive the email. We didn’t have any issue with the question being asked and I concur with the SFA that there should be more consultation.
“But last night, when the email was sent to us, we were shocked. I didn’t think it was us; I was thinking ‘what club has stated this?’ and then I started getting calls and texts from people in football saying is it because of what John opined on.
“It was his own opinion and he echoed what Paul Lambert said during the week – if we’re doing this for commercial reasons, is it fair?
“It’s not the club’s position and it’s not even John’s position. He was just ruminating during a press conference.”
The club were not contacted by Maxwell or the SFA on the back of Robertson’s comments, to clarify if that was their official position.
Gardiner added: “Last year our name was taken in vain and our position was misrepresented. We got a lot of unwarranted abuse.
“Including that line, everything went crazy last night and this morning. Our directors are principled people and we had a good board meeting on Thursday. We had 42 Covid tests this week and 42 negatives – they take exception when they’re getting calls from fans of other clubs saying ‘why do Inverness want to stop the season?’
“Nothing could be further from the truth. Whoever decided to include that line – it’s unfair, unreasonable, it’s a misrepresentation and it’s incompetent. It shouldn’t be said. It’s not fair on Inverness to take John’s position, during an emotional interview, and say that’s the club’s position.”
The game below the Championship in Scotland is already on hold and Caley Thistle’s game against Raith Rovers, which was due to take place on Saturday, was postponed due to a Covid-19 outbreak at the Kirkcaldy club.
Gardiner added: “All we wanted to do was not have Inverness’ name taken in vain. I’ve no problem with Ian (Maxwell) or anyone else calling us and saying ‘are you guys fully on board?’
“We were denied the chance to get promoted last year. It wasn’t anyone’s fault. We’re desperate to get promoted this year; we’ve got a lot of games in hand but if we win them we’re right back in the mix.
“We were being represented as not wanting the game to go ahead and it’s not fair on Inverness Caley Thistle. We’re happy for the SFA to call us and that’s what we need more. Pick up the phone and call us.
“John’s point was nuanced. It was difficult for us a number of times over the summer and many managers and chief executives had the same anxieties, the same as any other business in the world.
“We would rather there was a wee bit more thought on the implications of what they say and do, when they say and do them.
“In the email Ian saying our views will be confidential – there’s no point in that now – but I’m saying, 100 per cent, our position is to finish the season. That’s what we’re hoping we do and we’re hoping we’re in the Premiership next season.
“We’re financially solid. The grant from the government was a fantastic fillip for us financially and we’re in a great position. Now we just want to move on, focus on our football and hopefully get a match, because we haven’t played since December.”