Dunfermline Athletic chairman Ross McArthur insists it is Caley Thistle who have behaved in an “aggressive and confrontational” manner during league talks.
In a wide-ranging club statement issued on Sunday, the Caley Jags stated an SPFL board member, believed to be McArthur, had bullied and made threats against them on the matter of ending the league season and they were prepared to testify to this end.
However, McArthur has felt compelled to come forward and give his version of events, stating he relayed information to Inverness on April 10 on the potential consequences of their stance, doing so as Dunfermline chairman rather than an SPFL board member.
McArthur is embarrassed to have to respond to comments made by Caley Thistle chairman Ross Morrison and chief executive Scot Gardiner, which link to remarks about the Pars’ chief made in Rangers’ dossier against the SPFL.
He said: “I have said many times over the last couple of months, there are much more important things happening in our community and the wider world at present, than football. These matters should be our priority.
“In that context, it is not only regrettable but extremely embarrassing, that I have to provide this statement following the release of accusatory comments in a club statement made by the chairman and CEO of Inverness, I am sadly now left with no option but to put the record straight.
“The individuals have been very careful not to mention me by name, but their intended target is clearly apparent.
“In life, you stand and fall by your reputation and your actions, and I thank the very many people from other clubs who have contacted me since these ‘leaked’ WhatsApp messages first surfaced, to offer their support. I like the company I keep.
“Since the SPFL director’s resolution was first issued, a number of clubs in the Championship would confirm it is the behaviour of Inverness that has continually been aggressive and confrontational. However, no one felt it necessary to win points in public, as robust conversations take place in the normal course of a competitive business like football.
“Turning to the ‘allegation’ regarding the information that was conveyed by me to Inverness FC, on Friday 10th April 2020.
“As confirmed by their own leaked What’sApp message group, I clearly did so as Dunfermline Athletic FC chairman and not as an SPFL board member (as was expressly agreed and verified, before the call with other Championship clubs).
“It most certainly wasn’t a threat, simply a potential consequence of their action not to back the SPFL resolution currently put in front of them, in favour of a counter resolution which was being mooted at that time.”
McArthur went on to say that the endless point-scoring in Scottish football had become tiresome, while explaining why the resolution supported by Hearts, Rangers and Inverness would not have been satisfactory.
He added: “This resolution would effectively have the same consequence as a ‘null and void’ conclusion to the league season, but the SPFL central distribution monies would still be provided to clubs on their current standing. This was not going to be acceptable to Dunfermline Athletic, Alloa Athletic, Greenock Morton, Queen of the South and Arbroath.
“This had been openly highlighted the previous evening, during a video conference call of all but one Championship club, and raised by two Championship clubs at the time. This meeting was set up by me in good faith.
“Therefore, the communication to the chairman of Inverness, on Friday 10th April was that any vote in favour of an alternative resolution like this, should the existing one fail, may be entirely dependent on all clubs in the SPFL Championship obtaining an equal (“one tenth”) of the attributable distribution pot for the Championship.”