After spending much of 2012 trying to find a way, any way, to find a place for Rangers in the top flight the SPL chief seems to be reluctantly accepting the principle of financial fair play.
Since his failure to get the liquidated club into the SPL or Division One the former Norwich supremo has kept a low profile while picking up a 10% salary hike despite his shambolic leadership.
Bizarrely Doncaster criticises turning a blind eye to financial misdemeanors by clubs despite providing a Champions League spot in 2011 to a club unable to provide the authorities with audited accounts for the previous season.
Turning to fair play on the SPL blog he said: “But what does ‘financial fair play’ really mean? UEFA’s explanation, in 2010, was that the concept would require clubs to balance their books over the medium term, not spend more than they earn, and operate within their financial means.
“This is all seen as important for one key reason: because any club that is spending more on players than they can afford, is automatically gaining a sporting advantage over every other club it competes with. Whether the precise system of measurement used by UEFA is perfect is a moot point.
“But the logic behind the principle however is, I think, broadly sound. And it is this same principle that explains the position of the SPL.
“To turn a blind eye, to allow clubs to continually fail to make prompt payments as they fall due, would be to allow those clubs to gain an unfair sporting advantage over all those other clubs that pay their players, the taxman and other clubs on time.
“That is one of the reasons why, whenever the SPL receives a request from players to adjudicate on their contracts, it has a duty to do so.
“The fundamental basis of any football league is that all member clubs are treated equally. But, increasingly, leagues across the world are going further. In England, for example, the Football League routinely imposes a player embargo on clubs who fail to pay their players in full and on time. And, in League Two, clubs have accepted limits on the amounts that they can spend, relative to their income.
“The whole issue of ‘financial fair play’ will no doubt continue to be developed across the whole of football. In the meantime, it is vital that the Scottish Premier League continue to treat all member clubs even-handedly.
“It may put the SPL in the uncomfortable position of having to rule against member clubs in certain instances. Whenever we are requested by professional players to adjudicate on their contracts, for example, we should continue to do so. And, where appropriate, to rule in the players’ favour and to make orders for on-time payment by our member clubs.
“The integrity of the entire League – and the long-term interests of all 12 member clubs within it – demands that we do just that.”
As the events of last summer proved- talk is cheap.
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