Date: 5th July 2020 at 11:03am
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Douglas Park’s angry exchange with Neil Doncaster could go before the SFA.

On Friday the Court of Session in Edinburgh ruled that the SFA were the body to hear the appeal from Hearts and Partick Thistle against their relegation.

The SPFL are obliged to present the SFA with all documentation which dates back to the April vote to decide the four divisions based on average points per game.

Once the Dundee issue came to light things became very fraught between the opposing parties with Scot Gardiner of Inverness providing assurances that the proposal would be rejected.

Dundee demonstrated their legal right to switch from a No vote to backing the proposal with the fall out running for months threatening the promotion and relegation of six clubs.

On May 10 The Sun conducted a Q and A with Doncaster:

Douglas Park says any claim he threatened you is “a fabrication.” How do you respond to that?

Doncaster said: “I am quite happy to give you the details. I did speak to Douglas Park on Good Friday. He made what was a very serious and defamatory allegation and threatened to act in a particular way. I reported that right away to my chairman and to Rod McKenzie.

“I took a note of exactly what was said and that is why Rod then wrote to Rangers a number of times that evening seeking their undertaking not to repeat that defamatory allegation. So I am absolutely certain what happened.

“In 25 years of being in football I have learned you have to have a thick skin, you have to take the rough with the smooth. But when a line has been crossed you do need to act.

“On this occasion, frankly the only occasion in my 25 years involved in the game, a line was crossed such that I needed to seek an undertaking not to repeat what was such a defamatory allegation. That is the reason why Rod then wrote a number of times to Rangers that evening.

“It is interesting seeing the comments in this morning’s press because if you actually turn to page 13 in the Rangers dossier it backs up exactly what I am saying. I am quite happy to read it out.

“At 7.46 pm Neil Doncaster called Douglas Park back, Douglas Park made allegations about information which he had received from a whistleblower.

“8.12pm, Rod McKenzie emailed Rangers legal counsel and asked him to confirm that the allegations made by Douglas Park would not be repeated.

“8.30pm, we had a conference call with the executive team where I relayed exactly what had happened and what had been said.

“At 9.35pm Rod McKenzie emailed Rangers’ legal counsel, he confirmed the contents of Eric Drysdale’s text. Then Rod McKenzie reiterated his request that the allegations made by Douglas Park to Neil Doncaster should not be repeated.

“At 10.11pm Rod McKenzie again emailed Rangers legal counsel and asked for a third time the allegation should not be repeated. So this is absolutely clear what happened and it’s set out in Rangers own dossier.”

Despite the serious nature of the allegations from Doncaster no action has been taken against Park, opening the door for other club officials to do likewise. In July 2012 Doncaster was the driving force behind the Five Way Agreement that was approved by the SPL board, incuding Eric Reilly of Celtic.

Since taking over as chairman from Dave King, Park hasn’t taken part in any video interviews, not even with the in-house TV service, to express his joy at taking on the cherished role.