Management Committee Statement
The Management Committee of the SJFA West Region would like to sincerely thank Chairman Scott Struthers, and his independent panel of Gus Mackay and Tarik Shamel, for their hard work and thorough attention to detail in carrying out their independent investigation into the conclusion of the SJFA West leagues 2019/20 and the decision-making process surrounding it.
These are clearly unprecedented times, and our committee were faced with difficult decisions to make once again, but we believe we carried out our duties with diligence and integrity. The panel described the committee’s conduct as “scrupulously fair” which we believe reflects this.
The West Region Management Committee are unanimously of the opinion that no decision was reached on the meeting of Tuesday 14th April. Null and void was indeed mentioned by two members,whilst concluding on points per game was favoured by another, but the remainder of the committee remained silent on their views at this stage. No proposal was tabled by any member, none was seconded, no vote taken & no motion was carried; only discussions took place.
Colin Chisholm, we felt, was a victim of circumstance in a difficult situation. Due to illness and absence of others, we feel he was left as the only messenger from his position as West representative on the Scottish Junior FA Management Committee, imparting upon us clear advice from the SJFA Management meeting, from Tom Johnston & from Rod Petrie. However, we accept the panel’s conclusion that those efforts “has been tainted, rightly or wrongly, by the perception of undue influence.” Whilst we are firm in the belief he acted in good faith, and while Colin stepped out of the meetings at the appropriate areas regarding his club, his absence from the entire process would have avoided these allegations from the very beginning. We would once again, at this stage, like to thank Colin for his many years of service on both the West Region Management Committee and the Scottish Junior Management Committee.
We felt strongly, as a committee, that with the West Region of the SJFA ending with this decision, it was only right & proper to find a representative to enter the Scottish Cup for the last time – whoever that representative may be. And in making that decision, we therefore also felt it was right & proper to find a Champion for the each of the West Region leagues in turn.
In regards the “Stakeholders” section of the report we would comment. We accept and respect the panel’s wishes for this to be included. We also respect and welcome stakeholders comments on all subjects, however given the comments contained therein these are made prior to the divulging of the report that there inclusion doesn’t reflect both sides and feel that balance is not reflected, together with the anonymity which is not afforded the committee.
The leaking of the draft minutes to the media is of grave concern to the committee and the damage it causes to all clubs and the game in general. The report recognises that the member club who received the email were advised by a West Region management member on the protocol required if they had reason to suspect any underhand or concerning practices. It is the committee’s view that they had a duty and obligation to all other clubs to have this properly investigated. They chose not to take such advice.
We are pleased to bring this matter to a conclusion now with the publication of this report, which will allow us to bring 18 years of the SJFA West Region to a close in due course. Once again, we thank Scott, Gus & Tarik for their meticulous & lengthy investigation into proceedings.
We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our member clubs, players, coaches, committee members & supporters the best of health in these troubled times, and wish them good luck in the new era of the West of Scotland Football League when the new season begins.
SJFA WEST REGION MANAGEMENT COMMITTEE
TUESDAY 30th JUNE 2020