DUNFERMLINE Athletic chairman Ross McArthur has rubbished rumours of historic match-fixing involving his club and Rangers.
The club released a statement at 8.00pm last night (Tuesday) after unwillingly becoming included in the Rangers title-stripping debate.
The claims made against Dunfermline centred around the final day of the 2002/03 season where Rangers beat Dunfermline 6-1 to win the Scottish title.
It had also been claimed online that information had been leaked to a Celtic fans’ website which had been calling for a judicial review into the use of EBTs at Ibrox.
Ross McArthur’s statement said: “I am extremely disappointed to have to release the following statement, particularly as the subject matter below has proven to be an unnecessary distraction today on the eve of a very important cup match at Ibrox Stadium tomorrow evening. However, as ever I wish our own supporters to be fully aware of the facts, and put to bed some of the ludicrous accusations that have been put to me today by the wider media.
“Like most other SPFL Clubs, we were contacted a couple of weeks ago by a number of supporters asking for our club to make a public statement following the review of the recent Rangers Tax Case. Myself and my fellow Board members took the decision not to do so, as our business practice since taking over the club from the administrators, has always been not to comment on any matters that do not adversely affect Dunfermline Athletic Football Club today. As a club, we still have a lot of bridges to rebuild. However, out of courtesy I believe you should always take the time to respond to someone who has written to our club. Therefore, I liaised with my fellow Board member (and Supporter Liaison Officer), Drew Main and we individually responded to each person who wrote to us. Most of the emails we received were from DAFC supporters, some were not.
“In our reply, we tried to be honest as we could and to make the point that we felt it would be entirely hypocritical of us to try and make any mileage by commenting on another Scottish football club, as our own club had itself already brought Scottish football into disrepute, when it went into administration in 2013, and we had to be mindful we were in no position to take the moral high ground. Without spelling that out, clearly if DAFC could not pay its own staff, players, other clubs and HMRC then most reasonable people would understand that you have brought the game into disrepute.
“Last week I was then contacted by the SFA, as one of the recipients of the email had clearly not been satisfied with our reply, or was attempting to create an issue, and had asked our governing body to investigate further. I can confirm that the SFA sent me one email, which I fully responded to the same day, explaining that the recipient was either attempting to make mileage in some way, or had taken our reply out of context. There has been no further dialogue between DAFC and the SFA.
“I can also confirm that there was never at any time, reference to former managers, other clubs or previous matches – this is totally spurious.
“There are a lot of positive things happening in Scottish football, and there a lot of good people within our respective clubs and at our governing bodies who are working very hard to promote and showcase our national game, and it is disappointing that everyone cannot focus their energy into looking forward, rather than trying to constantly undermine the credibility of our game”.