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Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters says Scottish football needs stability right now, not change

By Craig Christie

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SPFL clubs need stability before they can look at league reconstruction, says Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.

Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.
Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters.

A proposal to create a new three-tier, 14-14-16 Scottish football structure granting entry to Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts was rejected by Premiership clubs last week, meaning it didn't even get to a club vote.

Tatters said Elgin is opposed to expanding the league at a time when clubs don't know if they can survive over an extended period of inactivity due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

"The 14-14-16 option was thrown on the table but I don’t think that was ever going to be a starter," he said.

He pointed to the new £25 million Sky TV contract for Scottish football, saying more than 80 per cent of the money goes to Premiership clubs.

"So the way things are at the moment, why would they take an extra two clubs in to divide up the cash even more?

"As the chairman of a football club, especially when it is a limited company, my role is to look after the interest of the shareholders.

"People do feel for Brora and Kelty and other clubs who have been hard done by and I can do that as well.

"But I can’t let that influence our decisions associated with the restructuring of the leagues when I’ve got to look after Elgin City, otherwise I am not doing my job as a chairman for the shareholders.

"There’s plenty talk of sporting integrity but I can’t let that influence my decisions on Elgin City Football Club, who agreed as a board of directors that they didn’t want any change.

"Change causes disruption and at the moment we are being disrupted enough. We don’t need any more change, we need some stability so we can start looking ahead."

Tatters said the extension of the government furlough system has again bought Elgin City more time.

"I am just pleased that we are in a situation at the moment where we can survive. I think we are as well off as anybody.

"We are in a comfortable enough position within the football club to the point where we can survive a period of time, and it all depends on when it ends and how much money we’ve got left to how we can cover it all.

"After that we will need to sit round the table with the management and the players to decide how we progress."

Elgin have 11 players under contract beyond the end of this month and will use the furlough to pay them during the period that football is inactive.

Tatters said the Borough Briggs outfit has received great backing from the town in their time of need, and feels it is City's presence as a community club which has helped forge a strong relationship with people in the area.

"We’ve been well supported. The community have stood up for us really well.

"We are the nucleus of football in Elgin with all the community stuff we do. There’s few clubs at our level who have two full-time coaches dealing with youth in the community and we’ve persevered with that, and the community has responded to that and been fantastic.

"We are really chuffed with the response."

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