Club reaction to SPFL tribunal sanctions

Following the outcome of our SPFL tribunal, we feel it is imperative to outline to our supporters why we feel so aggrieved by today’s sanctions.

The health and safety of our staff and players has always been and remains our first priority and since being allowed to return to football in June, we have done everything in our power to follow all guidelines and protocols mandated to us.

In relation to the two issues outlined by the tribunal: the club more than followed what it considered was appropriate, which was the 1m Scottish Government physical distancing guidelines for hospitality venues and in regards to coach travel, the policies and procedures also aligned with what we  considered to be Scottish Government protocols. Unfortunately the  tribunal did not agree with this interpretation.

The tribunal accepted the club’s position on a number of different points in regards to stadium safety but nonetheless, as a club we are always willing to look for improvements in procedures in all areas and indeed we have worked constructively with NHS Ayrshire and Arran over the past few weeks.

Given we remain in the midst of a global pandemic with restrictions reimposed across the country, we always saw this an opportunity for the football authorities to review their handling of Covid-related issues and update their guidance in light of increased knowledge around the virus and encourage a culture of sharing best practice across football.

Instead, we feel that Kilmarnock FC and other clubs have been subjected to sanctions-based approach by the SPFL, which has proved costly, time consuming and caused considerable stress to all involved.

As we have seen before, during and since our outbreak, football is not immune to the pandemic and while we have to accept that while the risks can be minimised, there are occasions where transmission will occur without anyone being at fault.

In the wake of our case, we believe it is imperative that official guidelines for all SPFL clubs are updated as a matter of urgency and allow the season to continue with as little disruption as possible.