Scottish Premier League news

Regan talks up disciplinary system

July 22, 2011

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has said the SFA's new disciplinary processes will be "speedy, transparent and robust".

Stewart Regan
PA PhotosStewart Regan is talking up the new disciplinary process

The SFA published a book outlining their new protocols which hope to streamline and make clear previously antiquated and cumbersome disciplinary rules and procedures.

A compliance officer will be recruited - there has been a temporary appointment in the meantime - and he will be key to the new "fast track" system which hopes to have disciplinary cases open and shut within a week.

The compliance officer, who will have criminal prosecution experience background, will activate cases which will be dealt with by a three-man judiciary panel, drawn from a list of 100 possible members in a "cab rank" system, with hearings taking place every week.

Regan, speaking at Hampden, said the new process was developed with the help of the "best practices of Scottish rugby, the FA and the FA Premier League".

He said: "We have appointed an interim compliance officer who has come from one of our legal partners. He is working with us on a minimum three-month assignment until such times as we have appointed.

"He has been involved heavily in working with us to finalise the sanction policy and so on and we will be ready to hit the ground running this weekend."

In a bid to take some pressure off referees, sanctions could be imposed on managers and players who comment on officials before games.

In addition, one-point and three-point cautions have been scrapped and six yellow cards will incur a ban next season. All players already sitting on points have been handed an amnesty going in to the new campaign although if there is a suspension currently in place that has to be served.

However, Regan revealed that under new rules "road tested by two sets of lawyers and a QC", appeals that "have no chance" of being won could be punished by an additional one match suspension.

He said: "If there are frivolous appeals, the panel will reserve the right to add on an additional one-match suspension as an extra sanction.

"This is about trying to provide a speedy and more transparent process for the whole of football. If people try to 'play the system' or defer the decision then they will be dealt with."

Managers and players were informed of the new system at a presentation at Hampden yesterday and Regan was encouraged by the feedback.

"The managers and captains have been told it is the start of a new era," he said. "The response from the clubs was very supportive, they were impressed by what we had achieved.

"It is a clear message stating that the focus will be on the football. I don't think it will be plain sailing or seamless. There will be learnings and a review at the end of the season."