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Page last updated at 14:19 GMT, Friday, 25 September 2009 15:19 UK

SFA to discuss McMaster roles row


McDougall questions McMaster roles

By Brian McLauchlin

The Scottish Football Association will look at the details of Brown McMaster's controversial transfer of shares in Partick Thistle on Thursday.

It follows Livingston chairman Gordon McDougall's claim that McMaster, the Scottish Football League president, should resign for a rules breach.

McDougall says McMaster transferred one million Thistle shares to his family while on the Stenhousemuir board.

Rule 87 of the SFL constitution forbids dual interest in clubs.

In July last year, McMaster resigned from the Partick Thistle board and became a director at the Ochilview club.

This allowed him to continue in his role as league president.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir says McMaster has been totally upfront regarding the shares and the management committee is comfortable with the situation.

An SFA spokesperson says it has now received documents confirming the shares have all now been transferred away from McMaster's family and that the matter will be discussed by its board on 1 October.

Three weeks ago Livingston investor Neil Rankine made a similar call for McMaster to resign.

McDougall, whose club was relegated to the Third Division for breaching insolvency rules, told BBC Scotland: "We have looked for some time at the position of the SFL president Brown McMaster and his dual interest in clubs.

"It seems from our information no doubt that Mr McMaster moved shares to his family when he left Partick Thistle to become a director at Stenhousemuir.

Did Mr McMaster declare on his Rule 87 form that his family had a significant shareholding in Partick Thistle in July 2008?

Gordon McDougall

"We are saying that Mr McMaster, when he left Partick Thistle to become a director at Stenhousemuir, had a substantial shareholding in Partick Thistle of circa one million shares.

"Those one million shares were moved to his family and it is strictly against the rules of the SFL and the SFA. They have a guideline in handbooks of 3%. The one million shares equates to around 11%."

The Livingston chairman went on to question what information was revealed by McMaster to the SFL and what decisions Longmuir's SFL made about the alleged dual interest.

"Did Mr McMaster declare on his Rule 87 form that his family had a significant shareholding in Partick Thistle in July 2008?" added McDougall.

"We would like an independent solicitor to have sight of the Rule 87 form to prove that the matter was dealt with correctly.

Brown McMaster
McMaster has transferred his Thistle shares out of his family's ownership

"We feel we have been punished as a club by a management committee who are open to question.

"One of the management committee has admitted to a betting scandal and he has gone; we now have the president of the SFL and the chief executive, in our opinion, openly flouting the rules of the football league."

And McDougall, the former Cowdenbeath owner, continued: "Mr Longmuir has it in his power to provide the answers that we are asking for. If we are wrong, we will hold our hands up and say we were wrong.

"But as these things go on we become more and more suspicious."

Asked if his move was based on sour grapes after Livingston were relegated two divisions to Division Three, McDougall said: "There is an element of truth in that.

"Both these gentlemen were party to the decisions that were made. Mr McMaster was a very influential party in the appeal that was conducted by Lord MacLean."

McMaster told BBC Scotland that he would make no comment on the matter before the SFA meeting next week.

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see also
Livi to retain full-time status
08 Sep 09 |  Livingston
Livi lose appeal against the drop
07 Sep 09 |  Livingston
Livi demand McMaster resignation
04 Sep 09 |  Livingston
Top SFL administrator stands down
01 Sep 09 |  Scottish League

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