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Page last updated at 23:40 GMT, Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Inverness manager Butcher pans SPL 'deconstruction'

Inverness manager Terry Butcher and referee Craig Thomson
Butcher (left) feels aggrieved about matters on and off the park

Inverness boss Terry Butcher launched a scathing attack on the Scottish Premier League over plans for reconstruction.

Speaking after defeat at Ibrox, Butcher was also angered by Craig Thomson's decision not to award Inverness a free-kick in the run-up to Rangers' winner.

He said: "Adam Rooney's fouled, on the touchline, Rangers break and score.

"If you're looking at reconstruction, you're not looking at deconstruction. Deconstruction's a 10-team league, it's going back to the dinosaur era."

Of the game, Butcher was pleased with his players but felt aggrieved at the lack of action by referee Thomson after Rooney was challenged by Andy Webster near the halfway line.

"We couldn't believe that Adam wasn't given the foul, it was a clear foul," Butcher told BBC Scotland.

"There's a sense of injustice from the players' point of view because he's given every contact on Weiss (as a free-kick). Every time our player went within his magnetic field, it was given as a foul against him."

Butcher had previously voiced his displeasure at the rescheduling of the game and reiterated his position.

"We've been down at Motherwell on Saturday, travelled back, travelled down today against our will, played a game today," said Butcher.

"In the past four days we've done hundreds and hundreds of miles - in difficult conditions because it was icy this morning. Our fans have had to travel as well. It's absolute garbage.

"We do feel a sense of injustice, we do feel that we're not wanted in the SPL and we're damned as hell going to be in the SPL and we're going to finish as high as we can in the SPL just to stick two fingers up at the authorities."

What's wrong with what we've got at the moment? People say it's wrong, it's false; the split is good

Terry Butcher

And Butcher went on to criticise the SPL's proposals for reconstruction, which involve a 10-team top tier and a 12-team second tier.

"I think it's a disgrace," he said. "I think we're being bullied; my chairman's being bullied by the SPL and by other clubs as well. Other clubs have shown their weakness by conforming to the Old Firm and to the SPL.

"It goes against all the public wishes, they do not want to see us return to a 10-team league. They're saying that it might increase the finance but there's been no clear indication as to how much of an increase going down from the SPL.

"Three clubs go down from the SPL if this comes to play. We went down (in 2009), lost about £1.5m, lost a lot of staff, lost the heart and soul of the club and were luckily able to come back up in one year. Other clubs won't have that luxury and it could mean the end or administration for a lot of clubs in the future.

"And with administration, local businesses suffer, the innocent suffer. People are not aware of that, they don't know what they're voting for when it comes to the Armageddon of relegation. We do, we've been there, we know what it's like. Yet, no-one has consulted us, no-one even spoke to us about it.

"So, therefore we feel really strongly and I actually feel that the SPL don't want Inverness Caley Thistle in it because we're up there, geographically out of the way, out on a limb. Who cares about Caley Thistle?"

Butcher hinted that his preferred format would be a move to a 14-team division but also extolled the virtues of the current 12-team set-up, which splits into two after 33 games.

He added: "What's wrong with what we've got at the moment?

"People say it's wrong, it's false; the split is good. European places, relegation places, top of the table places - it's all up for grabs towards the last few weeks of the season; that's what you want.

"If you go to a 10-team league, it could be well over by March. If it ain't broke, don't fix it, and it ain't broke.

"Start earlier so the teams in Europe get an easier chance, have a winter break, do things that will alter things but not radical things, things that will help the situation, then we can think about change in the future.

"Why have we got to make the change right away? Why is it people are calling out for change? Change one or two little things but not the major thing."



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see also
Rangers 1-0 Inverness CT
18 Jan 11 |  Scottish Premier
SPL numbers game hard to add up
18 Jan 11 |  Scottish Premier
SPL clubs agree on top-10 format
17 Jan 11 |  Scottish Premier


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