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Last Updated: Saturday, 13 March, 2004, 15:41 GMT
Hughes court warning to SPL
Partick Thistle chairman Tom Hughes
Tom Hughes says rules must be obeyed
Partick Thistle chairman Tom Hughes has again threatened legal action in his club's battle to remain in the Scottish Premier League.

Thistle sit bottom, while promotion contenders Clyde and Inverness have asked for an extension to meet requirements for 10,000-seat stadia.

"We will oppose any club being allowed any watering down to the rules we had to comply with," said Hughes.

"We will take all steps open to us to prevent that."

However, BBC Sport believes that a simple 7-5 majority would be required from SPL chairmen to allow Clyde or Caley Thistle promotion despite not having a compliant stadium by the 31 March deadline.

Building that stand seriously affected our competitiveness
Thistle chairman Tom Hughes
The SPL last season voted against allowing Falkirk promotion, even though they had an agreement to share New Broomfield Stadium with Airdrie United.

St Mirren, already out of the promotion race, and St Johnstone are the only First Division clubs who presently comply with SPL regulations.

Clyde need to build a fourth stand at Broadwood Stadium and ground owners North Lanarkshire Council have started construction.

Caley Thistle have a proposal for temporary seating and both clubs have asked the SPL for an extension.

"When we were looking for promotion, we were still in a head-to-head with Airdrie and argued that we did not need 10,000 seats," recalled Hughes.

"But it was made clear to us that, unless we had a safety certificate for 10,000 seats by 31 March, we would not win promotion.

"Building that stand seriously affected our competitiveness."

Hughes admitted that the 10,000-seat rule was anachronistic at a time when three SPL clubs were already in administration and when attendances did not require stadiums of such a size.

"Football is in a transitional period, but rules are there to be obeyed," he added.






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