SPFL quick to punish Dundee, but in no rush to deal Celtic’s Ibrox concerns

The SPFL yesterday punished Dundee FC in the form of a hefty fine for the state of the Dens Park pitch this season which has led to several of their games being postponed this season.

That is all well and fine, but it does raise several questions, and one of them being why haven’t the league’s governing body been so on the ball when it comes dealing with rule breaches committed by other clubs also under their jurisdiction?

Dundee v Motherwell, Dens Park – 06 April 2024 Photo Russell Cheyne/Shutterstock

After all it’s only been two weeks since we seen the safety of Celtic players and management were yet again put at risk in the Glasgow derby at Ibrox when ‘supporters’ threw coins and bottles on to the field of play and in the direction of the dug out, and not for the first time either.

And while the SPFL played a role in brokering the deal that will allow away supporters to return to Glasgow Derby matches next season, it should be noted that the reason there are no fans at these games is because Celtic refused tickets for that away corner at Ibrox after reporting seven instances of Celtic supporters being struck by missiles, including bottles.

What fine did the SPFL impose on theRangers for these previous incidents, of the broken glass being thrown into Joe Hart’s goalmouth at the start of the second half in the Glasgow Derby at Ibrox in April 2022? That was the same game where a member of the Celtic coaching staff was hit by a glass and as a result the perpetrator is currently residing at His Majesty’s Pleasure.

Yet there’s never been a peep from the powers that be or theRangers for that matter, although to be fair Philippe Clement did condemn the recent two incidents. Yet a game is postponed twice in the same season and it’s whipped up a hysteria which has led to a club being punished. Funny that eh?

There’s a link running through some of this and it’s Sky Sports. They wanted the fans back into the Glasgow Derby, as did everyone else expect the diehard Ibrox fans. They have serious clout with the SPFL due to their broadcasting deal, so Neil Doncaster gets involved. Fair play to him it’s probably the best solution possible in the circumstances.

And Sky Sports were looking to hit the SPFL with their costs of sending crews to Dens Park for the postponed games. When the games were called off, Sky still got coverage around the postponement via Sky Sports News. They have signed a broadcasting deal for Scottish football and games do get postponed up here, more so than down south. Meekly accepting Sky’s compensation demand and passing the cost onto Dundee looks like the coward’s way out.

Dundee were in the Championship last year at a time when income was low and energy costs high. They were worried about balancing the books to turned their undersoil heating off, resulting in the current problem. There should have been more compassion for Dundee’s predicament and remember that Dens Park was always one of the best playing surfaces in Scottish football.

 theRangers captain James Tavernier is disappointed at full time at Dens Park Stadium on April 17, 2024 i. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Sky got the drama, an even bigger audience when the game was played that they would have achieved first time around, and then they have indirectly fleeced Dundee for their costs via the feeble SPFL. Working with a smaller league, will always through up these kind of situations that you won’t see in the English Premier League, where Sky throws unbelievable sums of money that the teams down there.

Nowhere else beats Scotland for the proportion of money paid to Sky every month in subscriptions and only a small percentage is returned to our game via our modest media deal with the broadcaster.

Doncaster should have told Sky Sports to do one and he is now facing legal action as an enraged Dundee point out via a statement on their official website, that the SPFL’s own statement on the penalties imposed on them by the SPFL doesn’t even get the sums involved right. Dundee FC make their point below…

Just an Ordinary Bhoy


SPFL Disciplinary Verdict

Following an SPFL disciplinary hearing today, Dundee FC has been advised of the Tribunal’s findings as set out in the below SPFL press release, which in our view is inaccurate. Dundee FC has in fact been fined £150,000, of which £120,000 is suspended until the end of season 2024/25. This suspended element will be automatically triggered in the event of a single waterlogged pitch postponement next season.

In addition, £36,429.60 is payable as compensation to the SPFL for television and pitch specialist costs.

Dundee Football Club are deeply disappointed with the severity of the punishment and are currently seeking legal advice with regards to an appeal.

The club will be making no further comment on the outcome while we seek legal advice.

SPFL Press Release

Dundee fined for breaches of SPFL Rules

At a disciplinary hearing today (18 April 2024), Dundee FC admitted five separate breaches of SPFL Rules relating to their Dens Park pitch. This followed postponements of cinch Premiership matches on 7 October 2023, 23 December 2023, 2 January 2024, 17 March 2024, and 10 April 2024.

As a result, Dundee were fined £186,000, of which £120,000 is suspended until the end of season 2024/25.

This suspended element will be automatically triggered in the event of a further breach of SPFL Rules relating to pitch condition next season.

An SPFL spokesman commented: “SPFL Rules on pitch condition are an integral part of maintaining a fair league competition.”

About Author

An ordinary everyday Celtic supporters hailing and still residing in Govan in the shadows of the enemy. I’m a season ticket holder. I Witnessed my first Celtic game in 1988 and have attended when I can ever since. Growing up in the 90s I witnessed Celtic at their lowest, and now appreciate the historic success we enjoy today. I enjoy writing about this wonderful football club and hopefully will continue to do so. I’ve always been a keen writer and initially started this a hobby. My ambition is to one day become as good an author as my fellow Celtic Star colleagues.


  1. John Copeland on

    Maybe the governing bodies are in talks with Budweiser about future sponsorship deals and don’t want to frighten the horses ?

  2. The simple solution is for Dundee FC to get one of those 5 Way Agreement thingy’s !!!!!