The civil war in Scottish football WON’T delay the kick-off to the new season.
Some clubs had feared legal action being taken by Hearts and Partick Thistle against the SPFL over their relegations would see the Premiership ’s August 1 start put back.
But the warring clubs are determined that will not happen and are keen to fast-track the matter and MailSport understands that the SFA expects to begin the arbitration process on Monday.
An independent three-person panel of legal experts will be chosen and the case will then be heard as a matter of urgency behind closed doors at Hampden.
The identity of the panel members will remain under wraps unless they agree to having their names disclosed.
A source close to the arbitration process confirmed there will be no delay in bringing what has been an undignified affair for our game to a final conclusion.
He said: “These proceedings will take as long as the clubs want them to take but it’s in the interest of everyone not to delay any longer than is necessary.”
The SPFL will publish a fixture list for the new Premiership season on Monday and MailSport understands both Hearts and Thistle see attempts to stall the process as being counter productive.
A source close to both clubs said: “There is momentum now with these proceedings and we want it resolved in the quickest time possible.
“It won’t be rushed but a resolution to these matters in a timely fashion is the wish of all involved. Delay suits nobody.”
This common ground comes as one of Scotland’s top legal minds claimed the tribunal could be done and dusted in a matter of weeks.
Advocate Paul Reid from Ampersands Advocates in Edinburgh told BBC Sportsound when asked if a couple of weeks would be a realistic timeline: “I would imagine it would be that sort of order.
“If it had stayed with Court they had time available for the week after next. So that would have been two, two and a half weeks. I would imagine the arbitration panel would want to do something similar.
“It is exactly the same legal principle as it would be in the Court of Session. It is the same as if it was a commercial dispute. They don’t always take their disputes to a court.
“There are advantages. It works to a 28-day period and should be done a lot quicker in these circumstances.
“The difference between the Arbitration and the court is there is no appeal.
“Unless something goes badly wrong you can’t come back to court and complain about the result.
“So there will be a final and a binding decision. Had it been through the court there is always an appeal mechanism.
“All the arguments Hearts and Partick Thistle wanted to present to the court can be presented to the panel.
“And of course if they have a measure of success in this there might need to be a rejigging of fixtures pretty close to the wire.”