SPFL: 'It's such a mess... relegation has blown my mind'

Sign outside Partick Thistle's Firhill Stadium
Lower league clubs are receiving prize money after a vote in favour of ending the season

"Just because our job is in the public eye doesn't mean we are robots. We have had to deal with the same burden that everyone else is going through."

Clubs carried an SPFL vote to end the lower league season - and with it relegate Partick Thistle and Stranraer from the Championship and League One, respectively.

Thistle, were two points adrift at the bottom of the Championship with a game in hand over Queen of the South.

In League One, Stranraer trailed Forfar Athletic by eight points with a game in hand. Both relegated clubs ruled out a legal challenge to the decision.

But how is the vote being viewed from a playing perspective?

Partick Thistle striker Brian Graham

"Where do I start with this decision? For a world where we're living during a global pandemic, I personally feel that this [vote] should have been taken away from clubs making the decision.

Partick Thistle striker Brian Graham
Brian Graham says he "simply can't accept" the decision to relegate Partick Thistle

"Not for once did I believe it should have gone to a vote where, let's not kid ourselves, every team voted with their own club's best interests at heart.

"I don't blame them for that. For a team like mine [Partick Thistle] to be relegated with a game in hand, I simply can't accept that.

"As footballers, we have the same worries as everyone else. Just because our job is in the public eye doesn't mean we are robots. We have had to deal with the same burden that everyone else is going through.

"I don't think players' welfare or best interests were considered at any meeting to discuss this. These decisions have big implications for the players at the clubs who have now been relegated. I personally feel that this is wrong."

Stranraer midfielder Ryan Stevenson

"It's such a mess. How they think this decision is the best for everyone is mind-boggling to me. In such a bad time, globally, and as a country out of all the countries making decisions, we seem to make the worst one, footballing-wise.

Stranraer midfielder Ryan Stevenson
Ryan Stevenson: "Is it fair? Is it sporting integrity? I don't think so..."

"It's blown my mind. In the changing room we felt if we still got a couple of results - we still had Forfar to play at home - and we had gone on a decent run, we could have caught them.

"But taking Stranraer out of it, I think the Falkirk situation [a point behind League One champions Raith Rovers], [and] even more than that the Partick Thistle situation... it's just incredible.

"For Partick Thistle, I think it's ridiculous. There will be repercussions going down which could be catastrophic for them.

"Is it fair? Is it 'sporting integrity?' I don't think so. I think it's unjust.

"Even in our division, for Falkirk who are a point behind Raith Rovers, it could have gone to the wire.

"I just think I was right at the start when I was asked the question, 'what do you do?' And I just thought scrapping it and drawing a line under it would be the best possible outcome."

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