Hearts are set to launch a costly legal battle with the SPFL that could ultimately damage the club and Scottish football even more.
The outcome could be returning right back to square one with relegation and the 12-10-10-10 status quo remaining – but with the added problem of legal costs.
Scottish football is now stuck in a frustrating Groundhog Day of reconstruction bids being proposed, failing and then the fall-out.
The Tynecastle club are rightly furious that they have been consigned to the drop after their bid for league reconstruction was quashed.
Their demotion to the Championship was confirmed when only 16 of the 42 senior clubs indicated support for switching to a permanent 14-10-10-10 set-up.
Reconstruction needed the backing of 11 out of the 12 Premiership clubs, 17 from the top two tiers and 32 across all divisions.
The SPFL board subsequently stated it had “agreed to draw a line under reconstruction talks”.
Now Hearts have moved to draw a battle line.
Hearts owner Ann Budge, the club’s board and supporters will fight for what is best for their club.
Every team would do the same.
They feel wronged. Hearts were just four points adrift at the bottom with eight games remaining. There was still sufficient time for survival.
However, more than 50% of clubs indicated they would not back reconstruction. Ultimately it was not the SPFL board who made the call, but the other 41 member clubs.
Which is why a legal move against the SPFL could be doomed.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster previously warned that any legal action from Hearts would cost the other 41 clubs as the SPFL does not hold cash reserves.
The other clubs could also suffer at a time when the pandemic is wreaking financial chaos.
Other clubs wronged in this mess without the same financial clout as Hearts cannot be forgotten. Partick Thistle and Stranraer were also relegated while Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts were denied their rightful opportunity to go for promotion via pyramid play-offs.
Partick joined Hearts in a legal challenge after a benefactor offered to fund their court battle. The Jags were two points behind second- bottom Queen of the South with a game in hand when the season shutdown.
That game in hand was against Inverness, who they had already beaten twice. Partick have now been consigned to a League One that as of yet does not have a start date to emerge from the shutdown.
Cormack Park proves value to Aberdeen
Aberdeen welcomed a “new normal” on returning for pre-season training amid social distancing measures.
After a lay-off of 94 days due to the Covid-19 lockdown, the Reds reunited at Cormack Park on Monday.
Cormack Park was constructed at a cost of £13 million and officially opened by Sir Alex Ferguson on October 31 last year.
Having access to their own training facilities at this time is a massive positive for Aberdeen.
Without Cormack Park, it would have been a far greater challenge to impose the stringent rules put in place by the SFA and SPFL Joint Response Group.
Aberdeen have done everything possible to make Cormack Park a “biosecure environment” to ensure the safety of players and staff.
They have secured a Covid-19 testing machine on site.
Under the joint response group protocols, players and staff must be tested twice per week.
Everyone also has a temperature check before entering Cormack Park.
For many Aberdeen supporters images of the players back in action will have offered a ray of light during the pandemic.
Scottish football has a route mapped out with August 1 targeted to restart the Premiership.
Although far from normal, the return to training offers hope.