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Real escape with hope of progress

What the papers say
By ESPN Staff

SPL chief Gold hits back at Peat over criticism

Scottish Premier League executive chairman Lex Gold has fired a stinging rebuke at Scottish Football Association president George Peat over his criticism of the top division.

Peat launched a withering attack on the quality of the Clydesdale Bank Premier League at the weekend, claiming it was so poor he could have played in goal during recent matches.

That has prompted Gold to send Peat a letter accusing him of painting an unfairly bleak picture of the state of the SPL.

The letter read: ''It's with disappointment we read comments attributed to you, disparaging the SPL games you have seen this season.

''We appreciate you may not get to see many of the 228 SPL games played in a season and you are entitled to your opinion.

''But it appears you have not read the outcome of the recently commissioned independent fans' survey in which 2,500 SPL fans participated.

''The findings, while not uncritical, paint a more positive picture than the one you appear to have presented.

''The SPL was the fifth most successful league by co-efficient in European competition last season.

''The next time you are inclined to comment on the SPL we invite you, as the president of the SFA, to take greater care to provide a more balanced picture.''

Peat wants improving the SPL to be the focus of a forthcoming review into the state of Scottish game, which is being led by former First Minister Henry McLeish.

The row over the quality of the top division is the latest in a series of spats between Scotland's two major football institutions.


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