Telling a player that no new contract is going to be offered is always a difficult conversation but it is always that, a conversation.

British employment law does not allow our club, or any other for that matter, to do anything outside of UK employment law.

If an employee, in this case a player, has been at the club/business for 2 years or more, no matter if they have a fixed 2 year or more contract or not, a strict process must now be followed by law and all 42 SPFL clubs must now follow that process or risk virtually open and shut unfair dismissal cases against them.

If a club does not intend to offer a player in such circumstances a new contract, then in the first instance, a player is sent an email and/or a letter inviting them to attend a formal meeting at the club to discuss their contractual situation. Every club has an SPFL template letter which must be sent out in relation to this meeting and it has to state what the meeting is about. The player can bring a witness or a union representative to the meeting.

Sadly, what happened re one of our players has been completely misrepresented by the player on social media and subsequently and spuriously reported as fact by a number of clickbait proponents thereafter without hearing the facts of the matter from the club. Or clearly having any knowledge at all of UK employment law.

Contrary to what has been said or reported, following the above process, the club spoke to Shane Sutherland face to face at a proper formal meeting at the stadium and sadly had to inform him that no new contract would be offered for a number of football reasons. He then had the opportunity to appeal that decision, like every player has at all 42 SPFL clubs, if they have been there for 2 years or more. He did not appeal that decision.

What then has to happen by law is that the decision is both emailed and sent out in a letter to the player.

Again, we strictly follow the law and use the template letters supplied to us by the SPFL. Most clubs were unaware of this fairly recent UK employment law development but these are the facts of what happened in this case and it is unfortunate that so many people wrongly criticise the club without knowing those facts.

The rest of his posts are like his initial post, a complete misrepresentation of the facts and in some cases completely untrue. The club, our brilliant medical team and three of the most renowned practicing knee specialists in Europe have been involved with the club this season and no expense or time has been spared. This club now does the right thing and follows correct processes at all times both on and off the field and we take great pride in that.

It is sad when a player cannot or does not accept the reality of due process or of football life but it doesn’t change the facts. It is never pleasant to have to tell anyone that they are no longer going to be working with you but that decision and the subsequent legal process should not be unfairly represented and criticised.

We should not have to publish the above but it is only right that people know the truth.

Shane was a valued part of our squad and was treated as such, as disappointed as we are with his interpretation of the facts, we wish him well in his future career wherever that takes him.