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Hampden fall-out

Feud escalates as SPFL demands to see Rangers ‘dossier’

Ibrox stadium

Claim: Rangers (pic: SNS Group)

The bitter feud between Rangers and the SPFL over the season-ending vote has intensified with authorities demanding to see the Ibrox club’s proof of wrongdoing.

Rangers claim to have a “dossier of evidence” proving the vote was conducted improperly, with the SPFL agreeing to requisitions to hold an EGM next month to determine if an external probe should be held into the affair.

In an open letter signed by six members of the SPFL board – Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson was the one name missing – the club was urged to produce its proof of wrongdoing immediately.

The board also warned of the “incalculable” costs which will be incurred should an independent enquiry be pursued if the proposal is defeated.

“We are unaware of any impropriety or any disregard for appropriate qualities of corporate governance,” said the letter.

“As SPFL directors, we have volunteered our time freely, in uniquely difficult and challenging circumstances and have participated on a fully-functional SPFL Board, which we believe has operated in an entirely fair and even-handed manner.

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“We have each put our own self-interests behind us, to do what is best for Scottish football but have had to endure our professionalism and integrity as well as our compliance with our legal duties to the company being openly called into question in recent weeks.

“If Rangers Football Club has a dossier of evidence which shows anything to the contrary, then we would repeat the call for it to be brought forward immediately, because we, as club representative directors, have a clear duty to interrogate any allegations of misconduct or the like which it contains.

“All of the executive team retain our full support and admiration. Further recrimination and division will only decrease our chances of playing football matches in Scotland any time soon.

“The players, fans and officials deserve our best collective efforts. At a time when thousands of people in our communities are dying of Covid-19, Scottish football needs to reflect and consider how this looks to the outside world.

“In keeping with SPFL Rules, we will now have a general meeting on 12 May, when clubs will have the chance to either support or reject the resolution requisitioned by Heart of Midlothian, Rangers and Stranraer.

“We live in a democracy and the SPFL Articles are clear – if 75% of the clubs in the Premiership, as well as 75% of the clubs in the Championship and 75% of the clubs in Leagues One and Two vote that we should spend our executives‘ time on matters other than Seasons 2019/20 & 2020/21, and clubs’ money on lawyers’ fees, then we will.

“But if the resolution fails to gain the support of enough members and the requisitioners nonetheless continue on their current course, the cost to our game will be incalculable.”

We now need reconciliation and contrition from all parties if we are to safeguard the future of Scottish football

– letter from SPFL members

Dundee were allowed to change their initial ‘no’ vote to ‘yes’ thus allowing the resolution to bring the season to an early end to be passed.

The letter conceded that not not “everything has been done perfectly” and added: “following the SPFL directors’ written resolution, which was passed with a large majority of SPFL clubs, we now need reconciliation and contrition from all parties if we are to safeguard the future of Scottish football.

“We face huge challenges to ensure we can get the new season up and running on target and safely for all involved, and it is vital that all stakeholders collaborate and engage meaningfully with the Joint Response Group’s task force working groups, pooling our knowledge, experience and resources for the greater good.”

The letter was sign by Alan Burrows (Motherwell), Les Gray (Hamilton), Ewen Cameron (Alloa Athletic), Ross McArthur (Dunfermline Athletic), Ken Ferguson (Brechin City) and Peter Davidson (Montrose).

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