Despite EGM defeat...
Rangers in no mood to cease hostilities with SPFL
Feud: Rangers (pic: SNS Group)
Rangers’ bitter feud with the SPFL shows no sign of easing with the club insisting “the status quo cannot hold”.
The Ibrox outfit was responding after seeing its attempt to have an independent investigation into the league’s governing body kicked out at an EGM.
Rangers had called for the suspension of SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie while an external probe into the Dundee voting saga during the recent resolution to end the lower league season was carried out.
However, their motion, which was backed by Hearts and Stranraer, was overwhelmingly defeated. They required 32 clubs to vote in favour but only 13 did so.
SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan subsequently called for unity among member clubs, while Doncaster said: “It has been a bruising few weeks not just for myself but for everyone involved in Scottish football. No-one has enjoyed all of the division which has occurred over the last two months.
“But we made it clear we would respect the democratic process and result. The clubs gave a very clear message that they want all of our time and energy focused on getting the game back to some semblance of normality, getting fans back in stadia as soon as is safely possible and to focus on saving the game.”
Rangers, who had accused the SPFL of “bullying” during the voting process, appear in no mood to let the issue lie.
“Today’s vote has erased the false narrative of this issue simply being a conflict between one club and the SPFL,” said a club statement. “All we sought was urgently required scrutiny, respect for all member clubs, fairness and transparency.
“Significantly, support for the Hearts, Stranraer and Rangers requisition spanned the four professional divisions.
“Member clubs, recognising the need for Scottish football to improve its governance and professionalism, have moved beyond sporting rivalries and it would be unwise to regard this result as any kind of endorsement of the SPFL executive.
“A light has been shone on the SPFL’s governance and regardless of the attempts to debunk our report, there is widespread acknowledgment that it highlighted serious issues and failings which remain to be addressed.
“A management culture which not only fears accountability and scrutiny, but which actively campaigns against it, is unhealthy and breeds continued mistrust.
A management culture which not only fears accountability and scrutiny, but which actively campaigns against it, is unhealthy and breeds continued mistrust. This culture, so deeply embedded, must be addressed if Scottish football is to flourish.– Rangers FC
“This culture, so deeply embedded, must be addressed if Scottish football is to flourish.
“It is clear that many members have lost confidence in the SPFL leadership and the need for change will not diminish.
“The status quo cannot hold.”
Celtic, meanwhile, have criticised the treatment of the SPFL hierarchy.
“It is the duty of everyone committed to the future of our game to make the best of this awful situation, and not the worst,” a club statement said.
“We greatly regret the denigration of named individuals who have, on every occasion, acted upon decisions which were made by the board of the SPFL, representing all 42 clubs.
“The board and executive of the SPFL have operated under circumstances of unique difficulty in dealing with challenges of an unprecedented nature.”
They added: “We now appeal to all clubs to look to the future in the knowledge that the threats which exist to the fabric of Scottish football are grave and unprecedented. All of our energies should be applied to planning for the return of the game in season 2020-21 and to the financial survival of all our clubs.”
The SPFL have yet to call a halt to the Premiership season, though that decision is expected later this month. Celtic, ahead of nearest rivals Rangers by 13 points, would then be crowned champions for a record-equalling ninth time in a row, while bottom club Hearts would be relegated to the Championship.