Scottish football crisis

SPFL calls for unity after Rangers’ probe bid fails

Lack of support: Rangers (pic: SNS Group)

Rangers’ bid for an independent inquiry into the SPFL has failed after the majority of clubs voted against the proposal.

The Ibrox club, with the backing of Hearts and Stranraer, had tabled a resolution requesting an external probe into the handling of the controversial vote which brought an end to the lower leagues’ season.

In total, 32 clubs were required to see the motion passed but only 13 came out in favour at today’s EGM with two abstentions. 27 clubs voted against.

In the Premiership, nine clubs would have been required to vote in favour but a total of four clubs (33%) supported the resolution, with eight clubs (67%) opposing.

In the Championship, where eight clubs needed to vote for it, a total of one club (10%) supported the resolution, with nine clubs (90%) in opposition.

In Leagues One and Two, where 15 clubs had to vote in favour, eight (40%) supported the resolution, with ten (50%) opposing and two (10%) abstaining.

SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan said: “The last few weeks have been bruising ones for many people in our game. Far too many words have been spoken and written which have sown anger and division amongst clubs.

“That is a matter of the deepest regret to very many people in our game, myself included.

“I know those who proposed this resolution will be disappointed, but I trust that everyone involved, on both sides of this argument, will now respect the clear, democratic and decisive result we have seen today and allow our game to move forward together.

“The overwhelming majority of clubs voted to oppose this resolution and it’s now incumbent on all clubs to put their differences aside, otherwise we will all suffer together.

“The overwhelming majority of clubs voted to oppose this resolution and it’s now incumbent on all clubs to put their differences aside, otherwise we will all suffer together.

– SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan

“I have taken careful note of the concerns expressed by the minority of clubs which voted in favour and when we are back to playing football in a safe environment, I will bring clubs together to discuss the lessons learned.

“Every single one of us understands that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought huge challenges for our game, which we must overcome soon if we are to save all 42 clubs and restart the sport we all love.

“That is a daunting prospect in its own right – one of the gravest our sport has faced and it’s no exaggeration to say that it threatens the very existence of many of the SPFL’s clubs if we get it wrong.

“If Scottish football is to survive this, we simply must unite and use the enormous talents, resources and creativity at our collective disposal to rescue our game.

“Time is short. In reality, we must do everything humanly possible to get games back up and running by the end of July.

“We simply cannot afford the distraction of further infighting or legal challenges. I’m sure we can all agree that the quicker we get back to playing football, the better.”

Rangers claimed to have had a ‘dossier of evidence’ of wrongdoing by the league’s governing body after Dundee were allowed to change their decisive vote to pass last month’s resolution. However, that file of ‘evidence’ proved an anti-climax after a month-long wait for it to be produced.

An internal investigation by Deloitte found nothing amiss, while Rangers, who claimed that investigation “alarmingly failed to examine wider fundamental issues”, offered to fund the cost of any external probe.

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