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HEARTS EXPECT SUPPORT

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HEARTS owner Ann Budge believes other clubs will join them in voting against the SPFL proposal to bring the season to a premature conclusion.

Teams outwith the Premiership have until five o’clock this evening to have their say if the campaign should end due to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.

Champions and relegation would be decided on a points-per-game basis which would see Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers promoted.

The top-flight table will also be finalised on the same basis if it proves impossible to restart the season. That situation would see Celtic crowned champions for the ninth successive term and the Tynecastle outfit, four points adrift of Hamilton Accies, relegated to the Championship.

With a 75 per cent vote required from clubs across the divisions for the resolution to pass, Budge is convinced it will fail.

The Edinburgh club’s supremo, speaking to Sky Sports News, said: “Based on conversations I have had, and I’ve talked to a number of clubs in the Premiership and the Championship – I haven’t talked to League One and League Two clubs, because I don’t have the ready contacts, if you like – I don’t believe this will be supported.

“We are where we are in the league positions. If we argue everything through, if everything thing is talked about and that is what the community of football clubs think is right then I won’t fight it to the death. How is that going to end?

“If we have to deal with relegation, we’ll deal with relegation, but I do keep coming back to who [if anyone]is going to benefit?”

In an earlier club statement, Budge said: “Following the SPFL briefings, and having now had the opportunity to read the written resolution being proposed, I can confirm that Heart of Midlothian will not be voting in favour of the proposal as it stands.

“A number of clubs have been discussing possible options and sharing ideas. Many of those clubs believe, as we do, that a decision of such magnitude requires significantly more discussion and debate than has been made available to us.

“I absolutely understand that finding an equitable outcome for all will not be easy. However, I firmly believe that we must try to find a solution which ensures that no club should be penalised as a consequence of these exceptional circumstances.

“This is a time for all clubs and SPFL partners to pull together to find an equitable solution for all. If something is right, it is right. If it is wrong, it is wrong. We will continue to lobby for doing the right thing, both for clubs and for Scottish Football.”

The SPFL had also said, if its plans are approved, it would consult with clubs over a possible restructuring of the leagues before the 2020/21 season.

Rangers voiced their opposition to this, releasing a statement where they described the prospect of certain clubs being relegated unfairly as “abhorrent”, as Scotzine reported.

The Ibrox club also proposed a resolution to allow prize money to be released early to help clubs that are struggling financially, which Hearts said they will support.

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Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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