RANGERS’ bid for an investigation into the SPFL’s handling of the the vote to end the lower league seasons early has failed.

The Hampden chiefs also have the power to call a halt to the Premiership and hand Celtic their ninth successive title after crowning Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers champions of their respective divisions.

The resolution, proposed by the Ibrox side and backed by Hearts and Stranraer, required at least 32 votes from the 42 league members across the four divisions, but only 13 clubs voted in favour of the independent probe.

A minimum of nine Premiership clubs, eight Championship clubs and 15 clubs in Leagues One and Two combined had to vote in favour for the launch into an investigation.

The resolution got the support of four clubs in the Premiership and one from the Championship, plus eight in the two lower divisions. Another two teams from the combined ranks of League One and League Two abstained.

Following the outcome, SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan urged all clubs to respect the democratic process and unite behind efforts to restart football when it is safe to do so.

The league supremo, in a report on Sky Sports News, 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.

“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.”

MacLennan added: “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.”

Interim Ibrox chairman Douglas Park had previously said the club were willing to fund an independent investigation into last month’s vote which saw Dundee’s change their vote after a five-day delay to support the SPFL resolution which saw the proposal passed.

The club had also called for Hampden chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie to be immediately suspended after claiming they had received “alarming” evidence from a whistleblower and further alleging clubs were “bullied” into voting for the SPFL.

An internal inquiry, conducted by Deloitte, in the aftermath of the voting fallout, found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the league bosses.

However, Gers sent a dossier, which focused on complaints around process and governance of the SPFL, to all clubs last week, which the body dismissed as “baseless, damaging and self-serving attacks”.

The SPFL had previously warned about the financial implications for all Premiership clubs of undertaking an independent investigation and recommended all members vote against it at the EGM.


About Author


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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