May 12, 2020 / 3:53 PM / 22 days ago

Scottish clubs vote against investigation into SPFL conduct

(Reuters) - Scottish clubs have failed to support a request by Rangers for an independent investigation into the Scotland Professional Football League’s (SPFL) handling of the season in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Scottish Premiership - Rangers vs Kilmarnock - Ibrox, Glasgow, Britain - May 5, 2018 A Rangers fan with badges on his top before the match REUTERS/Scott Heppell/File Photo

The resolution, also backed by Hearts and Stranraer, was put forward after serious misgivings about how a previous vote on the SPFL’s plan to end the lower leagues early, and possibly the Premiership too, was carried out.

At an extraordinary general meeting on Tuesday, all 42 SPFL members took part in a video conference call to consider the Rangers proposal but only 13 voted in favour, with 27 against and two abstentions.

Speaking after the EGM, SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan said it was time for clubs to come together.

“The last few weeks have been bruising ones for many people in our game,” he said in a statement. “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.”

Only four top-flight clubs voted in favour with just one in the second-tier Championship. Eight League One and Two clubs voted in favour. The resolution required 75% support.

At a vote in April, seasons in the three lowest tiers were ended immediately with positions to be determined on an average points per game basis. The door was left open for a resumption of the Premiership if and when possible.

While the decision meant cash-strapped clubs could be paid prize money and Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were declared champions of their respective divisions, Partick Thistle and Stranraer were relegated from the Championship and League One respectively.

Reporting by Martyn Herman; Editing by Ken Ferris

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