Dundee not offered ‘sweetener’ over vote – SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan

Tim Daniels Soccer

A total of 81% of SPFL clubs backed ending the lower-league season

Dundee were not offered any “sweetener” to change their vote over ending the lower-league season, insists SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan.

MacLennan also said “care should be taken to consider” Rangers’ motives after they succeeded in calling an EGM to ask clubs for an investigation into the league’s handling of the ballot.

A league-commissioned probe surrounding Dundee’s vote found no evidence of improper behaviour, but was dismissed by Rangers as “alarmingly failing to examine wider fundamental issues”.

After Dundee reversed their no vote, the lower leagues were called, giving the SPFL the power to end the Premiership early on the same points-per-game basis.

In a Q&A that stretches to almost 3,500 words, MacLennan also said that:

  • Issuing loans to multiple clubs was “unrealistic”
  • The SPFL should not have placed a Friday 17:00 BST deadline on ballot responses
  • They would have been “accused of unwarranted secrecy” had they not declared the votes that evening
  • They were “fully entitled, and can hardly be criticised, for accepting the view of the overwhelming majority”
  • Many calls were made, to many clubs, between the vote being called and Dundee’s final submission but that is “entirely normal practice” and that he sees “nothing wrong whatsoever” with board members lobbying clubs
  • The SPFL should have “expressed concern and regret” for the relegated Partick Thistle and Stranraer
  • However, they had to take a decision to prevent “possibly dozens” of clubs “going to the wall”.

MacLennan repeated the SPFL’s warning from Tuesday about the cost – both in terms of time and finance – of holding an investigation, and called it “wholly unnecessary, inappropriate and contrary to the interests of the company”.

He also criticised Rangers for not releasing the evidence of wrongdoing that is “said to be causing that club so much apparent concern”.

MacLennan added that had the Ibrox club made it available, it could have been considered by the Deloitte investigation into the vote.

“At this hugely challenging time, distractions, scapegoating and sideshows are our enemy,” he added.

“We had many sleepless nights, many long discussions, and endured considerable stress on how to find a solution that protected clubs and jobs as much as possible.

“In the weeks and months to come when all this is over, I’ve no doubt that people will see we did the right thing at the right time for the right reasons.”