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Thursday, June 30, 2022

SPFL Chairman Writes to all SPFL Clubs

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SPFL Chairman Murdoch MacLennan (pictured), has written to all 42 SPFL clubs this afternoon.

He said:

Dear All,

I am writing to you all to correct significant misinformation appearing in the media.  This misinformation is damaging to Scottish football as a whole – and to each and every member club of the SPFL.  Several suggestions have been made in recent days about the treatment of a resolution requisition by Rangers FC, about fee payments to clubs, and about the votes cast by Ladbrokes Championship clubs.  This letter is intended to set the record straight.

It has been suggested that the Board rushed to get a resolution out to members.  In fact, the dates and times of a number of recent SPFL Board meetings were delayed specifically to ensure that one director had the time that he needed to be able to reach a decision.  The SPFL Board spent around an hour discussing in great detail the resolution requisitioned by Rangers.  Only then did the Board, based on clear and unequivocal advice from a QC, determine that the resolution was not effective.  The Rangers director on the Board confirmed that he was content with the time given over to that discussion.  He was also offered the opportunity of the SPFL’s legal counsel Rod McKenzie working with Rangers’ Company Secretary on a resolution that might be effective.  To date, no further requisition has come forward from Rangers or from any other SPFL member.

It has been suggested that it is open to the SPFL Board to distribute end-of-season fee payments to clubs now, in the absence of league placings being finalised.  That is simply not the case.  For the Board to be able to authorise end-of-season fee payments to clubs (amounting to £9.3million gross), final league placings must be determined.  Those who have suggested that the SPFL may make such payments, without a line being drawn under Season 2019/20, are wrong.

Further, it has been suggested that all Ladbrokes Championship club votes were cast on Friday night.  One Ladbrokes Championship club attempted to submit a voting slip, which did not reach the SPFL until late that evening.  Earlier, at 6pm on Friday, that club had confirmed in writing to the SPFL that any attempted vote from that club should not be considered as cast.  We have had a number of conversations with the chairman of that club over the weekend, in which he reiterated that his club had not yet voted on the SPFL resolution.  The SPFL has proceeded on the basis of the unequivocal instruction from that club received at 6pm on Friday.

At the time of writing, 40 of our 42 clubs have voted, with one Ladbrokes Championship club and one Ladbrokes League 1 / League 2 club yet to cast a vote on the SPFL resolution.  They have the remainder of the 28-day period to do so, should they wish. The current level of support for the Board resolution is 85% of clubs in favour.

I have seen allegations made by the Rangers FC Interim Chairman Douglas Park, in a statement issued by Rangers at 3pm on Saturday, about the SPFL, its corporate governance, its culture, its office-bearers and its business operations.  I wrote to Mr Park on Saturday evening, requesting any material to support these allegations.  I regret to inform you that, at the time of writing, I have received nothing from Mr Park.  It is difficult to understand why Mr Park should not wish to share this alleged material with me.

I am entirely satisfied, based on all the information at my disposal, that the SPFL and its executives and legal advisers have acted wholly properly at every stage in this process.  Should any member club have evidence to the contrary they should bring it to me – indeed, I would argue they have a duty to do so – and I will deal with it in an entirely even-handed way.  To do otherwise is harmful to the standing, performance and effective operation of the SPFL and runs counter to the wider interests of our game.

Yours sincerely,

Murdoch MacLennan, Chairman

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