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Opinion Piece: SPFL Should Accept Dundee’s First Vote

Date: 14th April 2020


I think it’s fair to say that The SPFL haven’t covered themselves in any glory over the past few weeks. 

The whole voting debacle just doesn’t sit easy with me and many others. 

I was never a huge fan of the resolution because it would relegate teams without them being able to fulfil their full quota of games. By relegating these teams, you will then put people’s jobs at risk and that in these current circumstances is a truly horrific look. 

League reconstruction should be discussed beforehand as an alternative. 

I don’t think that The SPFL have kept the fans in the loop during this whole saga and I think that’s embarrassing, given that football really is nothing without the supporters. 

Then there’s the vote itself. 

We are told that there’s a 5pm on Friday deadline. As that time period came and went, The SPFL released a statement giving out the results. These results showed one team in the Scottish Championship had yet to vote.

It turned out to be a deciding vote! 

The speculation that unfinished poll brought was immense, after the deadly coronavirus it has been Scotland’s biggest news story over the Easter Weekend. 

It turned out that two teams (Partick Thistle and Inverness Caledonian Thistle) had voted against ending the current season as is. If one other club agreed with their stance then the resolution would have been defeated. 

Caley Thistle’s chief executive Scot Gardiner then went on BBC Sportsound and gave his reasons for saying no to the resolution. Furthermore he stated that the missing team’s vote (Dundee) was also a no and that he had evidence of The Dens Park side’s voting intentions via a whatsapp group message. 

It was then reported that the SPFL did receive a no vote from Dundee but that it arrived late and before it landed in their mailbox they had had a call from Dundee’s hierarchy to say to ignore that vote. They also stated that the 5pm deadline was just a recommendation and that team’s actually had 28 days to respond. If this was made clear to clubs, then it certainly wasn’t made clear to their fans! 

Now various media sites are reporting that Dundee are preparing to do a U-turn and say ‘Yes’ to the proposal with reconstruction being discussed and friendlies being offered

I am sorry but how is this totally acceptable? 

Forget how your team voted, there is absolutely no integrity in allowing one team to renege on their official vote and then cut deals that will have an impact on so many other member clubs. If they change their minds based on possible lucrative friendlies, then I can only call that corrupt!  

The SPFL also have to issue a statement explaining the financial side of this. Scottish clubs are in great need of financial support. A big reason for supposedly ending the season now is to hand out prize money. But other side’s now say that the SPFL can issue out loans, advancing prize money, now without passing the resolution. What is the truth? 

It seems deeply insensitive and misjudged for us to even worry about football at this time but these decisions will be huge for football clubs and their communities. The way The SPFL has handled this has been extremely poor and caused even more stress and confusion. 

I feel it is only right that we accept the original vote from Dundee FC and move on and look at other resolutions or even tweak the one that’s on the table. While paying out some money to help clubs survive. 

As always we need more transparency from our football clubs and especially our league’s governing body.

By Scott Johnston 

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