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‘No evidence of wrongdoing’ in SPFL season-ending vote

The SPFL has published details of an investigation into Dundee's vote which eventually saw the lower league season ended.

The Scottish Professional Football League has said an investigation has found “no evidence of improper behaviour” in the vote to end the lower league season.

The SPFL board commissioned auditor Deloitte to examine the circumstances surrounding Dundee’s vote on April 10 after it came in for stinging criticism from Premiership clubs Rangers, Aberdeen and Hearts who had called for an independent inquiry.

The Deloitte investigation found that Dundee’s emailed ‘no’ vote had gone into a quarantine basket and so appeared not to have been received by the 5pm deadline.

The SPFL published the results of the vote before 6pm, excluding Dundee’s vote and those of two other clubs, saying it would issue further updates in due course.

One more vote in favour of the resolution was needed from a Championship club in order for it to be passed.

The investigation found Dundee’s original ‘no’ vote was only discovered later that same evening by SPFL company secretary and director of operations Iain Blair.

Dundee’s club secretary Eric Drysdale sent a text message to Blair at 6pm to say that the club did not wish for its vote to be considered as cast.

The following week, the Dens Park club voted ‘yes’, bringing the lower league season to an end.

Karyn McCluskey, SPFL independent non-executive director, said: “I hope that Scottish football will now focus on the significant issues that face our game, otherwise many clubs may not survive this period.

“We will have to be forward-thinking, and work collegiately to quickly present ideas and proposals to Scottish Government and others which will enable Scottish football to recover and progress.

Rangers responded to the findings of Deloitte’s report by saying it “alarmingly failed” to address wider issues, calling for a further independent investigation into others factors surrounding the vote.

Rangers said they had requested a general meeting of all 42 members clubs to consider an investigation into factors including the decision to announce the result of an incomplete vote; the decision to allow Dundee to change their vote; and the interaction between SPFL executives and clubs during the voting process.

“We have received the SPFL’s open letter referring to the narrow scope of their investigation which alarmingly failed to examine wider fundamental issues,” the statement said.

“Rangers have made it very clear that we have a dossier of evidence which we will make readily available to an independent investigation.” 

“Make no mistake, this is a critical time for all clubs, and we must concentrate on what is important to the future of our game.”