Scottish clubs have voted against Rangers’ resolution to open an independent investigation into the conduct of the SPFL at an EGM on Tuesday.
The resolution, proposed by the Ibrox side and backed by Hearts and Stranraer, required at least 32 votes from the 42 members across the four professional divisions but only 13 clubs voted in favour of the independent investigation following weeks of infighting and uncertainty in Scottish football.
A minimum of nine Premiership clubs, eight Championship clubs and 15 clubs in Leagues One and Two combined had to vote in favour for an investigation to be launched.
Speaking after the meeting, SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan urged all clubs to respect the democratic process and unite behind efforts to restart football when it is safe to do so.
He said: “The last few weeks have been bruising ones for many people in our game. 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.
“Every single one of us understands that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought huge challenges for our game, which we must overcome soon if we are to save all 42 clubs and restart the sport we all love.
“That is a daunting prospect in its own right – one of the gravest our sport has faced and it’s no exaggeration to say that it threatens the very existence of many of the SPFL’s clubs if we get it wrong.
“If Scottish football is to survive this, we simply must unite and use the enormous talents, resources and creativity at our collective disposal to rescue our game.
“Time is short. In reality, we must do everything humanly possible to get games back up and running by the end of July.
“We simply cannot afford the distraction of further infighting or legal challenges. I’m sure we can all agree that the quicker we get back to playing football, the better.”
Interim Rangers chairman Douglas Park had previously said the club were willing to fund an independent investigation into the recent vote to end the lower league seasons, and potentially that of the Premiership, with the process shrouded in controversy following Dundee’s change in vote which saw the SPFL’s resolution passed.
The club had called for SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie to be suspended after claiming they had received “alarming” evidence from a whistleblower and further alleging clubs were “bullied” into voting for the SPFL.
An internal inquiry, conducted by Deloitte, in the aftermath of the voting fallout, found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of the SPFL.
However, Rangers sent a dossier, which focused on complaints around process and governance of the SPFL, to fellow clubs last week, which the body dismissed as “baseless, damaging and self-serving attacks”.
The SPFL had previously warned about the financial implications for all Premiership clubs of undertaking an independent investigation, and recommended all members vote against it at the EGM.