Rangers previously made demands on SPFL figure over links to Celtic bosses
Photo credit should read JUSTIN TALLIS/AFP via Getty Images

Rangers asked SPFL chair to step down over links to Celtic shareholders

Rangers asked SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan to step down in the summer of 2018 over his business links to Celtic shareholders.

MacLennan is the chairman of Dublin-based Independent News and Media, which is part-owned by Celtic owner Dermot Desmond and another Celtic shareholder, Denis O’Brien.

This presented what Rangers considered a conflict of interest in Scottish football but the SPFL booted out the claims reiterating its “overwhelming support” for the chairman [Scotsman].

Rangers have previously challenged Murdoch MacLennan over his links to Celtic shareholders. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Back in July 2018, Rangers said:

“Rangers has been informed that the SPFL Board has refused our request for an independent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the position and disclosure by its chairman, Murdoch MacLennan, of his appointment to the position of non-executive chairman at Dublin-based Independent News and Media (INM).

“It is surprising that Mr MacLennan does not recognise and acknowledge that there is clear scope for conflict of interest between the duties owed by him to the SPFL and its shareholders and the duties he now owes to INM and Mr Desmond and Mr O’Brien as INM shareholders. Under the present circumstances no SPFL club can be sure of being properly served.

“Our concerns are heightened by the fact that Mr MacLennan has yet to offer an explanation for the very serious public allegations that he used highly inappropriate language when speaking about Rangers while working in the newspaper industry.

“In the interests of proper governance, transparency and integrity the SPFL should have agreed to an independent investigation of this extremely serious matter.

“Rangers is left with no alternative but to call for Mr MacLennan to stand down as SPFL chairman.

MacLennan is linked to Celtic owner Dermot Desmond through an Irish media company. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

“Rangers believes that Mr MacLennan cannot be considered fit and proper to continue in his role as SPFL chairman as he is now obliged to recuse himself from meetings and decision-making processes which could impact on member clubs.”

MacLennan took to the press yesterday to respond to Rangers’ claims of receiving evidence of corporate wrongdoing at the SPFL regarding a league-ending proposal vote.

Rangers believe this evidence to be so serious that they are demanding both SPFL chief exec Neil Doncaster and legal advisor Rod McKenzie are suspended during an independent inquiry.

MacLennan asked Rangers to either produce the evidence or withdraw their comments with the Ibrox club reportedly only willing to release the information to an independent inquiry [Athletic].

Rangers are now calling for an inquiry into SPFL bosses for their handling of the league body’s proposal vote. (Photo credit should read Ian MacNicol/AFP via Getty Images)

Rangers also claim this is “an example of an undemocratic culture which has existed within the SPFL for far too long” [Rangers].

The fact it is SPFL chairman MacLennan heading the response to the Rangers claims has once again highlighted previous clashes with the former Telegraph group boss over his connections to leading Celtic figures.

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