Hearts chairwoman Ann Budge claims questions must be asked on “whether the [SPFL] board is attempting to unduly influence the members decision-making process” in a season-defining vote.
The comments are regarding the vote on the SPFL’s potentially league-ending proposals which would see champions crowned and teams relegated in all four of Scotland’s divisions.
But Budge has now raised questions over the legitimacy of the entire decision-making process, describing the timelines given to hurry the vote through as “unreasonable”.
“The Board has clearly discussed and considered various options. This is exactly what we would expect of the Board,” reads Budge’s statement [Hearts].
“However, to then dismiss all but one option and present only this option for a members vote, within a very limited timescale, must surely raise the question of whether the Board is attempting to unduly influence the members decision making process.
“I also indicated that I did not accept the position being argued by the SPFL that the only way to make much needed funds available to members was to pass this Resolution.
“It is difficult not to argue that linking the vote in this way to releasing funds, was an attempt to unduly influence the outcome of the vote.
“A number of Clubs were angered by this approach, and as has been well publicised, Rangers promptly pulled together a Resolution, which if passed, could have seen funds able to be released to Clubs immediately.
“This would have removed any suggestion that a Club’s financial situation could be a possible influencer in the vote.
“The fact that such an important matter was not properly addressed by the SPFL, in advance of the vote, is hugely disappointing.
“My observations are that if the SPFL genuinely wanted to work with member clubs to find a solution to the matter of releasing funds they could and should have reverted both more timeously and more helpfully.”
Budge’s comments come as Rangers suggest the SPFL misled clubs over funds being available to support them through the global pandemic [Rangers].
According to Rangers, the SPFL have known all along that they can supply loans to struggling members which theoretically could be made against prize money.
In a statement on Friday, the SPFL claimed that if clubs didn’t vote for the proposal they faced “weeks, and possibly months, of uncertainty and financial hardship”.
This was an opinion echoed by chairman Murdoch MacLennan who claimed prize money could not be doled out until the league season was finalised.
Rangers have also claimed that the SPFL have been trying to “bully and coerce” teams into voting for the proposal [Rangers].
Budge revealed that if the proposal should pass – with suspicions remaining over the situation involving Dundee’s lodged No vote not being counted – Hearts will sustain heavy losses.
If the Tynecastle club is relegated they are predicting losses of between £2.5m-£3m.
As a result of the situation Rangers are calling for the immediate suspension of SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal advisor Rod McKenzie whilst an independent investigation is carried out [Rangers].