Scottish clubs vote to end season in lower tiers due to coronavirus


  • Football
  • Thursday, 16 Apr 2020

(Reuters) - The second, third and fourth tiers of Scottish football have ended their seasons after a league resolution was passed with a majority vote, the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) announced on Wednesday.

Scotland's 42 professional clubs voted digitally on the SPFL's proposal to end the season across the lower tiers (Scottish Championship, League One and League Two) and the top tier Premiership if and when it becomes clear the season cannot be completed due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Championship side Dundee did not vote last week but have since backed the resolution, resulting in 81% of the members agreeing to the proposal.

Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were declared champions of the Championship, League One and League Two respectively.

"With the turmoil and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, there was always going to be a highly-charged and passionate debate about how we secure the future of Scottish football," SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan said in a statement https://spfl.co.uk/news/spfl-resolution-approved-by-clubs-in-all-four-di.

"It's no exaggeration to say that this was an existential matter for Scottish clubs, with many of them telling us they were at real risk of going under unless the situation was resolved very quickly, so I'm pleased that the game has moved decisively."

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said they would now be able to make end-of-season payments to clubs by the end of this week, which he described as a "lifeline" to many teams in the lower divisions.

After Dundee's vote in favour of the resolution, Premiership standings will be decided on a points-per-game basis if the league's board decide the remaining games cannot be played.

The Premiership, which Celtic lead by 13 points from Rangers, will not be called off until April 23, the earliest date UEFA would accept the abandonment of top divisions to avoid the possibility of being barred from European competitions.

Second-placed Rangers and bottom side Hearts, who would be relegated, had both criticised the SPFL's handling of the vote over ending the season.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Toby Davis)

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