Celtic react to result of SPFL vote

Regret expressed at “denigration of named individuals”

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell. Picture: Alan Harvey

Celtic have welcomed the result of a ballot by clubs to reject the call for an independent inquiry into last month’s vote to end the Scottish season.

They have also expressed “regret” regarding the “denigration of named individuals”, a clear allusion to the call by Rangers for SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie to be suspended.

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Twenty-seven of 42 SPFL clubs voted against a resolution calling for an inquiry which was brought by Hearts, Rangers and Stranraer. For the resolution to succeed it required a 75 per cent share of the vote in each of the Premiership, Championship and bottom two divisions.

Celtic say they are satisfied there is “no evidence of any wrongdoing” by the SPFL board or executive.

They also called for clubs to now pull together for the good of the Scottish game and work towards planning for next season.

The SPFL board is now expected to formally end the Premiership season, with Celtic being declared champions and Hearts being relegated with eight rounds of fixtures remaining.

The bottom three divisions were ended last month.

The Celtic statement read: “Celtic Football Club welcomes the decisive vote by SPFL clubs to reject a lawyer-led inquiry into the processes relating to the resolution approved last month with support from the vast majority of clubs.

“We are satisfied that there is no evidence of any wrongdoing by the board or executive and do not consider that such an inquiry is necessary.

“We now appeal to all clubs to look to the future in the knowledge that the threats which exist to the fabric of Scottish football are grave and unprecedented. All of our energies should be applied to planning for the return of the game in season 2020-21 and to the financial survival of all our clubs.

“This current crisis is the fault of no individual or organisation and it would be irrational to suggest otherwise. It is the duty of everyone committed to the future of our game to make the best of this awful situation, and not the worst.

“We greatly regret the denigration of named individuals who have, on every occasion, acted upon decisions which were made by the board of the SPFL, representing all 42 clubs. The board and executive of the SPFL have operated under circumstances of unique difficulty in dealing with challenges of an unprecedented nature.

“Although Celtic are not directly involved in issues of promotion and relegation, we have great sympathy for clubs which will end up in a lower division. While we have been supportive of temporary reconstruction, Celtic also understands the position of clubs who do not support league reconstruction at this time.

“We recognise the hugely damaging effects that measures to counter the pandemic are inflicting on football clubs of all sizes across Scotland, Europe and beyond. It is the duty of everyone with the interests of football at heart to work for the greater good of securing the future of our sport.

“In that spirit, Celtic will play our part in ensuring the earliest possible safe return to something approaching normality. Our highest priority is the safety of our players and supporters and we are acutely aware that Scottish football’s current difficulties represent only a tiny part of the challenges faced by society as a whole.”

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