Rangers’ dispute with SPFL is ‘white noise’ says SFA’s Mike Mulraney

Alloa chairman will give Ibrox club’s evidence ‘due consideration’
Mike Mulraney has defended Rangers' right to raise their concerns. Picture: SNS.Mike Mulraney has defended Rangers' right to raise their concerns. Picture: SNS.
Mike Mulraney has defended Rangers' right to raise their concerns. Picture: SNS.

Scottish FA vice-president Mike Mulraney has described Rangers’ dispute with the SPFL executive as “white noise”, insisting it is an open wound which must be “cauterised” to allow Scottish football to fully focus on dealing with the Covid-19 crisis.

The Ibrox club are expected to release their dossier of evidence tomorrow relating to their allegations of “bullying and coercion” and misgovernance by the SPFL in the passing of the resolution to call time on the 2019-20 season.

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Along with Hearts and Stranraer, Rangers have called an EGM of all 42 SPFL clubs which will take place on 12 May, seeking support for an independent investigation into last month’s controversial vote.

Alloa chairman and owner Mulraney has defended Rangers’ right to raise their concerns and says he will give their evidence “due consideration” when he receives it.

But Mulraney, a member of the Scottish FA/SPFL Joint Response Group tackling the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, feels the often acrimonious debate must be settled soon to allow a unified approach by all clubs to the global health crisis.

“Any club who are upset to the point Rangers are, they have an entitlement to express their frustration and anger,” said Mulraney.

“That’s what being a members’ organisation is all about. We have to listen to each other.

“I don’t know what it is they feel the SPFL executive has done wrong. I will give it due consideration and I’m sure that whatever befalls that release of information, I’ll pay attention to it and make a decision on how I feel about it.

“What we need to do is get through Tuesday and get the current wound in Scottish football cauterised.

“We are under attack from a horrible virus – the country, the world and our football. Football is the small bit I’m partially responsible for.

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“When you have an open wound within a small group of members, it is unhelpful in terms of resolving the huge problem we have.

“However, until you can get that dealt with, you can’t move on. So that will be part of what we need to deal with over the next week.

“We should respect everyone’s right to be upset. But it’s not realistic for me to think that is the biggest thing coming at us right now.

“I understand people are exercised by the happenings. It is an imperfect world and when people are trying to react at pace, there are frustrations on all sides. There are harsh words spoken on all sides.

“I’m paying attention to it, because of course it is important in the context of that event.

“But in the context of what Scottish football is facing, it’s white noise. It’s like me and another four baldy guys fighting over a comb.

“It’s not really going to impact the long-term future of Scottish football. I understand how important it feels to those who are at the centre of it but in the grand scheme of what football and society is facing, I’ll take it as it comes up.”

Mulraney voted for the SPFL resolution in which it called the Championship, League 1 and League 2 with final placings decided on a points-per-game basis as the tables stood when football was suspended on 13 March. It also gives the SPFL board the authority to call the Premiership on the same basis.

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Speaking to BBC’s Sportsound, he claimed calling the season was “inevitable” in any case and said he is unaware of anyone being bullied ahead of the vote.

“The SPFL have said they wish they had handled one or two things differently,” said Mulraney. “Everyone does.

“After something like that, the overwhelming majority of members voted in a fashion that got an answer. From my point of view, whether they called it then or called it a week or two later, inevitably it was going to be called.

“I don’t think anybody on either side of this current argument is doing it to try to do a bad thing. They are doing it because they are frustrated or pressured into trying to make what they think is the right decision.

“Do I think there are any catastrophic mistakes the SPFL made? Not to my knowledge but we will wait and see what unfolds over the next week.

“Everybody lobbies. There was some robust discussion which took place on all sides of the argument.

“Do I feel I was bullied? I’m a bit big and long in the tooth to feel bullied by anyone. Did I see anyone else being bullied? No. Did I see robust discussion on both sides of the debate? Absolutely. Did I see anything coming from the SPFL executive? Nothing.

“It doesn’t mean to say it didn’t happen – I can only tell you what I saw. Alloa’s view on the whole matter was we wanted it called. But did I feel bullied? No.”

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