Rangers chairman Dave King has renewed his call for the removal of Scottish Professional Football League chairman Murdoch MacLennan, insisting the organisation have rendered the position ‘not fit for purpose’.
King has questioned what he describes as a “hurried and inadequate” response from the SPFL to his earlier call for the suspension of MacLennan pending an independent enquiry into an alleged conflict of interest through his business connection with Celtic shareholders Dermot Desmond and Denis O’Brien.
The SPFL rapidly rejected King’s request, stating that their board members were informed in January of MacLennan’s appointment as non-executive chairman of Irish media group INM in which both Desmond and O’Brien have stakes.
Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson is a member of the SPFL board and King claims the full details of MacLennan’s involvement at INM were not communicated properly at the time. King has now repeated his demand for MacLennan to step down.
“I am surprised at the SPFL’s response to my request for an independent investigation into the relationship of its chairman to major shareholders in Celtic FC,” said King.
“Any organisation that has behaved properly would welcome an independent and transparent review.
“The SPFL’s response does not even attempt to answer why there was non-disclosure of the conflict that immediately arose when the SPFL chairman accepted this appointment. SPFL board members were informed that their chairman was taking up a non-executive directorship with another business but they were not told there was a conflict of interest due to common shareholders with significant influence within that company and Celtic FC.
“We need to be told if the SPFL chairman chose not to disclose the conflict. If it transpires that he did in fact make the required disclosure, then to whom did he address this and why did that person not relay this critical information to SPFL board members?
“Had the conflict been disclosed the SPFL board members could have carried out their fiduciary obligation by interrogating this conflict of interest and agreeing how the chairman would deal with it going forward.
“The existence of this conflict means that the SPFL chairman must recuse himself from much of the business of the SPFL going forward thereby rendering his present position as being not fit for purpose.
“The SPFL’s rather hurried and inadequate response merely reinforces my personal view that good governance is not a priority for the SPFL executive. These questions must be addressed immediately if confidence is to be restored in the SPFL executive and its chairman.”