SPFL says no evidence of wrongdoing as Rangers release dossier

AFP
Rangers bid for an independent inquiry into the SPFL failed to gain the support of member clubs (AFP Photo/ANDY BUCHANAN)
Rangers bid for an independent inquiry into the SPFL failed to gain the support of member clubs (AFP Photo/ANDY BUCHANAN)

London (AFP) - Rangers said they would "not be bullied into silence" as they released a dossier Thursday to support their case for an independent investigation into the handling of a controversial vote on ending the Scottish season.

But the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) said the Glasgow giants were yet to provide a "single shred of evidence" to support claims of corruption, bullying and coercion.

Rangers need 32 clubs to back their call for an independent inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the recent vote, which ended the seasons below the Premiership.

The leagues were decided on a points-per-game basis and the SPFL board has the authority to end the top-flight campaign using the same formula if it cannot be completed.

Rangers had called for SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie to be suspended, saying they had received "alarming" evidence from a whistleblower and that clubs were bullied into voting for the SPFL plan.

Rangers presented their case on Thursday, ahead of next Tuesday's extraordinary general meeting of the SPFL and it was quickly met with a strong response from the league.

"At last, Rangers have issued their 'dossier' and we will now take time to review it, before responding to all 42 clubs," said an SPFL spokesman.

He added: "However, an initial examination of their 'dossier' has failed to identify a single shred of evidence to support Rangers' vociferous claims of corruption, bullying and coercion by SPFL staff."

Rangers were 13 points adrift of leaders Celtic when the season was suspended in March due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Celtic would be awarded a record-equalling ninth consecutive title if the SPFL board deemed no more games could be played this season.

Germany's Bundesliga is due to return in mid-May and there are encouraging signs that leagues in Spain and England could restart next month.

But the cost of testing and a lack of gate receipts are understood to be major obstacles in the way of a restart for Scottish football.

"The Scottish Premiership doesn't have £10 million ($12 million) to devote simply to testing," Scottish Football Association president Rod Petrie told the BBC this week.

"Your middle-ranking Scottish Premiership club might get four times the money through the gate as it does through its TV contract so the economics (of closed-doors games) don't work in Scotland."

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