Football

Champions Declared For Three Tiers Of Scottish Football, Premiership Could Soon Follow

Champions Declared For Three Tiers Of Scottish Football, Premiership Could Soon Follow

The Scottish Championship, League One and League Two seasons have all officially ended. There could soon be a similar finish to the Scottish Premiership with Celtic currently holding a 13-point lead over Rangers.

81 per cent of clubs voted in favour of a resolution to end the season, meaning that Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers have been declared winners of the Championship, League One and League Two respectively. The resolution passed after Championship club Dundee belatedly voted in favour.

The SPFL board now has the power end the Premiership season if it is decided that it is not possible to play the remaining fixtures due to the Covid-19 emergency. April 23rd is the earliest date on which UEFA will accept the abandonment of a top division.

A task force, headed by Hearts' Ann Budge and Hamilton's Les Gray - the clubs bottom and second from bottom of the Premiership - will look at possibly expanding Scottish football's top flight for the 2020/21 season.

"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," said SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan.

"It is 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.

"Whilst more than 80% of clubs agreed with the directors’ written resolution, it’s clear that others were strongly opposed. There has been talk of voiding the season, making emergency loans and so on, but what has been agreed today is not just the best way forward, it was the only realistic way forward and I now call on all 42 clubs to move forward in a constructive and positive way."

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It was also confirmed that Partick Thistle have been relegated from the Championship and Stranraer from League One.

"Prior to this positive result, we were unable to make the vital end-of-season payments, which will provide a lifeline to so many clubs in the lower divisions," said CEO Neil Doncaster.

"From our detailed discussions with clubs, many were facing an enormous cash-flow crisis. We have moved as quickly as possible to try to resolve this unprecedented situation.

"We’ve achieved the 75% agreement threshold in the Ladbrokes Premiership, Championship and Leagues 1 & 2 and will now be working as quickly as we can to get the end-of-season payments to members in the three lower divisions by the end of this week."

Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

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PJ Browne
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