Eight members of the SPFL board have accused fellow board member and Rangers director Stewart Robertson of making "baseless, damaging and self-serving attacks" against the organisation.
The comments were made in response to a dossier sent by Rangers to SPFL clubs which included a number of allegations against the organisation. These allegations included calls for SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal advisor Rod McKenzie to be suspended. Robertson stated that clubs were "railroaded" to vote on suspending the Scottish lower leagues early, thus giving power to the SPFL board to bring the Premiership season to a premature end.
The vote in question was marred by controversy, with Dundee unable to disclose their vote before the deadline. The subsequent handling of the situation also led to Rangers calling for an independent investigation into how the matter was handled.
However, before a meeting of the 12 Premiership clubs and Championship winners Dundee United, the SPFL board once again encouraged clubs to reject Rangers' call for an independent investigation, as well as issuing rebuttals to several of Rangers' accusations.
Of Robertson, the board said that it was "enormously frustrating to see one of our number launch baseless, damaging and self-serving attacks". The board went on to question why Robertson, who had been a member of the SPFL during the 17/18 season, as well as from July of 2019, would wait until now to speak up about the board's practices.
The board added: "Every one of us has sat alongside Stewart Robertson and been privy to the information and procedures of the SPFL board. If anything had been untoward, we would have addressed it at the time".
The board also went on to address other aspects of Rangers' dossier:
- Rangers' assertion that clubs were not warned of a potential £10m in claims from broadcasters and sponsors if the season was called was "simply wrong and is based on a complete misunderstanding of the situation".
- The SPFL board's decision to distribute earnings to clubs based on standings was "the only realistic and practical way" for lower league clubs to receive money in order to keep themselves afloat.
- SPFL legal advisor Rod McKenzie making four 'cease and desist' requests to Rangers chairman Douglas Park was described as a "wholly appropriate and proportionate" legal response to "serious and defamatory" accusations levelled against chief executive Neil Doncaster.
- A letter sent to UEFA claiming that the vast majority of clubs wanted to end the season, in the eyes of the SPFL board, was a factual interpretation of what clubs were saying. The letter states that "the fact that over 80% of SPFL clubs voted in favour of the directors resolution underlines that the assessment was accurate".
The SPFL's letter also went onto mention that "Rangers have made several false allegations about corruption, coercion and bullying." This could be response to the Gers' assertions that some league clubs were subjected to "threats" by an SPFL board member. Also, it could be a comment of Rangers' claims of "poor corporate governance" within the SPFL board.
The SPFL board's letter concludes that they will deal with Rangers' "breach of confidentiality" at a later date.
At least one thing is for sure, it's leading to some terrific Simpsons memes...
“Keep the trial going, I’ll be right back.”
Robertson: “Your Honour, we’d like to call all of our surprise witnesses again.” pic.twitter.com/bCf2cUFVvz
— Simpsons SPFL 🏴 (@SimpsonsSPFL) May 5, 2020