Aberdeen manager Derek McInnes believes Hearts should not have been relegated to the Championship.
The Jambos were four points behind Hamilton Accies with eight games remaining when the season was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The SPFL board voted last Monday to declare the season officially over, condemning the Tynecastle side to the second tier.
Hearts owner Ann Budge has been given the go-ahead to outline a proposal for a temporary reconstruction of the top flight that could spare the Gorgie side demotion.
The Jambos believe they have been “unfairly penalised” along with Partick Thistle and Stranraer who have been relegated from the Championship and League One respectively.
The top-flight clubs had initially agreed this was not the correct time to explore reconstruction before later allowing Budge the opportunity to bring a proposal to the table.
McInnes is full of sympathy for the Jambos.
He said: “I think it is a terrible decision that Hearts have been relegated.
“It is so unfair and I would say that for any club at the bottom of the table.
“That would be the case even with one or two games to go, never mind eight or nine games to go. It was still in their hands and well within their control.
“The hand that they have been dealt in being effectively relegated is so harsh.
“I thought there could have been a way where we could have had temporary reconstruction that could have satisfied the majority.
“It might not have been what everybody wanted and I understand why there is a need for not having a permanently expanded league.
“But something could have happened on a temporary basis to deal with this situation.
“I find it so disappointing that Hearts, as it stands, are going to get relegated.
“Not just because it is Hearts and what they bring to the league.
“If it had been any team I would have thought it was so unfair on them.
“A temporary reconstruction could have been possible, but those conversations have been had and we move on now.”
McInnes, meanwhile, felt that every opportunity to have finished the 2019-20 season should have been explored before declaring the campaign over, especially given the Bundesliga is back up and running in Germany and the English Premier League is nearing a return.
The Dons boss feels disappointed with the lack of progress that has been made in the SPFL.
He said: “We are all in the hands of the people running our game, the people running our country and the broadcasters.
“We need to know what the broadcasters want.
“We don’t even know if they have been asked that.
“We are still going on about reconstruction when I thought we had moved on from that.”