Cove Rangers, Dundee United and Raith Rovers have issued a statement saying it would be “ruinous on and off the field” if they were denied promotion by Hearts and Partick Thistle’s legal challenge.
The Jambos and Jags have a launched a bid to prevent their relegation from the Premiership and Championship, respectively, following the early end to the Scottish season and failed reconstruction talks.
Yesterday, it emerged, as part of their legal action, League Two champions Cove – along with the Championship-winning Tangerines and League One-topping Raith – had been served legal papers as Hearts and Partick attempt to block their promotions ahead of next season.
A statement from the “extremely unhappy” promoted clubs said: “On Wednesday 17th June 2020 Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were served with a petition lodged in the Court of Session by fellow SPFL member clubs, Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle, which, if successful, could prevent our clubs’ promotions, and potentially have catastrophic financial implications for every SPFL member club as well.
“Whilst we are extremely unhappy that we have been drawn into this legal action, we can confirm that we immediately instructed external lawyers to act on our behalf and to protect our clubs’ interests.
“Since the SPFL resolution was passed by 81% of member clubs on 15th April 2020, which confirmed us all as title winners who were to be promoted, we have undertaken extensive and costly preparations for a new season in new leagues, including obtaining major financial commitments from our supporters, business partners and stakeholders.
“Our removal from those leagues would be ruinous on and off the field.
“We have each had a highly successful season, brought to a premature end by something bigger than our clubs and bigger than our sport.
“Our status as champions of our respective leagues is not being contested, and nor should the promotion which has always, and should always, come with it.
“The legal action that has been raised by Heart of Midlothian and Partick Thistle not only threatens the financial stability of the SPFL, but also its individual member clubs.
“For all of these reasons, we must and will robustly defend our position.
“As legal proceedings are now under way, we intend to make no further comment on the matter at this time.”