Inverness Caledonian Thistle have described Scottish football’s handling of the coronavirus crisis as a “disingenous, incompetent shambles”, suggesting they will back Rangers’ plea for an independent investigation into the SPFL.
In a long statement attributed to chairman Ross Morrison and chief executive Scot Gardiner, Caley Thistle have made clear their displeasure at recent events, from the SPFL’s vote to end the season early to Friday’s revelation Premiership clubs would not back league reconstruction to save the top three divisions’ bottom clubs, Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer, from relegation.
Championship outfit Inverness’ statement first took aim at the SPFL’s alleged behaviour when asking clubs to back a motion to call the lower league season immediately and then the Premiership, should Covid-19 prevent the season from restarting. Caley Thistle said they would testify to an independent inquiry – which Rangers will attempt to secure at an emergency general meeting of clubs on Tuesday – that they had received “bullying and threats ” from an SPFL board member after deciding to vote against the motion.
They also said questions remained over Dundee’s passing vote, which the Dens Park club changed from a “no” to a “yes” days after the initial voting deadline of 5pm on April 10. A SPFL-commissioned Deloitte investigation found no evidence of SPFL wrongdoing on this specific issue.
Inverness went on to say the root of the current civil war erupting in the Scottish game, which has seen several clubs hit out in recent days, was the SPFL’s conflation of “the advancement of league fees in any shape or form by the SPFL and the forced relegation or expulsion of Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer”, which Inverness say represents “the failure of the officers and board of the SPFL in its primary duty of care to ALL 42 of its members”.
Morrison and Gardiner feel clubs were put in a position where there was a “gun to their head” to vote to relegate their fellow clubs in order to access much-needed cash – issues they say could have been separated, sparing the relegated clubs a “wretched resolution with wretched consequences”.
Caley Thistle also slammed the SPFL for getting involved in a public war of words with Rangers over the controversy and said the collapse of the reconstruction talks were in their view “inevitable”.