Fury as clubs silenced in first SPFL meeting since partial shutdown - no verbal questions allowed 'from the floor'

Clubs have reacted with fury after an SPFL meeting on Wednesday was conducted without the opportunity to ask verbal questions “from the floor”.

Chief executive of the SPFL Neil Doncaster
Chief executive of the SPFL Neil Doncaster

For the first time since the governing body was forced to stage these meetings via Zoom, club representatives were unable to ask to be unmuted to discuss or challenge certain points made by chairman Murdoch MacLennan, chief executive Neil Doncaster and Ian Maxwell, the chief executive of the SFA.

A number of clubs, specifically those in League One and Two, hoped to gain further clarification regarding the process which led to the decision to shutdown all tiers of Scottish football below Premiership and Championship. Feelings have been running high – several clubs, already operating on the margins, believe they have been “sacrificed” to preserve the top two leagues following high-profile Covid-19 lapses.

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One chairman described the inability to ask questions as “unprecedented” and added it was “appalling”. Clubs were informed they had to submit questions in writing via email and they would be read out – despite being advised in the notes sent out prior to the meeting that if anyone wishes to speak then they would be unmuted.

“At one of the most difficult points in the SPFL’s history, for the first time ever clubs were not allowed to contribute verbally to a meeting,” he said.

MacLennan and Doncaster reiterated what the clubs learned on Monday when they were alerted to the sudden decision to invoke a partial shutdown of football via a press release sent to the media.

Asked what the next step is, the chairman said: “there is no next step – we have been left in the dark”.

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