Hearts' Ann Budge to co-chair SPFL reconstruction committee featuring Dundee's John Nelms
Dundee's John Nelms named on the committee, after casting deciding vote to end Scottish Championship, League One and League Two seasons early
Last Updated: 18/04/20 9:34am
Hearts owner Ann Budge will co-chair an SPFL Reconstruction Committee, after admitting she intends to fight the decision to end the Scottish lower leagues early.
The 15-member task force, which will be co-chaired by Hamilton chairman Les Gray and also includes Dundee's John Nelms, will meet for the first time on Monday afternoon.
It will consider the possibility of expanding the Premiership for the 2020/21 season.
"The importance of league restructuring is understood by all," said Budge. "It is vital that we all work together to find solutions for the benefit of the game as a whole."
Gray added: "I am delighted that so many clubs have come forward to support the league restructuring process. I am looking forward to a positive debate."
The contentious ballot to end the Scottish Championship, League One and League Two seasons was eventually pushed through when Dundee voted in favour on Wednesday, after retracting their no vote last week.
More than £1.8m in prize money has started to be released to Scotland's lower league clubs following the outcome, though no payments can be released to the 12 Premiership clubs until a decision to call their campaign early has been made.
The current standings see Hearts bottom of the table.
SPFL Reconstruction Committee
|Ayr United||Lachlan Cameron|
|Cove Rangers||John Sheran|
|Edinburgh City||Jim Brown|
|Greenock Morton||David Mackinnon|
|Hamilton Academical||Les Gray (joint chair)|
|Hearts||Ann Budge (joint chair)|
|Partick Thistle||Jacqui Low|
|Queen’s Park||Gerry Crawley|
|Raith Rovers||Bill Clark|
|Highland League||Rod Houston|
|Lowland League||George Fraser|
Budge has been critical of the SPFL board for its conduct of the ballot on its proposals, saying she was "disillusioned and bitterly disappointed" by the outcome of the vote.
Rangers are also unhappy with how the process was handled, with manager Steven Gerrard calling for an SPFL probe into what he calls "an absolute mess" while the club said "no fair-minded person can take the outcome of this vote seriously".
The club have called for an independent investigation and the suspension of SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie.
They insist they will continue to examine all legal options in order to try and finish the 2019/20 season.
Fraser Wishart, chief executive of the Professional Footballers' Association Scotland, believes it is "less and less likely" that the season will be concluded on the pitch, however.
Wishart refused to completely rule out agreeing to matches being played behind closed doors, though, telling Radio Clyde: "We [PFA Scotland] made a statement the day before football was suspended... there was a view at the time to try and finish this season at that time behind closed doors.
"In Italy, Juventus had a game behind closed doors and one of the players sat on the bench unbeknown to him was positive for Covid-19, so that became a no-go area for us and we intimated that to the SPFL.
"That was the decision at that time. Things have moved on and it might be the opportunity to complete the Premiership season on the park - I think it's highly unlikely but it might be able to and we don't want to be a barrier to that.
"We're not going to say no but there need to be a number of things in place to protect the players, should they decide to play.
"Health and safety and clean grounds but also insurance for players extending their contract should they pick up an injury during that extra month period.
"So there's a bit of work to be done but we've left the door open to conversations with the governing body should that be the only way we can complete the season.
"I think it's looking less and less likely we can complete this season on the field of play."