Hearts owner says clubs will vote down SPFL proposals
Hearts owner: "We are where we are in the league. If we argue everything through [and] that is what the community of football clubs think is right then I won't fight it to the death. If we have to deal with relegation, we'll deal with relegation."
Last Updated: 09/04/20 4:51pm
Hearts owner Ann Budge believes other clubs will join them in voting down an SPFL resolution recommending the season be brought to an end.
Under SPFL proposals, tables in the Championship, League One and League Two would be final based on positions when the leagues were suspended, on a points-per-game basis to allow for previous postponements because of bad weather.
The Premiership table will also be finalised on the same basis if it proves impossible to restart the season after Scotland's coronavirus lockdown comes to an end. Were that to happen, Celtic would be declared champions and bottom side Hearts would be relegated to the Championship.
With a 75 per cent vote required from clubs across the divisions for the resolution to pass, Budge is convinced it will fail and has called for further dialogue.
The Hearts owner told Sky Sports News: "Based on conversations I have had, and I've talked to a number of clubs in the Premiership and the Championship - I haven't talked to League One and League Two clubs, because I don't have the ready contacts if you like - I don't believe this will be supported.
"We are where we are in the league positions. If we argue everything through, if everything thing is talked about and that is what the community of football clubs think is right then I won't fight it to the death. How is that going to end?
"If we have to deal with relegation, we'll deal with relegation but I do keep coming back to who [if anyone] is going to benefit?"
In an earlier club statement, Budge said: "Following the SPFL briefings, and having now had the opportunity to read the written resolution being proposed, I can confirm that Heart of Midlothian will not be voting in favour of the proposal as it stands.
"A number of clubs have been discussing possible options and sharing ideas. Many of those clubs believe, as we do, that a decision of such magnitude requires significantly more discussion and debate than has been made available to us.
"I absolutely understand that finding an equitable outcome for all will not be easy. However, I firmly believe that we must try to find a solution which ensures that no club should be penalised as a consequence of these exceptional circumstances.
"This is a time for all clubs and SPFL partners to pull together to find an equitable solution for all. If something is right, it is right. If it is wrong, it is wrong. We will continue to lobby for doing the right thing, both for clubs and for Scottish Football."
The SPFL had also said, if its plans are approved, it would consult with clubs over a possible restructuring of the leagues before the 2020/21 season.
Rangers voiced their opposition to this, releasing a statement where they described the prospect of certain clubs being relegated unfairly as "abhorrent".
The Ibrox club also proposed a resolution to allow prize money to be released early to help clubs that are struggling financially, which Hearts said they will support.
"It was emphasised that some clubs, particularly those in the lower leagues, need funds to be released to help them navigate their way through this exceptional situation," Budge added.
"I do not accept however, that this resolution needs to be passed in order to release those funds. If the Government can change the Laws of the Land, within 24 hours, to cope with this crisis, then surely it cannot be impossible for Scottish Football's Governing bodies to modify rules to get things done.
"This is a time for pragmatism, not rules. There are other ways of addressing the current financial challenges and as such we will be supporting the Members Resolution being put forward by Rangers."