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Rangers' dispute with SPFL branded 'white noise' by Scottish FA vice-president

 

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Bigger picture: Alloa chairman Mike Mulraney

Bigger picture: Alloa chairman Mike Mulraney

Bigger picture: Alloa chairman Mike Mulraney

Alloa chairman Mike Mulraney has likened Rangers' dispute with the Scottish Professional Football League to "baldy men fighting over a comb".

The Scottish Football Association vice-president believes the game has far bigger struggles to deal with during the pandemic than concerns over the SPFL's vote to end the season.

Rangers, allied with Hearts and Stranraer, have prompted an SPFL general meeting on May 12 to decide whether there should be an independent investigation into the process around the vote.

Mulraney, a former SPFL board member, said: "When people are trying to react to a process there are frustrations and harsh words spoken on all sides but, in the context of what our game is facing, it's white noise.

"Of course it's important in the context of the event but, in the context of what Scottish football is facing, it's like me and another four baldy guys fighting over a comb. It's not really going to impact the long-term future of Scottish football."

Rangers had called for SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal advisor Rod McKenzie to be suspended on the back of evidence which they have yet to produce and claimed some clubs had been "bullied" into voting for the resolution.

Mulraney, whose fellow Alloa board member Ewen Cameron sits on the SPFL board, said: "I saw very robust discussions on both sides of the debate and on a big decision like this, so there should be."

He added: "Nobody is going to go through this period of time without looking back and wishing they had done some things differently.

"I'm more concerned about making sure we have 42 senior clubs when we get through this."

Doncaster this weekend denied claims that Motherwell and Partick Thistle were loaned money by the SPFL in 2017.

The SPFL chief executive stated that both clubs received an advance on central payouts after Celtic agreed to accept delayed prize money, after both received less home games against Rangers and Celtic than budgeted for.

Rangers' suggestion that clubs be loaned money based on anticipated finishes had been ruled too time-consuming and risky by the SPFL.

Mulraney added he is having to prepare for the prospect of next season being cancelled.

The Alloa chairman stressed that would be the "total disaster scenario", while they are also planning for potential situations that include restricted fan access and a campaign behind closed doors. And he warned it would be "foolhardy" not to face up to the possibility of Scottish clubs going out of business during the coronavirus pandemic.

"We have run some pretty stark realities we think are real, meaningful and, if not probable, possible," he said.

"We have three main visions we see we have to deal with as a club. One is a very restricted fanbase, which we think is a possibility. The second is how we would run a season without fans, and then it's the total disaster scenario which we have to look at as a club, which is what if we can't play football for another season?

"The last one is the one you have to look at because right now we can't play football.

"It would be incredibly difficult, there's no point pretending otherwise. We have run the numbers at Alloa and think we could probably do it one season with no fans.

"Football is the fans but if it requires us to do something like this to ensure we have a football product at the end of it, we have to look at how we give media partners content."

Belfast Telegraph