The SPFL’s COVID-19 crisis plan has been passed resulting in the Ladbrokes Championship, Ladbrokes League 1 and Ladbrokes League 2 being concluded effective immediately, crowning Dundee United FC as champions.
The plan was passed by 81 per cent of all SPFL clubs, including sides in the Ladbrokes Premiership. However, Scotland’s top decision has not been affected in the decision with the plans still going forward to continue its campaign.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster stated: “Prior to this positive result, we were unable to make the vital end-of-season payments, which will provide a lifeline to so many clubs in the lower divisions. From our detailed discussions with clubs, many were facing an enormous cash-flow crisis. We have moved as quickly as possible to try to resolve this unprecedented situation.
“We’ve achieved the 75 per cent agreement threshold in the Ladbrokes Premiership, Championship and Leagues 1 & 2 and will now be working as quickly as we can to get the end-of-season payments to members in the three lower divisions by the end of this week.”
Dundee were the last Championship club to cast its vote, with the plan needing the side to agree on the proposal in order to reach the 75 per cent agreement threshold. As a result of the ‘written resolution’ the second division winners, and Dundee’s local rivals, will be playing in the Premiership next season.
Moreover, Raith Rovers FC are declared champions of Ladbrokes League 1, and Cove Rangers FC have been announced as champions of Ladbrokes League 2, with both sides also gaining promotion.
SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan added: “This was a highly unusual end to the season, to say the least, and not the one any of us would have preferred, but all three (clubs) deserve enormous credit for their performances over the course of the season.
“With the turmoil and uncertainty caused by the Covid-19 outbreak, there was always going to be a highly-charged and passionate debate about how we secure the future of Scottish football.
“It is no exaggeration to say that this was an existential matter for Scottish clubs, with many of them telling us they were at real risk of going under unless the situation was resolved very quickly, so I’m pleased that the game has moved decisively.
Relegation has also been decided as a result of the crisis plan with Partick Thistle relegated from the Championship and Stranraer demoted from League One.
The SPFL has also revealed plans to ‘consult on possible league restructuring in time for season 2020/21 around an expanded Premiership model’. This development could lead to either more possible promotions into Scotland’s top-division or secure Premiership sides who could be relegated this season.
Further details are yet to be announced however the organisation has appointed Hearts chair Ann Budge and Hamilton Academical chair Les Gray to lead its ‘reconstruction force’.