Steven Gerrard says SPFL vote 'a mess' and repeats Rangers call for investigation

Steven Gerrard
Gerrard has urged SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan to show "leadership" and back an independent inquiry

The SPFL's handling of the vote to curtail Scotland's lower leagues has been an "absolute mess" and needs investigating, says Steven Gerrard.

The Championship and Leagues One and Two have ended after Dundee belatedly backed the league's resolution following a change of heart.

Rangers had previously called for an inquiry and the suspension of SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

"From afar the SPFL looks an absolute mess," Gerrard told Sky Sports.

"All I ask is for the main leader of the SPFL to show some real leadership.

"I think what he has to do now - because there are so many accusations, doubts and questions about this institution - is allow an independent investigation into the setup to prove everything wrong and make sure there is fairness and transparency."

The passing of the resolution means Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers have now all been named champions of the Championship, League One and League Two respectively.

Hearts, who sit bottom of the Scottish top flight by just four points from Hamilton Academical, are in danger of joining Thistle, bottom of the Championship by two points but with a game in hand and Stranraer, League One's bottom side by eight points, in dropping down a division if the Premiership season is also called with eight full rounds of fixtures to play.

Celtic are 13 points ahead of Rangers, who have a game in hand, while Motherwell are third, 21 points further back.

It also means the SPFL board has the power to "call" the Premiership season when it becomes clear it cannot continue, meaning Hearts would drop down a division.

A working group has been set up to examine the possibility of league reconstruction, including an expanded top flight for next term.

'Battered from pillar to post'

Rangers have already raised concerns about the vote process, claiming they had evidence which showed "bullying" and "coercion" of clubs into backing the proposal.

Hearts also claimed the SPFL had exerted "undue influence" on the vote, but the league has said it has acted "wholly properly" at every stage of the process and added Rangers have yet to produce the evidence to back up their claims.

"I'm listening to ex players, pundits, I'm reading media and it's [the SPFL] getting absolutely battered from pillar to post the way it's handled things in the past couple of days," Gerrard added.

"The SPFL has said it's open to an internal investigation but I don't agree with that because you shouldn't really be allowed to mark your own homework. If you mark your own homework, you're always going to come top of the class. There's not going to be any questions asked.

"I'm waiting for the leader [chairman] Murdoch MacLennan to say 'Okay, this is our organisation, I'm going to be the leader, show leadership and I'm going to allow an outside investigator to come in and go right across the whole situation and prove that everything's clean'.

"And if everything's clean, fair and transparent then the media and ex players can't slam the organisation."

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