Dundee Utd, Raith & Cove win titles & reconstruction talks start after Dundee vote

Dundee have voted in favour of the proposals to end the Scottish lower-league season, the SPFL has confirmed.

The Championship club’s change of heart means city rivals Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers are champions of their respective divisions.

The SPFL has not said if those sides will be promoted and if Partick Thistle and Stranraer will be relegated.

But it did confirm it will launch a taskforce to explore an expanded Premiership for next season.

Hearts chairman Ann Budge and Les Gray of Hamilton Academical will lead it, and will be joined by “other football figures to provide input and support”.

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The SPFL now has the power to end the top-flight campaign should it deem it impossible to play the outstanding fixtures.

However, the league says it is “committed to consulting” with the Premiership clubs before doing so.

A total of 81% of Scotland’s 42 senior clubs have backed the resolution, which means end-of-season payments can be made to the lower=league sides by the end of this week.

“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,” said SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan.

“There was always going to be a highly-charged and passionate debate about how we secure the future of Scottish football. But what has been agreed today is not just the best way forward, it was the only realistic way forward.

“I now call on all 42 clubs to move forward in a constructive and positive way.”

‘Anxiety, vitriol & conspiracy theory’

Earlier on Wednesday, Dundee said it was initially their “intention” to reject the plans and that their ballot paper was submitted by last Friday’s requested deadline.

However, after the vote was delayed reaching the SPFL, they chose to put their “foot on the ball and pause”.

In a lengthy statement, Dundee criticised the SPFL’s proposal and said the past week had been “fraught with anxiety, vitriol, conspiracy theory”.

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The plans, they added, were “not a solution for all teams” and “left little prospect” of reconstruction.

They added: “Also, we are sorry to disappoint all of the conspiracy theorists by saying that we were never exposed to any ‘deals’ from either of the Glasgow giants.”

Dundee insisted a league reconstruction working group should be convened with an agreed set of goals and said they had the backing of other club in that quest.

They added: “If what we achieved in our pause was presented by the SPFL in the first instance, we would have voted in favour of the proposal.”

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