FORMER Celtic keeper Rab Douglas has revealed he wasn’t surprised Scot Gardiner appeared to lead the ‘no’ campaign against the SPFL proposal to bring an early end to the season for the leagues outwith the Premiership.
The ex-Scotland international shotstopper had experience of dealing with the Inverness Caley Thistle chief executive when both were at Dundee.
A week ago, Hampden bosses announced incomplete results in the ballot for their resolution. Championship Dundee, it later emerged, had failed to vote and the Dens Park side asked for time to consider their position. A few days ago, they voted yes to activate the motion.
However, before that news broke, Gardiner made his views known on BBC Sportsound to state three clubs – the Highlanders, the Dens Parkers and Partick Thistle had opposed the proposal before the 5pm deadline.
He told how he, Gerry Britton, the Maryhill club’s chief executive, and Eric Drysdale, the Tayside outfit’s secretary, had all posted photographs of their ‘no’ slips on a WhatsApp group along with confirmations that they had sent in their emails.
Gardiner admitted his amazement when the SPFL declared that only two Championship clubs had voted against the resolution.
Douglas, speaking to the Courier, said: “A couple of things haven’t sat right with me since last Friday’s vote. I just didn’t understand the wee WhatsApp group chats that were going on.
“Chairmen and chief executives should look after the interests of their own clubs first and foremost and you should be able to expect that your vote will remain private until they’ve all been cast.
“That didn’t happen and it’s been a bit strange.
“On Saturday, the Inverness Caley Thistle chief executive, Scot Gardiner, was in the middle of it all on BBC Sportsound. That didn’t surprise me. I didn’t like how it all played out.
“I had dealings with Scot Gardiner at Dundee, where he held the same position.
“I think one of my emails to him years ago must have hit the famous firewall, as well. I remember being at a function and telling one of the directors that I’d been trying to get hold of him all week.
“The director tipped him off and suddenly, when he showed up at the function, the email came through. I wasn’t allowed to train at that point after a fall-out with John Brown.
“My dealings with Scot Gardiner weren’t pleasant.
“When I fell out with Brown, he certainly wasn’t concerned about the welfare of Rab Douglas.
“I’m not surprised he appeared to be spearheading the ‘no’ campaign.”
With Dundee’s ‘yes’ vote, the SPFL have been able to release £1.8million in prize money to the clubs in the three tires outside the top flight.
Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were awarded the titles to their respective divisions while Partick Thistle have been relegated from the Championship and Stranraer have dropped into League Two.
The SPFL are likely to make a decision on the Premiership campaign this month with a decision that will inevitably see Celtic crowned champions for the ninth successive season.