Under-fire Dundee managing director John Nelms is to push for a league reconstruction guarantee to help end Scottish football’s vote chaos.
The SPFL remain hopeful that the Dark Blues can still be persuaded to back their plan to end the season below the Premiership. It hangs in the balance, waiting for Nelms and his board to make a decision.
A photograph of a voting slip, signed by the American and dated Friday, has emerged as proof that the club had intended rejecting the league’s proposal.
In a dramatic move, Dundee decided at the last minute to hang fire and now stand alone as the club that has the fate of the Championship, League One and League Two in their hands.
The top flight have said yes, the third and fourth tiers likewise, leaving just the Championship to be decided. Seven clubs in that division have backed the resolution, including runaway leaders Dundee United, while Inverness Caley Thistle and Partick Thistle have said no. It needs eight to adopt the proposal.
That all leaves Nelms being lobbied and it is understood no fewer than four SPFL board members held crisis talks with the American on Saturday, a clear indication that they think he is not necessarily a hard no vote.
Courier Sport also believes Dundee won’t be saying anything publicly regarding their situation until the dust settles following a stormy few days.
Their strategy going forward, though, appears to be to get a motion passed by the clubs that would give a written guarantee regarding reconstruction for the 2020-21 season, whenever that kicks off.
The plan is believed to be for a 14-10-10-10 set-up that would see them stay in the Championship, with United and second-placed Inverness promoted.
Dundee’s thinking is that it would benefit their own team in the long-term and that it would win the support of the required number of SPFL members.
The problem of relegation from the top division would be solved as Hearts would stay up but the challenge will be persuading other Premiership sides to spread their income across an extra two clubs.
It would, though, allow the millions of pounds’ worth of place money being held by the SPFL to be distributed to cash-starved teams with immediate effect and would give meaning and merit to the Dark Blues’ decision not to vote on Friday.
Nelms, meanwhile, received some sympathy from Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor, whose club backed the SPFL plan.
The Staggies chief said: “I am really sorry for Dundee and John Nelms. He is a fine man.
“For whatever reason, they have decided to hold their position, which seems is what they’ve done, and I’m sure it will be for a genuine reason that will come out in due course.
“For whatever reason, John felt he could maybe be more diplomatic and get a solution if his vote was the critical one.
“It’s very difficult and I wouldn’t like to, as a club, be in that position now.”