Dundee have held “positive discussions” over league reconstruction but are still not ready to cast their deciding vote on plans to end the Scottish season.
The Ladbrokes Championship club broke their silence after holding up a decision on a Scottish Professional Football League resolution to call the three lower divisions as they stand – with the board given power to make a similar decision on the Premiership at a later date.
But the wait continues for them to submit their casting vote.
However, Partick Thistle earlier put the SPFL board under major pressure by producing a legal opinion that Dundee’s initial ‘no’ vote should stand.
The Taysiders were set to join Thistle and Inverness in rejecting the plan – thus denying the SPFL board 75 per cent backing from the Championship clubs after the other three divisions granted their approval.
But Dens Park managing director John Nelms contacted the SPFL to ask for more time after a technical hitch apparently delayed the delivery of their vote before last Friday’s advised deadline.
After a “weekend of discussion and contemplation”, Dundee said: “As we made clear in our statement on Friday afternoon, it is a time for integrity and impartiality within Scottish football. Our view on that has not changed.
“Over the past few days, we have entered into various positive discussions with reconstruction at the forefront of these.
“Given our discussions and considering all aspects, we don’t feel we are in a position to comment further on the resolution that was put forward.
“We understand that this may bring more questions than answers and we will look to give a much more substantial account of the past few days at the conclusion of this process.
“Our supporters should know that we are, as always, looking out for the best interests of both Dundee Football Club and Scottish football as a whole.”
Dundee could theoretically take three more weeks to decide under SPFL rules.
However, Thistle stated their legal advice – from David Thomson QC and Advocate Ross Anderson – read: “The original vote by Dundee FC was cast in line with the SPFL’s own rules and must stand, meaning that the resolution falls.”
The Maryhill club also claimed the SPFL could potentially be in breach of duty over the information given to clubs and the process.
“In particular, the opinion highlights the fact that the SPFL did not explain to member clubs alternative means by which payments could be made other than by requiring the immediate termination of the current league season,” their statement added.
Rangers had claimed on Sunday that clubs would be “shocked” to discover the SPFL has the power to issue loans to hard-pressed clubs. The league has stated the season must be completed before prize money can be distributed.
But Thistle’s advice also claimed the SPFL could alter its rules to facilitate the early payment of fees.
The Jags continued: “At a time when football is not a priority and when people are suffering across the country, Partick Thistle is dismayed that Scottish football remains in limbo as a result of Friday’s vote.
“To secure a vote to end the season, the SPFL linked it to releasing funds to hard-pressed clubs, making it clear there was no alternative. However, as it now transpires, there was a vehicle to release monies in the shape of loans, quite apart from the possibility of changes being made to the SPFL Articles to allow the payments normally made at the end of the season to be made now.
“We would urge the SPFL to move immediately to approve loans to clubs against the monies owed to them at the season end, based on their current position in the league.
“With that urgent situation dealt with, there can then be considered discussion involving all clubs to address the way forward for Scottish football in this unprecedented season.”