Hearts: Ann Budge says club will not vote for SPFL plan

Ann Budge says Hearts will support Rangers' plans for a members resolution
Ann Budge says Hearts will support Rangers' plans for a members resolution

Hearts will not be voting in favour of the SFPL's proposals to end the season, with chairman Ann Budge saying it is "a time for pragmatism, not rules".

The Tynecastle club were four points adrift in the Scottish Premiership when the season was halted.

And, while there will be no top-flight decision until at least 23 April, Hearts will be relegated if clubs vote in favour and games cannot be played.

Budge said this has caused "apparent disarray" and needs revision.

The Hearts chairman insisted she was not "pointing fingers" at the SPFL board, who proposed this plan, but said the matter "was always going to demand full involvement" of all 42 league clubs.

She added: "This is a time to pull together to find an equitable solution for all. If something is right, it is right: if it is wrong, it is wrong.

"We will continue to lobby for doing the right thing, both for clubs and for Scottish football."

Hearts will support the members resolution that Rangers will propose to enable prize money to be distributed now without calling the league.

As it stands, clubs have until 17:00 BST on Friday to vote on whether the lower-league campaigns should be ended, with final places decided on average points per game.

For the resolution to pass, nine Premiership clubs, eight Championship, and 15 in Leagues One and Two combined need to vote in favour.

The SPFL say that would enable them to pay prize money, but Budge has echoed Rangers and Partick Thistle - who would both also be adversely affected - in saying the two matters need not be linked.

"I do not accept that this resolution needs to be passed in order to release those funds," she said.

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"If the Government can change the laws of the land within 24 hours to cope with this crisis, then surely it cannot be impossible for Scottish football's governing bodies to modify rules to get things done.

"I firmly believe we must try to find a solution which ensures that no club should be penalised as a consequence of these exceptional circumstances."

The SPFL has said that, should the plans be approved, it will consult with clubs in April and May about reconfiguring the leagues for next season.

Hearts would be one of those with most to gain from a restructure of the divisions and Budge said she had asked about that prospect but was told the timescales involved made it difficult.

"This is an emergency situation, and needs actions befitting an emergency situation," she added. "Decisions taken to see us through this emergency do not have to be cast in stone.

"We need to look at the restructuring option with belief that it will help and not with negativity."

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