17.04.2020 14:18 h

Scotland's football clubs get funds to ease virus fallout

The Scottish Professional Football League has released £1.8 million ($2.2 million) to lower-league clubs after the season outside the Premiership was ended due to the coronavirus.

In a controversial vote, clubs opted to conclude the Championship, League One and League Two campaigns and the SPFL has now sent end-of-season payments to clubs in the lower three divisions.

"The impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Scottish football has been devastating, with no club left untouched or undamaged by the restrictions placed on our everyday life," said SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster.

"This unprecedented situation has left clubs facing the stark reality of an extremely challenging financial landscape that could have seen a number of our clubs simply cease to exist.

"These funds will help bridge the gap and support clubs through this incredibly difficult period."

The Premiership season is yet to be concluded and Rangers, second in the top flight, have been vocal in their criticism of the ballot.

Rangers manager Steven Gerrard labelled the situation an "absolute mess" and called for an independent investigation.

The Glasgow club, who voted against the SPFL's resolution, issued a statement on Thursday saying Doncaster and SPFL legal advisor Rod McKenzie should be suspended while they are the "subject of forensic examination".

The resolution means Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers have been named champions of the Championship, League One and League Two.

Partick Thistle, bottom of the Championship, and Stranraer, League One's bottom side, are relegated.

Hearts would be relegated from the Premiership if the season does not resume and their owner Ann Budge was also angry with the vote.

"It is now of paramount importance that we do not give up in our efforts to right this wrong," she said.