MORTON chief executive David Mackinnon says Scottish football must now move forward after clubs rejected an independent inquiry into the voting process which ended the lower-league season.

The call for a probe, brought forward by Rangers and supported by Hearts and Stranraer, drew support from 13 SPFL clubs, below the threshold of 32 needed to pass the resolution.

Mackinnon says Morton voted no after deciding that the SPFL board had done their best in a tough situation.

He said: “The board of the club who make the decisions on these matters considered the SPFL board, whilst making mistakes, conducted themselves to the best of their ability.

“That was backed up by the Deloitte report, therefore it was felt that there was no need for a further inquiry which would have distracted all clubs and Scottish football away from the real threat of dealing with Covid-19.

“We hope now that after having a democratic vote the protagonists, including Rangers, Hearts and Stranraer and the other ten clubs who voted for the resolution, basically draw a line under things.”

All clubs were balloted last month on a recommendation to end the lower-league seasons early and award finishing positions based on a points-per-game basis.

The resolution seemed set to fail after Dundee submitted a no vote but the club later changed their vote to a yes, which raised concerns and questions about the conduct of Dundee and the governing body.

Numerous clubs have expressed their anger about the situation but Mackinnon says Morton have been at pains to conduct themselves properly at all times.

He said: “We’ve kept a quiet demeanour throughout this process, when all hell looked to be breaking loose around us.

“We’ve been involved every step of the way but we as a club were concerned that private and confidential conversations would find their way into the media, that never happens in any other business.

“It seems to be that people were using information to spread their agenda, and that was disappointing.”

Mackinnon believes that these issues have been taking the focus away from the real problems.

He said: “The football shenanigans are a sideshow to the true and real problems, there are people in huge hardship.

“We’ve got huge problems that we have to tackle as a country, and we need to make sure we all try and come out the other end safe.

“It is disappointing that some clubs have used this pandemic to twist some screws with various agendas and hopefully Tuesday's decision will draw a line under that.”

In the weeks since the vote, several clubs - including Inverness - have made claims about bullying and threats during the process.

Mackinnon says such allegations are without foundation.

He said: “I was on the various meetings when these alleged threats were made, and I can categorically say that no threats were made against any club.

“It’s been blown out of proportion and I hope that clubs like Inverness realise that they need to build bridges and the other nine clubs are willing to build bridges.

“I can understand why teams that have been relegated are angry.

"But being aggressive about it, and leaking things and twisting facts to suit the way that they want it to come out, it all has to stop.

“Ultimately we’re all in the game together so we have to make sure that there’s respect.

"One of the things that’s disappeared in recent weeks is respect for each other, and once you lose that it becomes very difficult to trust.”

The EGM followed hot on the heels of the collapse of league reconstruction talks.

Mackinnon, who was part of the working group set up to examine the issue, believes the voting process would have made it difficult to pass in any case.

He said: “That was frustrating because it was for the betterment of Scottish football - that tells you as much about Scottish football as anything.

“The lower leagues in particular want to make changes, but when it comes to a vote it becomes very difficult.

“The voting process and percentages have to change, but that’s all ahead of us.”

Mackinnon is thankful that this issue has been put to bed and that clubs can focus on the immediate problems at hand.

He said: “Over the last three to four weeks I’ve spent probably 60-70 per cent of my time dealing with the SPFL fallout and with reconstruction.

“This will allow people to free up some time and look at what they can do to help the clubs back on track.

“I reckon we’ve got 10 weeks to get this sorted and know where we’re going.

"There are huge challenges for us.

“We’re looking initially at games behind closed doors that would be streamed live, and introducing maybe season ticket holders only, and then gradually bringing the public back in to watch the games.

“I’m an optimist and I hope that this week has drawn a line under things, none of us can spare the time to keep this going for another month or so.

“If Rangers and Hearts insist on taking legal action against their fellow clubs, all it’s going to do is draw it out for months and it will detract from the real challenges that we’ve got.

“One of the positives that came out is that the SPFL acknowledged that mistakes have been made and they have to look out how they operate.

“The chairman stated that once we get people together, we’ll start to look at every aspect of what happened - and I hope that satisfies the clubs that were bringing these matters out.”