‘What’s best for Scottish football’ John Nelms breaks his silence on SPFL vote

Fans of Rangers may claim John Nelms has handed the league to Celtic, and also handing Dundee’s rivals their title – but he says he was just doing what is best for Scottish football.

And he is hoping for league reconstruction, which so far is going well but a lot to do as they have ’42 clubs we have to satisfy, on some level. For me, the most important thing in this is that Scottish football’.

Speaking to the Evening Telegraph, the Dundee chief said: “We want to be on TV, we want more people to come to games, we need to make games have more meaning, we have to do things that might be outside of the box to bring viewers to the table – that’s the angle I come at it from.

“I can’t talk to you about the specifics of what the group is talking about because we are trying to work through all of these things but the principle, from my point of view, is we have to absolutely make it a more attractive proposition for fans and for viewers. There are ways of doing it.”

About handing the title to United and Rangers fans thinking that Celtic have the title, he said: “People think we have handed United the league, Rangers think we have handed Celtic the league, although that is in the hands of the board, which they have a representative on.

“Over 80% voted for it and it was going to happen one way or the other – we represent 3% of that vote, total. The only way going forward would be league reconstruction.

“Yeah, I can see why I am the bad guy, but 81 or 82% of the league are also that same bad guy. The league did, in putting it out there, put us in a bad position.

“Obviously as Dundee Football Club, we don’t want to hand our rivals anything but, at the end of the day, it was inevitable that was going to happen.”

John Nelms has had conversations with many clubs and directors, before coming to any conclusions but he stresses that he had to make the best choices for the club and football on a whole.

He added, “I had several conversations with Mal [Brannigan, Dundee United managing director] throughout this, several conversations with Rangers, with Celtic, with Hearts, I’ve had conversations with quite a few people.

“You could tell early on that there would be promotion/relegation and there was no way around it because over 80% of the clubs wanted that to happen. Whether or not we wanted that to happen, it was going to happen.

“I’m not going to make a decision based on what happens to United – I have to make the decision on what’s best for Dundee Football Club and what’s best for Scottish football.”