DUNDEE managing director John Nelms has revealed the Dens Park club changed their vote on the SPFL resolution on the end of the season after he received assurances there would be a “proper conversation” over league reconstruction.

Nelms has spoken for the first time since the email which the Ladbrokes Championship club submitted rejecting the proposal went missing on Friday, April 10.

And he has outlined why they subsequently backed the plan to decide the Championship, League 1 and League 2 on a points per game basis and hand the SPFL board to make the same call in the Premiership at a later date.

The American admitted he was unhappy the votes cast had been made public by the SPFL before the final outcome was known – and that Inverness Caledonian Thistle chief executive Scot Gardiner had made private WhatsApp messages public in a radio interview.

Nelms also revealed that he had had conversations with representatives of Celtic, Dundee United, Hearts and Rangers during the course of a saga that caused an outcry in Scottish football.

In an interview with the Dundee Courier, he said: “From the beginning, I didn’t want anything to go out that would hurt anybody at all. We had very limited time to look at things. The document itself didn’t give much hope for reconstruction and didn’t do a lot of things.

“For me, I wasn’t just thinking of Dundee Football Club but other clubs who would be hurt in all of this. That was my main focus – I didn’t want anybody to get hurt.

“The change came after a lot of conversations with a lot of clubs and the appetite for reconstruction was greater than I first thought. There are other things, which I don’t want to get into, but we were trying to help these clubs who were going to be hurting.

“I was trying to soften the blow for everybody but also trying to use the time (between the deadline and submitting the ‘yes’ vote) to make Scottish football, through reconstruction, a better overall product that has more value going forward.

“That’s something we have been discussing for a long time, but we have the time now to really dig in and look at it. Getting to that stage, we had over 80% of the clubs vote a certain way so, in order to get going, so to speak, I changed my vote so we could get on to the next phase.

“As far as the Premiership goes, all we did was vote to put it into the hands of the board. They now have in their hands the chance to say what they want to do with it. They can try to play [the remaining matches] later. There are options they will have to weigh. We weren’t weighing those options.

“We were in the worst position possible – we were in third place. There’s not much benefit one way or the other that we could get out of this. When people ask me that – I ask what do you think we could we have gotten out of this?

“So, the best thing we could possibly get out of this is a proper conversation about reconstruction. That might not benefit us in the short-term, but in the long-term, it would benefit Dundee FC and all of Scottish football. That, for me, was the best thing we could get out of this.

“Does that do anything for us right now? No. But we need to look at it in a much bigger, broader picture as opposed to: ‘What does it do for me right now?’”

“The biggest thing was, the only way I could see, once we knew what was happening, that we could help anybody – it’s not just helping people but a longer-term, bigger picture – is reconstruction.

“Speaking with a lot of clubs, there was much more of an appetite for reconstruction than I understood going into this. That was the main thing.”

Nelms admitted he was deeply unhappy when Caley Thistle chief executive Gardiner read out private WhatsApp messages on Radio Scotland the day after the vote.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “The way that was handled was not businesslike and was very poor. It has caused a lot of bad blood throughout the league, the way that was done, taking private messages and putting them out there.

“Of course, they have been taken out of context at some levels because you don’t know exactly what was going on and what the conversations were. There were a lot of conversations going on at that time, loads of them, so you don’t get the full context of it but you do get one view and that’s what they wanted.”

Nelms confirmed he has discussed Dundee’s position with Dundee United, who ended up being crowned Championship champions and winning promotion when their city rivals voted in favour of the resolution, as well as Celtic, Rangers and Hearts.

He said: “Obviously, 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.

“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.”

Nelms was disappointed when it became public that Dundee would have the decisive vote after it emerged their email had not been received by the SPFL.

“I wasn’t best pleased,” he said. “I know there was a statement saying: ‘We had to put something out because we had a board meeting.’ But the statement could have been as simple as: ‘We have an incomplete vote, there is a statutory 28 days and we have not received every vote’.

“By the way, it wasn’t just our vote, there were others that weren’t received either. They could have said it was an incomplete vote without any detail and that would have been more appropriate in my opinion.

“I don’t know what happened, I have no idea. What they say is it got caught in the spam folder, which you have to believe.

“We did intend to vote a certain way and then changed it after I had more information. I talked with a lot of people. I pace when I talk on the phone. The Saturday, I walked 13.8 miles while on the phone, mostly inside my house. I averaged over the period before I voted over 11 miles a day, just on the phone.”