GERRY BRITTON believes that the SPFL must launch an independent investigation into the resolution to end the 2019/20 campaign in the lower leagues if a third of the 42 member clubs vote for it – but fears that some teams are afraid to speak out against the governing body for fear of repercussion.

An Extraordinary General Meeting (EGM) of the SPFL, proposed by Rangers and supported by Hearts and Stranraer, will take place later today where representatives from each side will debate the prospect of a probe into the league body’s conduct during the crucial vote. Inverness and Aberdeen have both publicly stated their intention to support the call, with the Thistle chief executive stating his aim to follow suit.

In order to be successful, 32 of the 42 SPFL clubs will need to vote in favour of the inquiry – but Britton insisted that chief executive Neil Doncaster must act if a third of clubs vote for an investigation.

“I think if you get anywhere approaching a third of the member clubs voting for it, then the power play for the SPFL, who say they are not a separate entity but are representing the member clubs, will surely be to say ‘OK, let’s do this for the benefit of those clubs’,” Britton said.

“If you have a significant number of clubs backing it, and I’d say a third would be significant, then surely you say ‘bring it on’.”

He continued: “The feedback I am getting is people are scared to come out and call anyone out. They see the consequences and remember what has happened to clubs and individuals through the years who have put their head above the parapet.

“It is encouraging to hear that clubs of the standing of Aberdeen are also calling for an investigation. It isn’t about picking sides, or backing one side of the Old Firm against the other, it is because it is the right thing to do. We want our game to survive, if we keep splitting in the manner we are, it is hard to imagine having a cohesive group if we continue to go down the path we are right now.”

Britton added that he fears that the divisions that have been stoked up in recent weeks in Scottish football are as great as he has ever experienced them.

“I’ve never seen the game in this fragmented, divided manner,” he said. “I know we had the situation when Rangers went into liquidation in 2012, there were a lot of factions at that stage, but I think this is unprecedented.

“The past few months have led us down a route where, rather than being at our most cohesive to try to work towards the future, we haven’t been together. Something has to change, there has to be some impact to pull us back together. If not, then it’s only going to get worse.”