When SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan released his statement recently over the Independent Corporate Governance Review of the league’s governing body, the summary of which essentially boiled down to there being nothing to see here, the abiding feeling was that we weren’t being informed of the full picture. Little did we know then that the clubs themselves hadn’t been either.

Despite several requests from members of the SPFL to see the full report since, they have yet to receive it. That is troubling enough, but the most alarming aspect of the process is that the SPFL board themselves were presented with a version of the report that had apparently first been edited and altered by the executive.

Perhaps only the SPFL, in their handling of an audit into their own corporate governance, could raise more questions than answers around their corporate governance. And the very fact that the organisation being audited was allowed first viewing of the findings has sent alarm bells ringing in boardrooms throughout the Scottish game.

The filtering of the information in the version presented to member clubs has now prompted six of them to come forward and attach their names to a co-signed letter, spelling out their concerns about the leadership of MacLennan and SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster in no uncertain terms.

READ MORE: MacLennan 'needs to go' claims ex-SPFL CEO Roger Mitchell

The SPFL agreed to the audit as part of the settlement to the so-called ‘cinch dispute’ between the governing body and Rangers over the Ibrox club’s refusal to carry the league sponsor’s name on their strips or on advertising boards at Ibrox due to a pre-existing deal with Park’s Motor Group.

Criticisms of their governance from Rangers during that row were often painted by the SPFL of being agenda-driven given the acrimony that existed at the time between themselves and the club, but that is a much harder line to push in this instance with such a wide range of signatories to the complaint.

Herald Sport understands that clubs were shocked not to see any reference to the cinch dispute whatsoever in the version of the report they have seen, with many feeling that it amounts to the SPFL ‘marking their own homework’. The one club who did have input into the report was Aberdeen, but they still hold deep concerns about the way the process was carried out.

In addition, it is understood that the external auditor who carried out the report, Henderson Loggie, intimated to the SPFL board that the audit of the SPFL prompted the largest number of findings and recommendations that they had ever made.

Now, the six signatories to the letter are demanding to know what amendments were made to the original report before it was presented to the SPFL board, having been blindsided by the statement released by MacLennan.

Trust and confidence in the competence of the SPFL leadership has now been eroded to the point that these clubs have felt they had no other choice to take this step, amid wider concern in the lack of a strategy to meet the recommendations put forward by the club-led Deloitte report that was published last year with a view to growing revenue for the Scottish game.

In addition, it is believed the governance report contained a number of queries around the SPFL remuneration committee, highlighting concerns around a lack of transparency on issues such as bonuses and the highly unusual two-year notice period on Doncaster’s contract, as Herald Sport exclusively revealed last summer.

The SPFL have been approached for comment, but at the time of publication, had issued no response. And it will be intriguing to see just what response eventually emerges, and how tenable the positions of both MacLennan and Doncaster will be going forward having lost the confidence of so many Premiership clubs.

The statement released by the clubs read: "On behalf of SPFL Premiership clubs Aberdeen, Motherwell, Livingston, Rangers, St Johnstone and St. Mirren, a letter was today issued to the SPFL executive in response to the handling of the recent Independent Governance report.

"The clubs hold serious concerns regarding the report's independence, transparency, and the overall governance of the SPFL.

"The letter seeks full clarity on numerous issues so that the clubs, as shareholders of the SPFL, can determine if further action is necessary.

READ MORE: Neil Doncaster's astonishing SPFL exit cost amid 2 year notice period

"In conjunction with a draft report being made available to the SPFL Board, SPFL Chairman Murdoch MacLennan hastily released a statement that did not reflect the full findings of the report.

"Additionally, the statement was issued without the approval or knowledge of members of the SPFL Board or SPFL member clubs.

"The SPFL Board is to meet at a future date to discuss the draft report's contents, making it highly inappropriate for the SPFL Chairman to have made any public comment ahead of that meeting.

"Regarding the report itself, the clubs and others are deeply concerned about its independence, given that the SPFL Executive received the first draft of the report and made changes to it prior to sending it to SPFL Board members.

"Of the 42 member clubs, only one had the opportunity to input into the report’s investigation, outside of current or previous SPFL Board members.

"Despite several requests from the clubs, the report has yet to be released to any of the member clubs despite the clubs footing the bill for its creation.

"The handling of the Independent Governance report has brought the clubs governance concerns to a head, and it is now incumbent on the SPFL Board and Executive, for the sake of trust in those running our game, to provide clarity over these clear and deeply troubling concerns as a matter of urgency."