Falkirk director Alex Smith calls for 16-team top flight

Falkirk's technical director Alex Smith favours a top division of 16 clubs. Picture: Rob Casey/PA
Falkirk's technical director Alex Smith favours a top division of 16 clubs. Picture: Rob Casey/PA
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Scottish football needs to rethink its structure, according to one of the doyens of its game.

Falkirk are hoping to make a return to the Premiership, by seeing out the second leg of their play-off with Kilmarnock but their technical director, Alex Smith, believes that there should be enough room at the top for a number of others to join them.

“For us it all hangs on this one game and we have to make sure we take care of that and show all due respect to Kilmarnock but I think Kilmarnock are a top-flight team, too, and personally I would like a 16-team league. I think we could easily make it up to a 16.”

The fact that the top tier has survived without the likes of Rangers, Hearts and Hibs in the past couple of seasons supports his case, he says, with more depth than some would suggest.

“We are going to go into another year, where, if we win on Sunday, we will have Dundee United, Kilmarnock, St Mirren, Hibs, all in the Championship. Add to that Dunfermline, Morton, Raith Rovers and I don’t see why people think we couldnt make a very good 16-club league by adding another four from there. We could make them all full-time and professional and get the sponsorship and develop the best players and bring in more quality players and then we would have a league that was worthy of Scottish football.”

But he says that the idea makes too much sense and it’s not selfish enough to catch on.

“We will see the difference with Rangers making it back into the top league. Hearts have done that and, hopefully, we will as well. Hibs will get back in again and Dundee United will get back again but if people showed some common sense that could all be done in one go and, I believe, the whole Scottish game would benefit.”