TERRY Butcher has revealed that he is resigned to his club voting against his wishes on league reconstruction.
The prospect of a Highland veto on the proposed 12-12-18 set-up faded as the Inverness manager made it clear his chairman was certain to back the plan. Two member votes against would be required to derail the SPL’s plan, which also involves a merger with the Scottish Football League and redistribution of cash to clubs further down the pecking order.
Ross County, with both chairman Roy MacGregor and manager Derek Adams vociferously opposed, had hoped to enlist their near-neighbours to block the controversial change. The shake-up would involve the top two divisions of 12 splitting into three leagues of eight after 22 games.
Points accumulated would be wiped out in the middle tier of eight, throwing up potentially huge anomalies in terms of fairness for the crucial last 14 matches. Butcher was keen to stress there had been no split or fall-out with chairman Kenny Cameron, with whom he enjoys a close working relationship. But, highlighting the pair’s stark disagreement, the former Rangers and England captain spoke of his deep concerns over the new structure.
He feels the views of managers are being paid mere lip service in consultations. And Butcher fears there will be severe consequences for the Scottish game following on from the revamp.
The Englishman said: “Our club is not going to vote against this because Kenny Cameron, our chairman, is for it. I’ve had my say but I’m resigned to the club’s stance, which is based on financial considerations. We haven’t fallen out over this but there is a disagreement.
“I think the proposed set-up lends itself to a high-pressure situation. Kenny has said he is looking more at the financial side and I understand that. But, from a practical point of view, it is going to be a mad rush – a sprint through 22 games, never mind the last 14 games.
“For us to finish ninth or tenth in the SPL would generally be a good season. But ninth or tenth will not be good enough to reach the 14-game Premier League.
“If you lose players through injury or suspensions, you could end up being relegated even after being miles ahead of the team in 12th.
“It isn’t rewarding success. The team that finishes first in the First Division might not go up, even if they finish 15 or 20 points ahead after 22 games. It is too radical for me.”