DUNFERMLINE chairman John Yorkston wants to see the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League merge in time for next season – claiming a new set-up could make his club at least £300,000 a year better off.
The Pars chief was at Hampden yesterday as all 30 SFL clubs met to discuss plans for league reconstruction.
On the table was the SPL-backed proposal for a 12-12-18 structure as well as an alternative, put forward by the SFL clubs this week, that would instead include two bottom-tiers comprising 10 teams each.
No vote was taken on either but Yorkston explained that lower-league bosses will now take their time to study the plans. However, the East End Park chairman – whose club has been mired by financial difficulties in recent months, including failure to pay wages on time – believes a deal could be struck for next season.
He said: “It’s going to be a big push but if there’s a will, there’s a way. Everyone wants to do it, but the problem is that, if we don’t do it, and we say we’ll do it next year, you will end up with a lot of meaningless games.
“But there is a general acceptance that 12-12 at the top is the only option on the table. Most clubs would prefer a bigger league but that is not something we’re able to discuss.
“As for an 18 or a 10-10 at the bottom, that will be decided later. We would prefer for the Second and Third Division clubs to tell us what they want. Because the 10-10 was thrown in at the end, there is quite a few of them who have not had a chance to discuss it.
“Now we will go ahead with the talks; 28 of the clubs agreed to go ahead, one abstained and one wasn’t too keen on the idea. There was no formal vote but we gave a general indication that we wanted to proceed.
“It ticks the big boxes, greater financial distribution, one body and play-offs so, hopefully, it will be more attractive to fans.”
The SPL clubs are reported to have offered a seven-figure sum to sides in the First Division to appease worries over cash distribution and the Dunfermline chairman added: “We have had problems this year with cashflow and we see a light at the end of the tunnel now. But there are still ongoing issues for the next month or so.
“If we finish in the top two or three in the First Division this season, we would probably be looking at £60,000 or £70,000. If you are in the new First Division, you are probably looking at £360,000.”