SPL clubs to meet again over league change plans

Neil Doncaster saw the 12-12-18 proposals torpedoed earlier this month. Picture: SNS
Neil Doncaster saw the 12-12-18 proposals torpedoed earlier this month. Picture: SNS
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ANOTHER attempt at league reconstruction of Scottish football is on the cards after it emerged that the 12 Scottish Premier League clubs have been invited to a meeting at Hampden today.

Proposals for a 12-12-18 system, with the top two leagues splitting into 8-8-8, the introduction of play-offs, revised financial distribution and a merger of the SPL and the Scottish Football League were rejected after Ross County and St Mirren voted against them earlier this month.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster and several clubs claimed at the time that there could be no “cherry-picking” of the proposals but it was reported over the weekend that two new plans will be considered – the idea of play-offs and the alternative

of an SPL 2 formed by First Division clubs, who met with the SPL last week after having their own talks.

It is believed that the plan put forward today will see the second bottom team in the SPL go into a play-off involving teams finishing second, third and fourth in the First Division. Some clubs favour a play-off involving two SPL teams (those finishing in tenth and 11th positions) but this is considered too risky by others.

Any proposal put forward today needs an 11-1 majority of the SPL clubs to succeed, before then going to a vote of SFL clubs.

Despite being against the original proposals on the basis that his fans were against the split, Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor is confident that change will take place.

He told BBC Scotland: “Change isn’t a necessity, it’s inevitable. We’ve got to find the right formula. There is a meeting next week and I really believe that something will come back to the table that everyone can buy into.

“I wouldn’t be speaking as optimistically as I am if I didn’t believe something would happen.

“I think it could be in place for next season. The board met and are looking at alternatives.”