Tom English: SPL must put us out of our misery now

SFL Chief Executive David Longmuir and President Jim Ballantyne. Picture: SNS
SFL Chief Executive David Longmuir and President Jim Ballantyne. Picture: SNS
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So let’s see. The SPL wants to press ahead with league reconstruction next season but the SFL does not. Or part of the SFL. Nine clubs want change now and the rest aren’t so sure.

Not too long ago there was supposedly consensus and now there is a split. Neil Doncaster wants things to happen next season, while David Longmuir is advising a delay where once he preached speed.

A few weeks back he added confusion to existing bewilderment when refloating the idea of Old Firm colt teams entering the SFL when this notion had already been rejected. The only thing that anybody can agree on in this hoary old subject is that there is no agreement. They carry on, panting and wheezing.

When Doncaster, Longmuir and Stewart Regan stood shoulder to shoulder in January and announced some kind of bright new dawn for the domestic game, they underestimated Scottish football’s Mr Bean factor. What is so complicated about this? Where is the rocket science?

Here’s a thought to bring an end to the wearying in-fighting. Next season the leagues stay the same in size and number, Forget about 12-12-18, for there is too much rancour about that now. Keep the numbers as they are, but bring everything else in. Bring in the new distribution model on finance, bring in one league body controlling things, bring in play-offs, bring in the things that everybody wants and be done with it.

Next season, with more time to think, they can do 12-12-18 or 14-14-14 or 12-12 with everybody else playing in semi-professional leagues. Set up working parties. Have working parties assisting the working parties. Do whatever they like but please do not carry on with this garbage of “all or nothing”, this nonsensical argument that unless there is agreement on the league format then none of the other stuff can be implemented. Why the hell not?

Make the decision and put everybody out of the misery of having to watch much more of this farrago.