Hearts must vote as a Championship club on league reconstruction if Premiership season ends first

Hearts want larger leagues and different teams visiting Tynecastle Park.Hearts want larger leagues and different teams visiting Tynecastle Park.
Hearts want larger leagues and different teams visiting Tynecastle Park.
Edinburgh club wait on UEFA call over concluding campaign

Hearts must vote as a Championship club in a league reconstruction ballot if the Premiership season is ended first.

The Tynecastle side officially remain in the top flight at the moment but that will change if UEFA agree to leagues being concluded early due to coronavirus.

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Championship winners Dundee United would then assume Premiership status with Hearts demoted to the league below.

Should that happen before a league reconstruction poll takes place, United’s vote will be counted alongside the other 11 Premiership teams and Hearts' would go in with the Championship.

Reconstruction talks are aimed at expanding the top tier of the Scottish Professional Football League in time for season 2020/21. That would see Hearts stay among Scotland's elite, but the voting set-up may be key to the outcome.

An 11-1 Premiership vote in favour would be necessary to increase the size of the top division beyond the exisiting 12 teams and add Lowland League and Highland League clubs to League Two.

The only way a 9-3 Premiership vote would be sufficient is if the proposal did not involve adding more teams to the SPFL or altering prize money distribution.

Hearts are firmly in favour of reconstruction and would prefer a 14-team top league. Owner Ann Budge is currently leading a reconstruction task force alongside the Hamilton vice-chair Les Gray.

In order to be passed, any proposal would also require eight Championship teams in favour [75 per cent] and a total of 15 teams across League One and League Two [75 per cent in total].

The SPFL passed a motion to end the Championship, League One and League Two last week, with the Premiership to follow if UEFA give their blessing.

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Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers were declared champions of their respective divisions, while Partick Thistle and Stranraer were both relegated as a result of the decision.

As the Premiership's bottom club, the same fate will befall Hearts if the top flight is brought to an early conclusion.

UEFA met with national associations on Tuesday and strongly recommended that leagues are played to a finish. However, they are prepared to make exceptions for “special cases”.

UEFA’s executive committee will meet later this week for more talks on the way forward for football across the Continent.