Reconstruction back on the table as Premiership clubs soften stance

Hearts owner Ann Budge charged with finding a solution

Hearts owner Ann Budge. Picture: Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

The notion of reconstruction has been resurrected, with Premiership clubs charging Hearts owner Ann Budge to find a solution to the current impasse.

The Tynecastle chairman, pictured, was annoyed that a possible rejig of the leagues was quashed at a meeting just over a week ago, without fellow top-tier representatives affording her the courtesy of even considering her proposal.

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But, following an apparent softening of their stance, some of those same clubs performed a volte face when the matter was raised during a league meeting on Friday.

Ending the Premiership season now and declaring leaders Celtic as champions was discussed during the online meeting, with the SPFL board expected to ratify this tomorrow. Such an outcome would also condemn Hearts to bottom spot and apparent relegation. Reconstruction appeared their only hope but that seemed dead in the water after top-flight clubs failed to agree a format and whether any changes should be permanent or temporary.

By declaring the season now, Hearts would join Partick Thistle and Stranraer in bearing the brunt of the premature conclusion.

Without reconstruction, all three stand to be relegated from their respective divisions despite there being enough games left for each to theoretically save themselves. This apparent lack of fairness has led them to consider legal options.

It is a situation few in the SPFL would relish, with many saying they would prefer to turn their attention towards plotting a route back to normality without recourse to the law. That sees reconstruction back on the table.

It is understood that any changes would see the top tier extended to 14 to accommodate Hearts and still allow for the elevation of Championship winners Dundee United and one other, while leagues below would be split 14-14 or possibly 10-10-10 to safeguard the integrity of the pyramid system and allow promotion from the Lowland and Highland leagues.

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