SPFL termination vote: When will it take place | How is the decision made | When will the decision on the Premiership be made | League reconstruction
The next 24 hours and coming weeks are set to be a fascinating period in Scottish football after the SPFL put forward a resolution to the 42 clubs in the Ladbrokes Premiership, Championship, League 1 and League 2 to terminate the divisions below the top-flight.
What is the resolution?
It is a proposal to declare the conclusion of the three leagues below the Scottish Premiership. If clubs vote in favour of the resolution it would see the leagues decided on a points per game (PPG) metric.
It would also set a precedent for the top flight. Due to the complexities with Uefa and the governing body keen to see the top tiers around Europe play to a closure the SPFL have decided to give a bit more time to see if that is a possibility in the current climate. But if it was decided that the Premiership had be terminated, it too would be determined by PPG.
Why have the SPFL made the proposal?
There is concern that delaying and waiting to see if the 2019/2020 season can be finished will cause greater financial difficulty for the lower leagues clubs, while “significantly damaging the SPFL’s ability to start and complete, on time, League Season 2020/21 and next Season’s Betfred Cup,” as per the organisation’s statement.
Neil Doncaster, the SPFL chief executive, said: “Very regrettably, we must face the reality that it’s simply not possible for the remaining Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2 fixtures to remain postponed without causing significant further financial harm to clubs in those divisions. Further, many of our clubs are experiencing very challenging organisational and financial circumstances.”
When will the vote take place?
The 42 clubs have until 5pm on Friday – 10 April – to submit a written response to the resolution.
How is the decision made?
For the resolution to be passed it requires:
75% of the 12 Premiership clubs to vote in favour 75% of the 10 Championship clubs to vote in favour 75% of the 20 League 1 & League 2 clubs combined to vote in favour
If clubs vote in favour which teams will be affected?
In terms of the lower leagues, Dundee United, Raith Rovers and Cove Rangers would be promoted from the Championship, League 1 and League 2 respectively. Partick Thistle and Stranraer would be relegated from the Championship and League 1 respectively.
There are a host of clubs in a play-off place who won’t get the chance to earn promotion, while those in a relegation play-off spot will avoid relegation.
The PPG metric will only affect two sides with Arbroath moving above Dunfermline Athletic in the Championship. The Smokies have played two games fewer than the Pars. Dick Campbell’s side have a PPG of 1.3846 compared to the Fifers’ 1.3214.
If the Scottish Premiership was to follow suit in the coming weeks or months and the same solution was used, Hearts would be relegated, Celtic crowned champions, St Johnstone would move above Hibs into sixth and Hamilton Academical would avoid a play-off to stay in the top flight.
When will the Premiership decision be made?
As of yet no announcement has been made on that issue.
Doncaster said: “The position for the Ladbrokes Premiership remains particularly complicated. Everyone is aware of UEFA’s desire for the family of European football to work together to resolve the issues that confront us all. We are keen to work with UEFA and remain in discussion with them over the situation in Scotland.
“The quicker we reach a final position the better, but there is no doubt this is the most complicated and challenging situation our game has faced in living memory.”
The SPFL are prepared to play a waiting game to see how the Coronavirus pandemic develops, taking advice from the Government and health officials. However, according to the Scottish Sun, they could make the decision by the end of April.
The paper reports the organisation are waiting for a Uefa meeting on 23 April where leagues will be given the responsibility to decide how to conclude their leagues.
What happens if the clubs reject the proposal?
That is perhaps the most interesting aspect of this whole situation. That, so far, is undetermined.
Rangers have already put forward their own member’s resolution which would effectively see prize money released but then any other solution given time to be scrutinised.
Any resolution would require the share of votes mentioned earlier.
What is the stance of clubs presently?
The Guardian suggests that the SPFL are confident of the resolution being passed.
Is there a chance of league reconstruction?
The possibility of restructuring the league is definitely on the table, but it’s not front and centre, more on the edge. It is something which those in power will get to but with a caveat as the SPFL statement revealed.
“If the resolution is approved, the SPFL has also committed to consulting with Clubs over the possibility of League restructuring ahead of Season 2020/21.”