Neil Doncaster calls for St Mirren to back 12-12-18

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SCOTTISH Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster yesterday urged St Mirren to put aside their “vested interest” and support next week’s vote on the re-organisation of Scottish football.

After months of twists, turns and tweaks in the effort to bring financial reality back to the Scottish game, the 12 SPL clubs will vote yes or no on Monday to a 12-12-18 league proposal that must be passed by 11 of the current top-tier clubs.

Motherwell and Dundee United have signalled their intention to vote yes, but St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour has already said that his club will vote against the plan and he could be backed by Ross County counterpart Roy MacGregor, scuppering any chance of a fresh start next season and rendering redundant a separate vote by Scottish Football League clubs (requiring the approval of 22 out of 29 eligible clubs) later in the month.

But Doncaster said the new proposals, which include the introduction of a pyramid structure, was the only realistic way of preventing the Scottish game “falling into the abyss”.

“Monday is a huge day for Scottish football because there is a unanimous belief that we need to refresh the game and redistribute money,” Doncaster told The Scotsman last night.

“It’s really important that 
we don’t decide against all the benefits that can be delivered with a positive vote. At the moment, we have a scenario where, every season, any number of teams are playing Russian roulette because we have one team relegated from 12 into the financial abyss. I do not see that is in the best interests of the game.

“The money that is distributed to clubs in the Premier League, you get a tiny faction of that within the SFL First Division. We need to solve that.

“If there is a no vote, we don’t get any of the benefits. My hope is that people put aside short-term vested interests and vote in favour of the package.”