Hearts’ John Sutton calls for title play-offs

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HEARTS striker John Sutton believes the Scottish Premier League should follow the example of Australia and introduce championship play-offs at the end of each season.

Sutton was a victim of the A-League system during a loan spell at Central Coast Mariners last season when his team finished top of the table but lost out to Brisbane Roar during the play-offs. However, he still found himself becoming a fan of the format.

Hibernian, Aberdeen and 
St Johnstone all have the chance to go top of the SPL today but Celtic remain odds-on favourites to retain the trophy following the loss of Rangers. Hearts boss John McGlynn this week claimed the SPL was exciting without Rangers and could thrive even more without Celtic, but Sutton feels play-offs would create fresh interest while retaining the attraction of the Glasgow sides.

Sutton said: “The manager made a good point in saying it’s probably a bit more competitive but, going back a few years, there was an idea coming from this club about the play-offs at the end of the season. That could serve both camps – you have your league champions but for other teams like Hearts and Motherwell you can still walk away having won the main tournament.

“It might not be the fairest way in the world, that the top team over the season doesn’t win, but it certainly creates a lot of excitement. With regards Scottish football, Celtic and Rangers have these massive fan bases and it’s hard for clubs to compete. But on our day I think we can do.”