League Reconstruction Remains On Course

Last updated : 18 May 2013 By Queens MAD

SFL_CRESTLEAGUE reconstruction plans remain on course for next season after Scottish Football League clubs reached unanimous agreement on a number of issues at a meeting at Hampden on Friday.

The summit of all 30 clubs - including associate members Rangers, who do not have a vote - backed plans for a 42-club merger with the Scottish Premier League.

The discussions followed agreement by SPL clubs over revised plans, which would include a merged organisation, a 12-10-10-10 structure and top-flight play-offs.

The SFL will propose a different distribution model, which recognises the importance of the Second and Third Division clubs but will not involve the SPL giving up more money.

They have also put a different governance model to the SPL ahead of their meeting on Monday.

SFL clubs would likely be given 14 days notice of a formal vote on league reconstruction, with no date set as yet.

Chief executive David Longmuir said: "We are most definitely willing to continue with a 42-club solution to the league reconstruction process.

"We are going to work hard to bring this to fruition as quickly as we possibly can in the hope that what we deliver benefits the whole game in Scotland.

"There are a number of things that we got unanimity on today. We are going to initiate a process of due diligence to ensure we get to a place where we have a proper health check on any merged organisation to ensure there are no surprises.

"We agreed that the recommended financial distribution model that the SFL put to the SPL this week is going to take us forward and we got unanimous agreement that that was the will of the clubs.

"I know Neil Doncaster is putting it to his clubs on Monday and I hope that they look upon it as being a fair and appropriate way to spread what wealth we've got in the game.

"On governance, the initial governance model that was proposed, and seems still to be the favoured governance model, is not one that we wish to pursue.

"The governance model that the clubs, in unanimous fashion agreed to support, was the one that I previously put to the SPL, which is a 3-1-1-1 governance model, as opposed to a 3-2-1 governance model.

"This is a marvellous opportunity for everybody to get behind it. We are not far away."

The 12 SPL clubs are set to meet on Monday, although it is now unclear whether a formal vote will be taken as they consider the fresh information from the SFL.

Longmuir urged the SPL to embrace the potential for change and take what could be "a huge step forward" for Scottish football.

He said: "I was really encouraged by today's meeting. A lot has happened in the last few weeks and months in terms of the league reconstruction process but today I think the SFL showed its true spirit.

"I was delighted by the contribution of all clubs today - full members and associate members.

"The First, Second and Third Division clubs were all equally agreed on what we want to do.

"Today was another step in the right direction. I think the SPL has a huge opportunity to deliver what Scottish football needs.

"If they can embrace and engage with us on some of those issues, which we are nearly there on, then there is a big chance that this could be a huge step forward."

Longmuir would be keen to give his clubs a fortnight's notice before asking them to take a formal vote of their own.

He said: "We've got sufficient time because the date of completion for this is towards the end of June.

"That's the date at which a new body could emerge and a new board could be in place.

"The SPL has still to vote, we still have to vote. Today wasn't a voting meeting and even our AGM next week isn't going to be a voting meeting.

"It's a business as usual stand alone AGM to cover the business of the league over the last year."

Asked if he felt confident that progress will finally be made, Longmuir said: "We have all been here before. There are still two votes to be had on the whole process.

"All I can say today is that we at the SFL, the SFL board and the SFL clubs, have done absolutely everything we can to make this a reality and try to see if this could be a reality for next year.

"The response I got today from the clubs was very encouraging."