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SPL propose new league merger

The Scottish Premier League have announced a league reconstruction ready to begin for the 2013/14 season.

A meeting between the 12 Premier League clubs was scheduled for Tuesday in order to find consensus after plans for a 12-12-18 structure was dismissed last month after failing to get a required 11-1 vote.

The new plan would involve merged league body incorporating all of the 42 senior teams in Scotland. It would see the current structure of 12-10-10-10 remain with the introduction of play-offs.

An end-of-season competition between the 11th-placed SPL team and those finishing second, third and fourth in the First Division would take place.

All 12 members of the SPL will take a vote later in May.

“At an all-club meeting earlier today (Tuesday) at Hampden Park, the 12 Scottish Premier League clubs unanimously agreed on a package of measures that would deliver a merged league in time for season 2013-14,” an SPL statement read.

“The principles include:

A single merged league of 42 clubs, in line with the stated preference of Scottish First Division clubs.

A 12-10-10-10 divisional structure.

An all-through distribution model involving substantial redistribution to the second tier.

A ‘pyramid’ for the entire game.

Play-offs involving team 11 in the SPL and teams, 2, 3 and 4 in the division below.

“A formal proposal to deliver the above will be brought back to the SPL clubs for voting this month.

“The SPL looks forward to working with the Scottish FA and Scottish Football League (SFL) to deliver vibrant change for the game as a whole.”

Previously First Division sides had warned they would resign as they felt that SFL chief executive David Longmuir had failed to deliver reconstruction.

There has been no comment as yet from the members for the SFL.

“I am pleased that SPL clubs have agreed on a way forward for the game in this country,” SPL Chairman Ralph Topping said.

“We have tremendous sympathy with the Scottish First Division clubs and their plight and with their shared ambition for a 42-club solution.

“Much work needs to be done in a short space of time to achieve our objective of a single merged league this summer. But, where there is a will, there is a way. The time for action is now.”
Tue 7 May, 2013
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