SPL ‘broad agreement’ on 10-team Premier league

by admin

Monday, January 17th, 2011

IN a move that has surprised commentators throughout Scottish Football, the SPL have supported terms to introduce a 10-team premier league.

The proposed new league format seemed to be out of favour after being tabled my SPL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster back in November, attracting criticism and opponents from the off.
A favoured league of 14-teams looked likely to be agreed on rather than the two-tier 10-10 arrangement proposed by the SPL.
However, at a meeting on Monday morning, the SPL steering group reached ‘broad agreement’ about the implementation of a 10-team Premier league and a 12-team Championship league – a reversal of the current set-up.

The SPL will now consult the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League to progress the idea.
After the meeting, the SPL released a statement, saying: “The Scottish Premier League clubs today reaffirmed their commitment to the work of the Strategic Review Group to develop a structure for the whole of Scottish football.

“Broad support was given to progressing a 10-team Premiership and a 12-team Championship at the top of a pyramid for Scottish football as the preferred option.
“The SPL clubs have asked the executive team to further develop aspects of these proposals and to update the Strategic Review Group’s report.”
SPL chief executive, Neil Doncaster and chairman, Ralph Topping were keen on a 10-10 format, an arrangement favoured by Celtic and Rangers, however, Dundee United, Hearts, Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Kilmarnock all expressed doubts about such a format, with St Mirren spearheading proposals for a league of 14.
The 12 SPL clubs first met on January 4, where a 16-team league, favoured by fans, was dismissed, leaving the suggestion of a reduction in teams to a league of 10, or an increase to a league of 14.
The 16-team league was dismissed as ‘not financially viable’ by messrs Doncaster and Topping, as the pair said that their calculations would see each club lose around £1m per year as a result of lost matches and television revenue.
Such as the current system, a 14-team league would have involved a top/bottom split, but would have seen the end of the fixture imbalances that have been thrown up in recent seasons since teams would have played their opponents twice each either side of the division.
Other aspects of the reform package proposed by the SPL, involves play-offs, an earlier start to the season and a return to the winter break.

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