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Hearts boss no fan of proposed 10-team top flight

Hearts boss Jim Jefferies believes reverting to a 10-team top flight would be a missed opportunity to improve Scottish football. The Scottish Premier League will next Monday present proposals for a two-tier competition with 10 teams in each division following more than a year of research into reconstruction.

Top-flight clubs have been playing at least some of their rivals four times a season since the leagues were reconstructed in 1975, and Jefferies feels it adds to the staleness that SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster is trying to eradicate.

Eleven of the 12 SPL clubs need to vote in favour of the plans and Jefferies is sceptical over the chances.

"We had 10 before and it was very tight, there were a lot of complaints about that," he said.

"If it's still remaining at four games, I've been an advocate of trying to get away from that.

"I thought the only way of doing that was through a bigger league.

"Playing each other four times isn't conducive to a lot of good football.

"You get too familiar with each other and it makes for some tight matches with a little bit of a fear factor in there.

"It's a long way from going ahead because it's still to be passed and there will be some chairman for it and some against."

Jefferies is in favour of other parts of the reform plans, such as switches to the calendar. A July start date with a January break could be introduced by the start of next season.

"When you think about international and European ties, I suppose it would help them if they get a few games under their belt," the former Kilmarnock manager said.

"That's a big help, obviously, and it's maybe paving the way for summer football."

Jefferies would also be interested in submitting a Hearts B team into the lower leagues.

"I think a few teams would be interested because there is no reserve league, so I think that's a good shout.

"We would be interested because we've got a big squad and a lot of these boys suffer for the fact that they've not got regular games."

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