SFA propose pyramid structure for Scottish football

Smith is pushing ahead with talks for a pyramid structure in the Scottish game to allow ambitious non-league clubs to aim for the top.

Spartans, Preston Athletic, Cove Rangers and Annan Athletic are preparing applications after stricken Gretna's resignation from the league on Tuesday.

But clubs who are not well placed to challenge for a place this year are looking for a new structure to the game that would allow for promotion to the SFL.

"I have already got that under way in terms of discussions on a pyramid structure," Smith said.

"We are taking advice and discussion with the other leagues - the East of Scotland, the South of Scotland and the Highland League, and juniors as well, to see whether there is an appetite for it, to see what is required and to look at a different aspects of the structure to see what would be best for the game.

"Nothing is set in stone yet but it is something we are looking at."

The traditional independence of the junior ranks in particular may prove an obstacle.

But the SFA helped open the top-level game up to non-league clubs in the past season by scrapping the qualification process for the Scottish Cup.

Now all member clubs, and four junior sides, are admitted to the first round.

However, Smith admits opening the league up may not prove universally popular.

"If it was up to me to do it I would probably take a week, but we have a whole load of people in discussions," he added.

"We also have to find out what the appetite is at the different levels because some of the feedback we are getting is that some clubs might not be interested.

"So it's not 100% certain that everyone is going to want it. There is a bit of discussion to be had yet."

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