SPL chief urges all clubs to embrace proposed changes

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster wants clubs to put their own interests to one side and accept plans for radical changes to Scottish football.
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Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster wants clubs to put their own interests to one side and accept plans for radical changes to Scottish football.

Proposals for a two-tier SPL, with 10 teams in each division, will be put to all 12 top-flight clubs next Monday following eight months of meetings by a strategic review group.

The plans would mean a 36-match league season and the removal of the controversial league split. An earlier start date to the season, coupled with a winter break, could also be introduced.

Speaking of Monday's meeting, Doncaster said: "If we get approval in principle then that enables us to then talk in detail with the SFL and all its clubs. There's no vested interest.

"Unusually for any discussion within the football industry, we have had people who have been brave enough to think about the whole of Scottish football and not just their own vested interest.

"There will be nothing imposed on anyone. Indeed, we don't have the ability to do so.

"So anything that we have in mind will be on the basis of proper consultation with everyone and, if there is an invitation to SFL clubs to come on board, they will have to make up their own mind if it is in their best interests or not."

Doncaster believes the "radical" plans for reconstruction are necessary to help clubs financially as well as eradicating staleness in the Scottish game.

He told BBC Scotland: "I don't think you could have a set of plans more radical than this. Everyone participating in discussions has been happy to wear a big hat for the whole of Scottish football.

"I think most people in Scottish football believe that merely tinkering is not what we need.

"We need something fairly radical to totally overhaul the game in Scotland and improve things, particularly matters financial - not merely for their league but for all 42 clubs.

"There are some fundamental problems with Scottish football at the moment.

"One of them is that there's a staleness about the top division and, by moving to a system of a 10-team top division and 10-team second division but with more teams passing up and down between the two divisions, we hope that that staleness will be removed and that there will be a freshness about the new set-up.

"The other fundamental problem we've got is that, when clubs are relegated at present from the top tier, they face financial Armageddon.

"And we think it is important for the whole of Scottish football that clubs are protected from that and the money in the second tier of Scottish football is beefed up so that when clubs are relegated, they are relegated to a far better environment than they are at the moment."

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