SPFL Consults on Possible Reconstruction
The SPFL has written to all 42 clubs asking for their views on moving to a permanent 14-10-10-10 divisional structure for the start of the coming season, after the completion of a league-wide consultation exercise showed there was enough support to merit a second consultation on a specific option.
Neil Doncaster, chief executive of the SPFL said: “We’ve been consulting with our clubs regarding possible reconstruction in recent weeks and asked all 42 clubs to give their views.
“Now that 41 out of 42 clubs have responded, it is clear that there is enough support for a permanent 14-10-10-10 structure to merit a second consultation stage and we have written to clubs asking for an indicative ‘vote’ on whether that is something they would vote in favour of if it was included in a detailed formal resolution.
“It’s important to underline that this is not a binding vote and is intended only to steer the board on whether to put forward a formal resolution for voting on, or not.”
As this would mean altering the current financial distribution model and admitting two new member clubs, a change to the SPFL Articles would be needed, requiring the support of 11 of the 12 Premiership clubs, 17 or more clubs from the Premiership and Championship combined; and 32 or more SPFL clubs overall.
Clubs have been asked to return their indicative return slip as soon as possible, and at the latest by 10am next Monday, 15 June. They have also been asked, if there is sufficient indicative support for the proposal, whether they would agree to shortening the notice period for the required EGM to seven days, given the tight timescales involved to confirm fixture calendars for the start of the 2020-21 season in August.
Neil Doncaster said: “Understandably, the consultation exercise confirmed there is sympathy for those clubs relegated at the end of Season 2019/20, but also that there is no reasonable prospect of clubs approving a temporary reconstruction solution.
“However, the board has judged there is sufficient support for a permanent change to merit this second stage of consultation.
“As ever, it will be up to the clubs to decide whether or not to support this proposal and we will be guided by the democratic outcome of the process. We are understandably keen to get clarity one way or another at the start of next week, as the timescales are extremely tight and we are faced with the additional complexities of resuming the season, caused by Covid-19.”
While events have shown that there was no realistic alternative to curtailing last season, the introduction of a permanent 14-10-10-10 League structure from Season 2020/21 would ensure that those teams relegated as a result of that curtailment would regain their previous Divisional status.
Such a reconstruction would also see the second-placed teams in the Championship, League 1 and League 2 (i.e. Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Falkirk and Edinburgh City) promoted and the promotion into League 2 of a team from each of the Highland and Lowland Leagues, following the cancellation of the Pyramid Play-Offs.
If the results of the indicative vote show there is insufficient support for a 14-10-10-10 structure for next season, the existing League and Divisional structure for the coming season will be maintained.
A 14-10-10-10 structure would mean the following composition of the Divisions for Season 2020/21:
Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee United, Hamilton Academical, Heart of Midlothian, Hibernian, Inverness CT, Kilmarnock, Livingston, Motherwell, Rangers, Ross County, St. Mirren, St. Johnstone
Alloa Athletic, Arbroath, Ayr United, Dundee, Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk, Greenock Morton, Partick Thistle, Queen of the South, Raith Rovers
Airdrieonians, Clyde, Cove Rangers, Dumbarton, East Fife, Edinburgh City, Forfar Athletic, Montrose, Peterhead, Stranraer
Albion Rovers, Annan Athletic, Brechin City, Cowdenbeath, Elgin City, Queen's Park, Stenhousemuir, Stirling Albion, 1x Highland League, 1x Lowland League