Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Stephen Craigan: Expansion plan will stretch league to financial limit

Earlier this week the SPL clubs agreed to pursue the possibility of extending the top league in Scotland but I must admit to being sceptical about their intentions.

Politically it's the correct thing to say and publicly it's also the right vibes to be sending to the SFL clubs who are adamant the only way forward for Scottish football is to expand the top tier to a suggested 16 teams.

I feel the SPL clubs have more to lose than gain and it's mostly financial which is why I'm not convinced by their supposed plans.

Currently the sponsorship is split 12 ways and clubs are in trouble so for it to be spilt 14 or more ways could be financial suicide.

I'm not so sure expansion is needed immediately as this season the SPL has been as competitive and exciting as its been for a few years — even without Rangers.

I think they should rejig the top flight by introducing play-offs and if that is successful then have room to extend in the future.

There's a long way to go to find a resolution so watch this space but at least there's discussions taking place for the betterment of the game.

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