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Scotland’s clubs look to shape the future

Scottish Premier League clubs will meet at Hampden today in a bid to reach consensus on the future structure of the competition.

The SPL presented plans for two divisions of 10 to the 12 clubs earlier this month but agreement still looks some way off, with several chairmen and most fans in favour of a larger top league.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster has spent the intervening two weeks bidding to persuade clubs to adopt the official proposals but he also challenged the sceptical clubs to put forward alternative plans.

Dundee United, Kilmarnock and Inverness have publicly expressed their opposition to a 10-team league, while Hearts have not fully endorsed the plans despite “constructive” talks between owner Vladimir Romanov, Doncaster and SPL chairman Ralph Topping in Lithuania last week.

St Mirren, one of the six clubs in the review group set up to formulate the plans, have expressed their preference for a 14-team league while another, Motherwell, were also undecided after the last meeting.

Doncaster has also met fans' representatives after a Supporters Direct poll revealed that almost 90 per cent were opposed to a 10-team top flight.

Doncaster is looking for agreement on the plans but no formal vote will be taken.

“The meeting on Monday has always been and remains about what the clubs want and what they don't want,” Doncaster said. “Yes, there will be voting on elements or the whole of the plan, but it will only be an in-principle vote.”

However, Motherwell chairman John Boyle has expressed fears that the earlier start to the campaign would be opposed by the Old Firm, who play lucrative friendlies during the summer.

Belfast Telegraph


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