Football: Scottish League may stay the same

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The Independent Online
Reconstruction of the Bell's Scottish League is looking increasingly unlikely following a meeting of the League's management committee yesterday.

The committee decided at a recent meeting to back the First Division clubs' proposal of a three-division set-up of 16-12-12. But, although the matter is still on the agenda of the League's annual meeting on 30 May, a number of Premier Division clubs are known to be against the idea.

The League's secretary, Peter Donald, said: "The debate continues to assess whether or not there would be a sufficient number of clubs to support the idea. The First Division clubs have been asked over the next week or two to assess the situation and report back."

Hibernian will be lifted by the return from suspension of their midfielder Pat McGinlay for tomorrow's Premier Division fixture against Dunfermline at Easter Road. The match is a rearranged game, with both sides having suffered early Tennents Scottish Cup exits.

McGinlay is available again after missing four games through suspension following a red card against Dundee United at Tannadice. His return is a lift for his manager, Jim Duffy, who still has a number of players out injured, including Graeme Donald, John Hughes, Rab Shannon, Gordon Hunter, Shaun Dennis and Andy Dow.

Dennis may make the Dunfermline match, while Chic Charnley should shake off a knock and Jamie McQuilken is fit. The striker Barry Lavety, on the way back after six months out because of a virus, scored in another comeback match on Monday, but Duffy says it is too early to include him in his first-team plans.

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