Restructuring of Scottish football vetoed by St Mirren and Ross County

Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne emerged from the talks to announce
that they had failed to secure the 11-1 majority needed

Plans to restructure Scottish football look dead today after St Mirren and Ross County vetoed the proposals at a Scottish Premier League meeting.

Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne emerged from the talks to announce that they had failed to secure the 11-1 majority needed to send the plans to the Scottish Football League.

St Mirren had confirmed seven days earlier they were going to vote against the deal on the table, which was agreed in principle in January.

The plans would have seen both league bodies merge in a 12-12-18 structure with a pyramid system below.

The most controversial aspect of the plans was for the top two leagues to split into three after 22 games in a bid to generate extra revenue, which would have been split more equitably with current First Division clubs.

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour was first to exit Hampden after four hours of talks but would not comment.

Milne soon emerged and could not disguise his anger at the outcome.

The Aberdeen chairman said: "One club in particular you would need to ask just exactly what their agenda is - St Mirren.

"What was on the table for everyone to consider today was back the plan, an opportunity to move Scottish football forward.

"If it doesn't deliver to the extent that 10 clubs genuinely believe it will deliver, then the opportunity is there to re-look at it down the line within two to three years.

"It's the status quo. The offer of changing the reconstruction rules was rejected by the two clubs, which no one can see the logic behind."

Hearts managing director David Southern claimed St Mirren had rejected the offer of moving future league structure votes to a 9-3 voting system.

Saints had previously expressed a desire for a 14-team league and concern over the 11-1 system remaining on certain items, including limits on the number of home games each team can have screened live by television partners.

Southern said: "We were very close. The concession was a significant concession.

"All 11 clubs were led to believe the stumbling block was the 11-1 vote.

"The concession was to change the 11-1 to 9-3 so the stumbling block was removed.

"You now need to go and ask the club that believed that was the stumbling block and then change their mind."

Southern insisted none of the protected matters should have been "deal-breakers" and added: "I do believe that the 11-1 vote was just used as a smokescreen to protect other people's interests."

PA

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