SPL asks clubs to back 'radical' plans to revive Scottish game

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster has urged clubs to put their own interests to one side and embrace plans for radical change for the sake of the whole of Scottish football. Proposals for a two-tier SPL, with 10 teams in each division, will be put to all 12 top-flight clubs next Monday following eight months of meetings by a strategic review group.

The plans include a 36-match league season and the removal of the controversial league split. An earlier start to the season, coupled with a winter break, could also be introduced.

But Scottish Football League chief executive David Longmuir has branded suggestions of an SPL One and Two as "well wide of the mark", while calling the possibility of regionalisation below the two-tier SPL a "non-starter".

Speaking of Monday's meeting, Doncaster said: "If we get approval in principle then that enables us to then talk in detail with the SFL and all its clubs.

"Unusually for any discussion within the football industry, we have had people who have been brave enough to think about the whole of Scottish football and not just their own vested interest. There will be nothing imposed on anyone. Indeed, we don't have the ability to do so. So anything that we have in mind will be on the basis of proper consultation with everyone and, if there is an invitation to SFL clubs to come on board, they will have to make up their own mind if it is in their best interests or not."

Doncaster believes the "radical" plans for reconstruction are necessary to help clubs financially as well as eradicating staleness in the Scottish game.

He told BBC Scotland: "I don't think you could have a set of plans more radical than this. Everyone participating in discussions has been happy to wear a big hat for the whole of Scottish football. I think most people in Scottish football believe that merely tinkering is not what we need.

"We need something fairly radical to totally overhaul the game in Scotland and improve things, particularly matters financial – not merely for their league but for all 42 clubs.

"There are some fundamental problems with Scottish football. One is that there's a staleness about the top division and, by moving to a system of a 10-team top division and 10-team second division but with more teams passing up and down between the two, we hope that that staleness will be removed.

"The other fundamental problem we've got is that, when clubs are relegated at present from the top tier, they face financial armageddon.

"And we think it is important for the whole of Scottish football that clubs are protected from that and the money in the second tier of Scottish football is beefed up so that when clubs are relegated, they are relegated to a far better environment."

Meanwhile, Craig Brown has argued that no one had any right to criticise his service to Motherwell as he was unveiled as Aberdeen manager.

Brown quit his Fir Park role on Thursday night, 24 hours after publicly reaffirming his commitment to the club in the wake of interest from the Dons. The 70-year-old had returned to Motherwell in December last year, initially as interim manager, but never signed a contract despite agreeing to stay for the long term.

The former Scotland manager claims he had a verbal agreement that either party could end the relationship without compensation.

Motherwell chairman John Boyle has been angered by the manner of his departure, reporting Aberdeen to the SPL for approaching Brown without consent. But Brown, who began his professional coaching career at Fir Park, said: "The commitment I gave in the 70s and last year – we answered a call and we've answered a call here [by Aberdeen]. I don't think it [me leaving] should be an issue."

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

The long walk west: they fled war in Syria, only to get held up in Hungary – now hundreds of refugees have set off on foot for Austria

They fled war in Syria...

...only to get stuck and sidetracked in Hungary
From The Prisoner to Mad Men, elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series

Title sequences: From The Prisoner to Mad Men

Elaborate title sequences are one of the keys to a great TV series. But why does the art form have such a chequered history?
Giorgio Armani Beauty's fabric-inspired foundations: Get back to basics this autumn

Giorgio Armani Beauty's foundations

Sumptuous fabrics meet luscious cosmetics for this elegant look
From stowaways to Operation Stack: Life in a transcontinental lorry cab

Life from the inside of a trucker's cab

From stowaways to Operation Stack, it's a challenging time to be a trucker heading to and from the Continent
Kelis interview: The songwriter and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell and crying over potatoes

Kelis interview

The singer and sauce-maker on cooking for Pharrell
Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea