SPL clubs united in bid to expand membership

The plans would see two leagues of 12 split into three divisions of eight after 22 games

Scottish Premier League clubs have “unanimously” agreed to seek the expansion of their membership.

Chief executive Neil Doncaster revealed clubs were united in backing an idea which could see their ranks double to 24.

The plans would see two leagues of 12 split into three divisions of eight after 22 games.

However, they are significantly different to proposals adopted by the 30 Scottish Football League clubs last week for a three-tier structure.

Doncaster said: "There is a view that we need to be expanding the top league to be looking after the whole of the professional game in Scotland but also those clubs that aspire to be full-time professional clubs.

"The view unanimously expressed round the table today is that is exactly what we should be doing.

"We met with the clubs in September, a restructuring group was formed and its work was fed back to all of the clubs today, and unanimously they approved the view that we should be working towards a plan that does exactly that."

The plans would see the top eight teams play each other twice again for a 36-game season, two less than the current model, which splits into two after 33 games.

The bottom four of the SPL1 would join the top four of SPL2 and complete their own extended play-off system, with the bottom eight teams of the 24 playing each other twice again.

The SFL plans are for a 16-10-16 structure with a number of promotion/relegation play-offs at the end of the regular season.

Doncaster told Sky Sports News: "The fundamental problem with a 16-team model is that you end up with fewer games and more meaningless games.

"The reality of any system is that it has to deliver in terms of competitive, exciting, meaningful games.

"And it's important that at the same time we look at an expanded top league, that we also ensure there are sufficient exciting meaningful games to be able to drive the crowds."

Doncaster and SPL chairman Ralph Topping will outline their proposals at upcoming meetings of the Scottish Football Association's professional game board later this month.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir and president Jim Ballantyne is also on the committee along with SFA chief executive Stewart Regan.

The SFA have been attempting to drive reconstruction attempts for two years but the vast difference between the ideas of both league bodies suggests they are no nearer a successful conclusion.

SPL clubs, who are set to meet again on December 3, could not agree on Doncaster's proposals for a two-tier system featuring a top flight of 10 clubs last year.

PA

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

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor