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SPL clubs agree to new league format

Updated: Tuesday, 07 May 2013 15:28 | Comments

St Mirren were one of two clubs to veto last month's plan
St Mirren were one of two clubs to veto last month's plan

Scottish Premier League clubs have agreed to push for a new merged 42-club body with top-flight play-offs in time for next season.

The proposals, which are still to be put to the Scottish Football League, would ensure a 12-10-10-10 system with the 11th-placed team in the top flight involved in four-team play-offs at the end of the season.

Two SPL clubs, Ross County and St Mirren, last month vetoed a similar plan on the basis that they were unconvinced by the merits of a system to split the top two divisions into three after 22 games. This facet has now been dropped.

An SPL statement read: "At an all-club meeting earlier today at Hampden Park, the 12 Scottish Premier League clubs unanimously agreed on a package of measures that would deliver a merged league in time for season 2013/2014."

The proposals include "a single merged league of 42 clubs, in line with the stated preference of SFL1 clubs; a 12-10-10-10 divisional structure; an all-through distribution model involving substantial redistribution to the second tier; a 'pyramid' for the entire game; play-offs involving team 11 in the SPL and teams 2, 3 and 4 in the division below".

The statement continued: "A formal proposal to deliver the above will be brought back to the SPL clubs for voting this month.

"The SPL looks forward to working with the Scottish FA and Scottish Football League to deliver vibrant change for the game as a whole."

Chairman Ralph Topping added: "I am pleased that SPL clubs have today agreed on a way forward for the game in this country. We have tremendous sympathy with the SFL1 clubs and their plight and with their shared ambition for a 42-club solution.

"Much work needs to be done in a short space of time to achieve our objective of a single merged league this summer.

"But, where there is a will, there is a way. The time for action is now."

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