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SBD Global/November 29, 2012/International Football

SPL's League Revamp Bid Hit By Resignation of Dundee United Chair Stephen Thompson

The prospect of Scottish Premier League clubs "presenting a united front" next week to accelerate a new league construction proposal evaporated when Dundee United Chair Stephen Thompson resigned from the SPL board Tuesday citing "professional differences" according to Smith & Pattullo of the SCOTSMAN. Although Thompson’s decision to step away from the six-man board "had no direct link" to the plans for two leagues of 12 that will be debated on Monday, the move has "prompted fears that the SPL’s bid to revive Scottish football could be sidetracked."  Sources close to Thompson suggested that his anger over what he sees as "heavy-handed treatment" by a fellow SPL board member could "threaten his presence at the discussions" to be held at Hampden on Monday. Others within the SPL have "expressed dismay" at Thompson’s decision at such a sensitive time, accusing him of over-reacting regarding a matter that was "not a resignation issue." Thompson's decision follows a clash over a report that SPL CEO Neil Doncaster’s handling of the Scottish Third Division Rangers crisis this summer "had caused his authority to be undermined" and that he did not have the full support of his clubs to lead the latest moves to restructure the top flight (SCOTSMAN, 11/28).

POINT OF NO RETURN: The SCOTSMAN also reported Rangers CEO Charles Green is "refusing to back the SPL’s proposed changes to Scottish football while the threat of Rangers being stripped of their titles is still a possibility." Green is "yet to study either plan in great detail" but is adamant that the club "wouldn’t return to the SPL in its current state." Green said, "I have said before that I wouldn’t return to the SPL in its current form and I stand by that -- it just won’t happen" (SCOTSMAN, 11/28).
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