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SBD Global/March 15, 2013/Leagues and Governing Bodies

SFL CEO Longmuir Says Restructuring Plans For Next Season Are Falling Apart

Scottish Football League CEO David Longmuir "admitted plans to reconstruct Scottish football in time for next season are in danger of falling apart," according to Keith Jackson of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Longmuir was stung by criticism after asking clubs to back and 11th-hour rehash of a plan "to place Old Firm colt teams in the lower leagues." He wants the best young talents from Celtic and Rangers "to help attract bigger crowds to smaller grounds around the country, while developing their skills in a competitive environment." But it has been claimed that "the proposal is designed to ensure Rangers do not remain in the bottom league, despite running away with this season’s Third Division title." He refuted any suggestion that "he is acting in the interests of any one club." Longmuir said, "It’s my job to act in the best interests of 30 clubs -- not one -- and that’s why I go out and try to generate investment into this league." Longmuir then launched into a powerful defense of his decision to urge SFL clubs "to reconsider making room for Celtic and Rangers youth teams." He said, "I had the full support of my board and Celtic and Rangers to put this out to SFL clubs. The clubs in my league are wrestling with whether they want an 18-team bottom division or two leagues of 10. I was giving them another option to consider" (DAILY RECORD, 3/14).

RANGERS FANS THREATEN BOYCOTT: The SCOTSMAN reported Rangers supporters' chiefs "have threatened to boycott away fixtures next season" if the Ibrox outfit’s SFL counterparts vote for a new 12-12-18 set-up. The "sticking point for some of the nation’s smallest clubs is whether to proceed with an 18-team third division or persist with the current Second and Third Divisions comprising 10 teams each." Rangers Supporters Assembly President Andy Kerr claims that the Glasgow club's fanbase "will look to take revenge if the 18-team bottom tier is voted in." Kerr said: "I don’t believe our fans would stand for it, and nor should they. It’s been an adventure this year. But the thought of having to go through all that again, having won the league and not been promoted, would have a very negative affect among our supporters" (SCOTSMAN, 3/14).
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