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Volume 6 No. 195

International Football

Scottish football "could be gearing up for a bloody power struggle after in emerged" Monday that the Scottish Football League wants a 16-team top flight in place by summer '15, according to the Scotland DAILY RECORD. The "radical plan for league reconstruction" will be proposed by Scottish Football League CEO David Longmuir on Wednesday when he meets his clubs at Hampden Park. The proposal is "based upon a new three-tier system" that, as well as the expanded top division, would be made up of two further leagues of 10 and 18. It will include the introduction of "colt teams from both Celtic and Rangers in the third tier, but with no provision for either of them ever being promoted." It is believed that the Scottish Premier League is "likely to put the blockers on any such shake-up, with Celtic and Aberdeen likely to lead the way after recently teaming up to safeguard the current 11-1 voting structure." News of the SFL's new blueprint came as "something of a shock to top brass inside the SPL's Hampden headquarters." An SPL source said, "The timing of all this is no coincidence. There are people out there who believe the SPL is on its knees because of what happened with Rangers and because of the current climate at Hearts." SPL CEO Neil Doncaster "declined to wade into the row," but he did stress that "any restructuring cannot be forced upon his clubs" (DAILY RECORD, 11/13).

NEEDING SOME HELP: Meanwhile in Glasgow, Scott McDermott noted Scotland "could be handed a World Cup 2014 lifeline" following UEFA President Michel Platini's threat "to boot Serbia and Croatia out of the tournament." The Balkan nations are already on an official UEFA warning "for various incidents involving their volatile fans." Platini insists that if they "indulge in crowd trouble or racism in the Group A ties between the sides next year they'll be banned from Brazil 2014." Scotland is at the bottom of the section, but if Serbia or Croatia are thrown out "it would increase the Scots' playoff hopes" (DAILY RECORD, 11/13).

Ronaldinho's lawsuit against his former club Flamengo will end with the player receiving R$15M ($7.3M) in an out-of-court settlement, according to Pedro Ivo Almeida of The former FIFA Ballon d'Or winner initially took the Rio de Janeiro club to court for R$40M ($19.4M) over "unpaid wages, image rights and moral damages." After the court date last week, the lawsuit was suspended and the two parties were given 15 days to come back to the judge "with a proposal for an agreement." After phone conversations between lawyers from both sides, the two parties have scheduled a meeting for the end of the week to "seal an agreement for R$15M." Initially, Flamengo had offered to settle for R$8M ($3.9M), but the player's lawyers wanted close to R$20M ($9.7M). The conversations "evolved over the past couple days," and the club succeeded in bringing down the value in return of paying everything "in a short amount of time" (, 11/13).