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Volume 6 No. 211
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Scottish Premier League Planning A 'Radical Overhaul' Of League Structure

The Scottish Premier League is planning "a radical overhaul" of its own status within Scottish football, including a thorough rebranding and a league reconstruction model involving 24 clubs, according to Graham Spiers of the HERALD SCOTLAND. Several SPL clubs will meet with SPL CEO Neil Doncaster Monday to discuss the plan. One plan is to "counter last week's Scottish Football League proposal" of a 16-10-16 model by inviting up to 12 clubs to resign from the SFL and join what is currently the SPL. The new SPL strategy would create a 24-club elite, involving two top divisions of 12. However, the league would operate "under a new corporate banner," with the SPL brand being dissolved. An SPL source said, "This is not an 'SPL1 & 2.' The plan is that it would be radical, it would wipe the slate clean. We've had many proposals in recent years, but we hope this might be the one." The new leagues would involve two top tiers of 12 clubs. A split would come after 22 games, when the bottom-four clubs and the top four from the second tier would play another 14 games home and away to determine which four clubs secured top-flight status (HERALD SCOTLAND, 11/18). In Glasgow, Gordon Waddell wrote the SPL's proposal is "almost identical" to one put forward by former Scottish Football Association CEO Gordon Smith nearly a decade ago. The process will involve inviting 12 teams from the SFL to resign and join them in their fresh venture, a move "sure to spark a major political battle between factions already at each other’s throats." It will "infuriate those behind the SFL’s 16-10-16 plan" unveiled last week, which included plans for a pyramid structure, playoffs between the top two divisions and a distribution model aimed at enhancing the entire game (DAILY RECORD, 11/18).

MCCOIST ASKS SFA FOR HELP: In Glasgow, Richard Wilson reported SFL Rangers Manager Ally McCoist believes that the SFA should "step into the debate about league reconstruction and take control of the process." The SPL and SFL have drawn up restructure plans, but it is "unlikely the two organisations will come to an agreement." McCoist, however, insists that "it is the governing body's role to intervene." McCoist: "Contrary to what a lot of people might think, outwith our situation I would have been happy for reconstruction," McCoist said, "I looked at the SFL proposals -- 16, 10 and 16 -- and I don't have a problem with that" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 11/18).

Also in Glasgow, Waddell wrote in a separate piece that Scotland U-21 coach Billy Stark "dumped the ball" in SFA CEO Stewart Regan’s court over his case for the Scotland job. Stark, also the interim manager of Scotland's senior team, "insists he won’t formally apply for the job," and will leave it up to those in charge whether his name makes the shortlist. Stark: "I am happy to proceed on the basis that I’m in interim charge at the moment. There’s not another game until February, so I don’t know what the thinking is." Privately, Stark is "understood to be keen on the step up" from his current job (DAILY RECORD, 11/18).