SPL, SFL Close To Reconstruction Deal That Would Shake Up Scottish Football
Scottish football chiefs "look ready to shake hands" on the Scottish Premier League's new three-league set up of 12-12-18, according to Mark Guidi of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Three governing bodies and 15 clubs will attend a meeting at Hampden this week, and "several items on the agenda are close to being agreed." The changes would see the game "governed by one body" as early as Aug. '14. And there will be just three leagues in a 12-12-18 set-up -- as proposed by the SPL in its recent blueprint. Scottish Football League clubs voted unanimously for a 16-10-16 structure, but SFL CEO David Longmuir now admits that the SPL’s plan "appears to be the only way forward." Longmuir: "That appears to be the only way we can all agree and move forward. There is no perfect solution, but we are trying" (DAILY RECORD, 1/6). The HERALD SCOTLAND reported details of the agreement "have still to be sealed, but it will also lead to the two league bodies merging into one, which is likely to be called the Scottish Professional Football League." The plans are "thought to involve reconstructing the leagues in time for next season." An agreement is "likely to be reached next month." Longmuir said, "We're agreed on a lot of things, and it will be in the best interests of all of the 42 clubs. We are on the right road to achieving something positive" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 1/6).
SPEAKING A NEW LANGUAGE: In Glasgow, Gordon Waddell reported the latest candidates for the Scottish FA's UEFA Pro License gathered at Hampden Sunday to "kick off the two-year course they now need to boss at the elite level of European football." For the first time since the course began in '99, however, candidates "must learn a second language as part of their studies." SFA Head of Football Development Jim Fleeting said, "At first they resisted, saying fewer foreigners were coming here so why the need. But then I asked 'What? Do none of you ever want to go and work abroad?' We’re not asking them to be fluent but it will be useful if they have enough to be courteous and get through a conversation" (DAILY RECORD, 1/6).