SPL 'threw out' plans for 14-14-14 leagues

SPL clubs rejected a 14-14-14 league set-up last year – and intend to push ahead with controversial plans for a 12-12-18 model.

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  • Charles Green has spoken of a 'workable way forward'
    Charles Green has spoken of a 'workable way forward'
  • Charles Green has spoken of a 'workable way forward'

Rangers chief executive Charles Green yesterday said the Ibrox club were keen to see a move towards three divisions of 14 examined in greater detail.

However, SportTimes understands top flight clubs considered that structure, along with many other possibilities, during discussions last year.

Ironically, a 14-team top division – which would split into a six and an eight after three rounds of matches – was viewed favourably by Celtic.

But it was felt by Scottish football's powerbrokers that 12-12-18 would be far more attractive to both potential sponsors and TV companies.

They feel the top two divisions splitting into three leagues of eight after 22 games creates more meaningful games than are currently played under the existing structure.

SPL clubs will discuss the move towards a new set-up at a meeting at Hampden on January 28 – and their SFL counterparts will do the same two days later.

But no final decision will be taken on the change, which could come into being next season, until later in the 2012/13 campaign.

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour stressed that the SPL clubs' priority at this stage is to examine the pros and cons of the 12-12-18 set-up instead of examining alternative models.

He said: "We are not going to get a 16-team SPL now. The big clubs just won't vote for it. Now we have an alternative and it's important we look at it properly."

"It's worth pointing out that, contrary to reports, the 12 SPL clubs have not signed up to anything.

All we have given is a commitment to fully investigate the proposals for league reconstruction."

In a statement on the Rangers website, Green said: "There is no model on the table that offers our club a potentially quicker route back to the highest echelons of Scottish football.

"However, I believe that while all clubs have to look out for their own interests, the greater good of Scottish football cannot be ignored.

"I would like to set out what Rangers believes to be a workable way forward that may appeal to fans of all clubs.

"We think any reconstruction should be implemented not next season, but the following season so that every club knows what it is playing for at the start of the season.

"I cannot understand why this model has been so readily discounted when fans are clearly looking for larger leagues.

"I know there are various opinions regarding splits in such leagues, but they cannot be any more complicated than what is now being proposed."

Sport

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