Scot Gardiner Dundee's chief executive last night warned it’s now or never to radically overhaul Scottish football.
And he also claimed the controversial 12-12-18 plan is the only show in town.
Gardiner, who is one of the steering group of the much-derided proposal, says every alternative structure was looked at – including Rangers’ chief Charles Green’s suggestion of three leagues of 14.
But he insisted every other plan is dead in the water and we will be stuck with the status quo unless the new structure is voted through later this month.
He said: “We have to change and we have to do it now. There is no point pretending otherwise. We are not in this position because everything is great with Scottish football.
“The SFL and SPL had the opportunity to put proposals on the table.
“The SFL came up with the 16-10-16 and the SPL the 12-12-18.
“Another club came up with a different set-up with 14s but we looked at all of the structures.
“A 16 is simply not feasible – it’s dead in the water. In an ideal world Dundee would like a 16-team league but it’s just not possible.
“We looked at 10, 12 a
nd 14, they were all discussed and no one could arrive at a consensus. It was clear the 12-12-18 model is the only show in town.
“It’s the only one that delivers balanced fixtures, meaningful games and fairer redistribution of finances.
“It has got to be now. If it is not in place by this summer then it will be scrapped.
“This chance to get consensus comes along once in a generation.
“We have worked hard to come up with a solution that is best for Scottish football.
“People can pick holes in it but you can pick holes in any system and this is the one which is genuinely trying to bring everyone to the party.
“It is impossible to get something that is everything to every man.
“This structure will help everyone improve.
“If not, the status quo will remain.”
St Mirren chief Stewart Gilmour and R
oss County chairman Roy MacGregor have already broken ranks to say they are not keen on the idea.
Gardiner and the rest of the SPL steering group now have to sell the plan to the clubs who have issued dissenting voices as well to supporters. But the Dens chief believes the consequences of rejecting change would be disastrous.
He said: “If we remain on the same path I am really fearful. I don’t want to go down the road about talking about Armageddon again.
“Dundee will exist no matter what but it will be very difficult for us and a lot of other clubs if the current set-up remains.
“We are living from season to season and there is no stability.
“At the moment you are either chasing the dream or
stuck in the quicksand – there’s no middle ground.
“The current structure is fatally flawed and we believe this is the best model of all of the ideas on the table.”
“The game is so polarised at the moment it is painful to see but I am passionate this is the way forward.
“We will meet at the end of the month. If it gets kicked out then we will have to accept it but I believe it would be a big mistake.”
Fans are still struggling to get their heads around the proposed set-up, especially the idea there will be five trophies handed out each season.
The winners of the two leagues of 12 would both pick up silver
ware after 22 games while there would be another three trophies for the teams that win the three post-split sections.
Gardiner has studied models in other countries and believes fans will get on board once they got used to the new set-up.
He said: “You see it with the Challenge Cup and the play-offs in England.
“Did Blackpool moan about getting a trophy for winning the play-offs despite finishing 25 points off second place?
“People are so dismissive but if you look to American sport then it is not an issue. Fans want to see success in terms of winning things.”
i must admit that im not keen on the American way of sport
Source: Dundee Mad