SPL clubs to meet again next week

30 April 2013 08:47

The 12 Scottish Premier League clubs have taken a step in the "right direction" after meeting to discuss plans for play-offs, Hearts managing director David Southern claims.

Proposals for a 12-12-18 system, with the top two leagues splitting into 8-8-8, the introduction of play-offs, revised financial distribution and the merging of the SPL and the Scottish Football League were rejected after Ross County and St Mirren voted against them two weeks ago.

But the SPL clubs met again at Hampden on Monday to discuss four different play-off options and agreed to reconvene next Tuesday to study the proposals in more detail.

The failure of the first reconstruction bid led to a bitter fall-out between top-flight chairmen but Southern claims things are now looking up.

He said: "It was a broadly positive meeting. The idea of league reconstruction will not be on the table but play-offs will. We are all still talking and all still moving in the right direction. There was no vote today, just discussions but play-offs are very much still on the table."

However, SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster sounded a cautionary note when claimed play-offs in the top tier remain a "possibility, no more than that".

After the meeting, which lasted around three hours, Doncaster stressed that the most important factor for the SPL clubs to consider is cost versus benefit.

"It remains a possibility, no more than that," he said. "The clubs have expressed a keenness to get round the table again. It may be that nothing can be agreed but the clubs are keen to have that conversation.

"The clubs reluctantly agreed that given the time before now and the end of the season, it is not possible to achieve a full merger in time for the summer so it is looking unlikely that there will be any reconstruction involving a merger, but we looked at four different play-off models today.

"There was no formal proposal, it was discussion meeting to see if anything could be agreed. There is a view generally that play-offs could be a positive thing but it may suit some clubs more than others."

Source: PA