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Let The Dog Wag The Tail
The Scotland manager would like to see full-time clubs take the lead on league reconstruction
Scotland manager Gordon Strachan appears to be getting cheesed off with the long-running saga surrounding league reconstruction and the potential impact it could have on the future of football in the country. He would support a move that provided full-time clubs with the decision making process. The SPL led proposal for a 12-12-18 league set-up stalled when the necessary 11-1 majority could not be achieved. Now the 10 Irn-Bru First Division sides as well as Second Division champions Queen of the South and Dundee - favourites to be relegated from the SPL - met last night in an effort to breathe new life into plans for the way ahead. A working group has now been established to take forward a last-minute rescue package. There has been speculation that an SPL2 could be established and Strachan appeared to throw his backing behind the idea when he said protecting full-time football must now be the "priority".He said: "If you have got to make change, make it but make them big changes. Don't just tamper with it. Do it properly. For me, it's quite simple: if you are full-time, make a league for full-time clubs. That includes anyone who wants to be full-time, anyone who wants to bring in money and sponsors. They should be looked after first. That should be the priority of the full-time clubs. If you are full-time you are putting money, jobs and necks on the line. Part-time, you are not really doing that. You are a community club. So let's make a full-time league, and for the rest, go and have your own league. That would simplify it all."While Strachan believes the part-time clubs should be excluded, the union's chief executive Fraser Wishart called for club chiefs to consult players and managers. He said: "We've reached an impasse. But here's something radical, you could actually ask us and the players, Alex Smith and Craig Brown from the Managers and Coaches Association to come in with an input. At the end of the day, the people whose jobs are on the line are the players and managers. The SPL clubs seem to be caring about the First Division sides and that's good to see because they are the clubs who are struggling. They know that a stronger First Division makes it a stronger SPL. We all agree on 90 per cent of the proposals but it's all about how do we get consensus on the other 10. Perhaps it's a situation now where we have to involve outside parties. There seems to be a lot of acrimony and debate which does nobody any good. The pitchforks-and-torch mentality directed at Stewart Gilmour and Roy MacGregor was wrong. These are two guys who have put a lot into their clubs."Wishart also believes stricter financial rules should be be at centre of the reconstruction debate. He said: "There does need to be a sporting sanction on clubs, otherwise clubs will dip in and out of administration at any point. But I think we need to look at Financial Fair Play regulations. Most countries are moving towards that because they realise there is nothing to stop clubs spending and plunging into insolvency. We have to find a way of bringing in regulations to save the clubs from their current owners. As we have seen, there is nothing to stop owners coming in and not paying bills and taxes. The club and the supporters are the ones who suffer and that's why I think we should be looking at these rules to control clubs' spending and prevent them from getting into trouble in the first place, rather than hammering clubs too much when they are on their uppers."
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