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SPL reforms top of agenda

Mon 18th Apr 2011 | Club & Country Competitions

The future of the Scottish Premier League’s (SPL) format will be discussed today when the 12 clubs meet later.

The meeting will be the latest in a series of discussions over plans to reform Scotland’s top football league. SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster is keen establish the reforms following more than 12 months of research and talks.

But Doncaster admitted earlier this month that a decision might not be taken and it looks highly likely any outcome will be reached today with clubs such as Hearts and Dundee United believed to be unconvinced by plans for a 10-team top flight.

Eleven clubs would have to back the proposals to carry them through and Doncaster encouraged dissenting members to put forward alternative plans today if they had any.

Doncaster's ultimate aim is for a merger with the Scottish Football League and introduction of a pyramid structure below that.

A Premier League of 10 teams would receive 80 per cent of the money raised, with 15 per cent going to a Championship and 5 per cent going to League One and League Two teams.

Doncaster claimed that would see £3.7million shared among the lower-league clubs, more than double the present cash with the team winning the second tier receiving £500,000 - more than six times their present prize money.

The SPL promised a more even share of cash within the top flight, "redistributing money away from the top two positions in the league and reallocating it to the other eight clubs".

Doncaster also highlighted the goal of ending the "impasse" over delivering a pyramid system allowing relegation from the new league system and incorporating the East of Scotland, South of Scotland, Highland League and Junior leagues.

Other features would see an earlier start to the season and two-weekend winter break, play-offs between the top two divisions to create a potential second promotion/relegation place, and allowing six under-23 colt teams to compete in the bottom division.

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