Scotland news

SFL wants SPL merger delay

March 28, 2013

The Scottish Football League has told the Scottish Premier League it wants plans for a radical revamp of Scottish football to be put on hold for a year.

Scottish Football League chief executive David Longmuir
PA PhotosSFL chief David Longmuir is leaving

Twenty-nine of the 30 SFL clubs met at Hampden on Thursday to discuss league reconstruction proposals and a merger with the SPL.

The lengthy talks resulted in consensus that there is an appetite for change but around half of those represented expressed concerns about changes being implemented in time for the coming season.

SPL clubs are set to vote on the issue on April 15. SFL chief executive David Longmuir said: "This is football trying to get to a place that could serve us well for the foreseeable future.

"It's hugely important that we get it right and not rush into something and then find that we haven't made the change that's really taking the game forward.

"We've been working hard behind the scenes, as you can imagine, like you would with any merger.

"If it's right today then it's not beyond us all to agree that we will stick together on it for a year.''

He added: "The SFL is fully supportive of the change agenda and fully supportive of the need to improve Scottish football. We want to play a key part in that and we want to be a key agent for change.

"When we looked at the current set of proposals in detail today, we asked the clubs to give us an indication if they were able to support going forward with the package of change for the start of next season.

"Both arguments for and against had equal views.

"Therefore, we are still fully committed to the change agenda and we are going to continue with the process.

"But we would like to intimate, and the clubs are fully supportive of this, if we were to allow the change to take place in one season's time - not at the start of next season, but give it one more season - then we fully believe that the possibility of change for the good of the game can happen.

"We are right behind change for the good of the game.

"The issue is clearly about timing and the time it needs for clubs to assess and evaluate everything that's been put before them.

"We fully believe we can deliver this - but just not quite ready for next season.''

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.