Scotland news

MacGregor optimistic over restructuring

April 29, 2013
By ESPN staff

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor has said he believes some form of Scottish league reconstruction can still go ahead for next season.

Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor
PA PhotosRoss County chairman Roy MacGregor

The 12 Scottish Premier League clubs are preparing to meet at Hampden following the rejection of the 12-12-18 plans earlier this month by MacGregor's club and St Mirren.

The restructuring would have seen the top two leagues splitting into three eights after 22 games, the introduction of play-offs, revised financial distribution and the merging of the SPL and the Scottish Football League.

It had needed an 11-1 majority to progress at the SPL vote, but now new plans - including play-offs which would involve one up, one down plus five teams, two from the SPL and three from the First Division, competing for the play-off final - will be debated.

"I'm an optimist, as you know," McGregor said. "Change has got to come, but it's got to be the right change. So we're back round the table to talk about it with an open mind.

"There were differences two weeks ago, but the differences were natural differences that come around with different clubs having different aspirations.

"I'm really optimistic that it's a day for talking, and hopefully we'll find some common ground.''

However, he said clubs needed to make the right decision rather than just a quick decision. "It's really important that talks come to some conclusion that everyone can buy into," he added.

"All clubs are optimistic. You wouldn't have everyone here two weeks later unless everyone agreed we need change.''

Earlier this month, St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour said voting against the restructure plans was "the right thing to do".

His decision caused frustration, with Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne saying: "One club in particular you would need to ask just exactly what their agenda is - St Mirren.

"What was on the table for everyone to consider was... an opportunity to move Scottish football forward."

St Mirren had been in favour of a larger, 14-team division and said last week that the proposals should not be considered "a take-it-or-leave-it situation". Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson, however, had insisted: "It's this or nothing else."

In a statement on Monday, the SPL confirmed that both St Mirren and Ross County had voted against the proposed change to the voting system, saying what was on offer had been a "major and progressive" change.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report