SPL chief plays down league split

August 17, 2006

Scottish Premier League executive chairman Lex Gold insists nothing will be confirmed on the creation of an 'SPL2' without consultation with other governing bodies.

The 12 SPL clubs have agreed to invite 10 lower league sides into a second tier for the 2008-2009 season after a meeting at Hampden Park.

The top flight would remain in its current form with a 12-team structure, while the lower tier would consist of 10 clubs, with a one-up, one-down system of promotion and relegation between the two divisions.

However, Gold maintains there will be no radical shake-up of the Scottish game without full discussion with the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Football League.

Gold told Sky Sports News: 'The general motivation for our clubs has been to see if we can strengthen the top structure of the game in Scotland.

'Today they decided it would be of interest to Scottish football to invite 10 further clubs to join a restructured top flight.

'We are going to be discussing that, in the first instance, with our colleagues in the Scottish Football League and with the Scottish Football Association.

'Our clubs also had a look at the paper produced by nine of the 10 First Division clubs and broadly support the pyramid structure.

'Also, in relation to regionalisation, they believe this could serve as a catalyst for further thought to be given to that.

'But they were also clear that is not a matter for our clubs, but for the SFL and the SFA.

'With a change of this nature, you have to be sensitive to it, hence our decision to have discussions with our colleagues at the SFL and the SFA.''

The SPL clubs are also hoping to launch a new cup competition for the 22 clubs in the top two divisions.

Entry criteria to the SPL would remain, but clubs wishing to join the second tier must have 3000-seater stadia and pitch protection.

An SFA spokesman said: 'We have not received any proposals yet so it would be premature to comment.'