April 15, 2013

NotJustScottishFootball : SPL Reconstruction Plans Demolished - What Now?

Plan A suffered a rather ignominious end to it's flawed short lifespan but instead of thinking ahead in the event it fell flat on its face, the administrators within the sheltered bubble of the SPL had no plan B in place so after months of talks, we are still no further ahead in the reconstruction of Scottish football than we were when Rangers were relegated to the bottom tier last year.

It came as no surprise that the doomed plan put forward by Messrs Doncaster & co wasn't accepted by the Big 12 as only the BRAVE Ross County & St Mirren had already spoken publicly about their voting preference in the past few days. Seems strange that in the public forum they would denounce Plan A but the SPL conference went ahead anyway as if the other 10 had no knowledge of the two rebels sway in voting without having a Plan B.

After the ridiculous 11-1 voting system needed to pass any changes failed their system, they then decided to open up a vote on whether to change the voting system itself to a 9-3 majority needed to pass any new changes in the SPL. In a ludicrous piece of attempted vote rigging, it was ironic that they still needed a 11-1 majority to pass the 9-3 majority change and in a fawlty towers moment, it failed as the two clubs who had voted against the reconstruction plans earlier, again voted to not change the majority voting rule as they seem it as a blatant attempt in tipping the reconstruction plans in favour of the SPL administrators.

Well done to both the clubs involved in halting this outrageous piece of politics, talk about changing the goalposts (pardon the pun) to suit your cause.

However the outcome of this failure by the SPL clubs to agree to change is that, well, there will be no change!

The SFL clubs have therefore cancelled their Special General meeting for this coming Friday as their vote is no longer needed due to the SPL clubs inability to come together with a package that all clubs agreed on.

If Mr Doncaster & co have any desire to progress Scottish Football, they have to listen to the fans.

In the recently published National Football Survey it was made clear by supporters of the game that a larger 18 team top tier was wanted yet the SPL failed to take this advice on board. At the moment, the SPL clubs play 33 matches before the split. After the split a further five games are played totalling 38 games. The split is a nonsense - it was brought in to create a continued competitive edge to the final few games of the season rather than have meaningless games towards the run in with nothing to play for.

In their new updated version, they wanted to split all the leagues apart at some point, take the bottom 6 or 8 from the SPL to play against the top 6 or 8 in Division 1 and play for the right to play in the SPL and so on. The split always has been a ridiculous version of league football and made us the laughing stock of European football. For the side in 7th spot to finish the season with more points in 6th spot is laughable and the split should be scrapped with immediate effect. The only reason it came into play in the first case was for the top clubs in the split to have the right to play the Old Firm Clubs once more than everyone else and the revenue that would generate should a home fixture be handed them.

There is now no reason why a top 18 or 20 cannot be implemented without a split 3/4s of the way through. We have enough side that can compete amongst each other at the top end of football. We have the stadia in place at most clubs across the country and with no disrespect to anyone, apart from Celtic at the moment, we have no other clubs that we could call superior to the rest, they really all could compete together and create a great competition.

Currently there are 12 sides competing in the SPL, add in Partick, Morton, Falkirk, Hamilton, Dunfermline, Livingston, Raith and Airdrie from Division 1 and you have 20 SPL ready clubs.

Let's not kid around that we need our clubs to have huge stadiums, even Celtic doesn't fill their ground on match day and the likes of Inverness & St Johnstone have been struggling with attendances in the 2k+ region so adding these other clubs would only enhance the league and give an additional like for like group of clubs that already exist in the top tier.

We have seen how Rangers playing in the lower leagues has positively affected takings on days they play away from home, the same would happen when these newly added clubs would enter the upper tier. More fans would come along to see Celtic, Aberdeen, Hearts & Hibs visit therefore generating an addition and constant income stream. How can that be wrong?

As for the remaining sides, again there is no reason why they couldn't all play in one division. They would all compete together and rivalries would be renewed all over the country on a more regular basis therefore generating more revenue. The prize for promotion? Entry into the top tier. Everyone's a winner!

With a top tier of 18 or 20 and a second tier of 22 or even 24, teams would be playing plenty of matches throughout the season, just like the leagues in England, therefore generating more income from gate receipts, match day merchandise, etc. Two leagues worked in the old days and clubs across the country managed just fine. In fact they were better off in terms of money and fans flocked to the grounds to watch their clubs.

It's time to look at the big picture and as this new system failed before it got of the ground, why not give this one a chance!

Marc Roseblade is a Contributor for Examiner.com, Football Speak, Global Football Today, 90 Soccer, Yardbarker, OurGameMagazine and various online & published sports outlets across the globe. All quotes are obtained first-hand unless otherwise stated. You can follow Marc on Twitter @myscottishfitba

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