SPL clubs reveal new 2013-14 league reconstruction plans

Proposals for a single governing body, fairer financial distribution, top-flight play-offs and a pyramid system are made ahead of a formal vote to come later in May
The Scottish Premier League has revealed new league reconstruction plans for the 2013-14 season.

The proposals would see the current '12-10-10-10' league structure maintained but with the addition of top-flight play-offs, a single merged league body encompassing all 42 senior clubs above a lower-league pyramid and the implementation of an "all-through distribution model".

There are also provisions for a pyramid structure for "the entire game" in Scotland, potentially including non-league and junior league sides in regionalised divisions.

The details emerged following a Tuesday meeting of all 12 top-flight clubs at Hampden Park designed to come up with a solution to the game's ills following the failure of the vote on the much-maligned '12-12-18' structure in April.

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Play-offs would be introduced between the team finishing 11th in the top flight and the teams finishing second, third and fourth in the First Division for a spot at the top table – the same model currently in place between the three tiers of the Scottish Football League.

The governing bodies of the SPL and the SFL would be merged into a single body, likely under the banner of the Scottish Professional Football League, while the financial distribution model proposed would see teams in the second tier receive a larger share of wealth than at present.

Current First Division clubs had recently expressed a desire to leave the SFL to join a likely SPL2 league after the failure of the '12-12-18' model but the SPL clubs have instead offered an alternative, with a formal vote on the plans to be held by the SPL members later in May.

The SFL and member clubs have yet to make a statement regarding the proposals but the plans would require the backing of 22 of the 29 SFL clubs eligible to vote.

SPL chairman Ralph Topping told reporters: "I am pleased that SPL clubs have today agreed on a way forward for the game in this country. We have tremendous sympathy with the SFL1 clubs and their plight and with their shared ambition for a 42-club solution.

"Much work needs to be done in a short space of time to achieve our objective of a single merged league this summer but, where there is a will, there is a way. The time for action is now."