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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 April, 2003, 17:10 GMT 18:10 UK
SPL considers expansion
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The Scottish Premier League could be expanded to 14 teams under proposals currently being discussed, according to reports.

A working party involving members from the SPL clubs has put forward the idea in an attempt to solve a number of the issues causing discontent.

But one of those issues - the perceived public relations disaster that will occur if Falkirk are denied promotion to the SPL - may not be addressed.

The report in the Sunday Times suggests the new structure would most likely be introduced for the beginning of season 2004-5, rather than next season.

That means Falkirk will still be deprived of promotion if the SPL clubs vote against them at an upcoming meeting.

The proposal would certainly appease those clubs involved in the battle at the bottom of the table, as relegation would be waived to allow for the league's expansion.

According to the report, the league split would be maintained as would the current 38-game season, which clubs are unwilling to sacrifice in order not to lose out on gate money, particularly from visits by the Old Firm.

The split would take place after each team had played each other twice - after 26 games - before the seven teams in each half of the table played each other again home and away.

The proposals are at an early stage and Rangers secretary and working party member Campbell Ogilvie told the Sunday Times that next season's SPL would be a 12-team competition.

"It would have to go before the full SPL board before any decision could be taken, and any increase in the numbers of teams would have to involve full discussions with the Scottish Football League," he added.

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