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Last Updated: Tuesday, 30 May 2006, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
Clubs aim to shake up Scots game
Jim Ballantyne, Dave MacKinnon and Ronnie MacDonald
Division One representatives launch Time For Change
First Division clubs have released a blueprint for radical change that would open up the Scottish Football League to junior and other non-league sides.

But they want to prevent clubs with stadiums with less than 3,000 seats from gaining promotion to Division One.

They propose a play-off system to provide a potential extra promotion place into the Scottish Premier League.

And they want a round-robin involving the bottom club in Division Three and two clubs applying for membership.

Some Division One clubs had threatened a breakaway league.

But they united behind a blueprint launched on Tuesday at Hampden Park by Airdrie United chairman Jim Ballantyne, Hamilton Academical chair Ronnie MacDonald and Dundee chief executive Dave MacKinnon.

"We have unanimously agreed on the developments we would welcome to secure the ongoing stability and viability of professional football in Scotland," said a statement.

"While we accept that not all or any of the proposals may find support, we seek dialogue with the Scottish Football Association, the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish Executive and our own organisation, which we hope wil lead to an improvement in the national game."

Scottish Premier League

  • Second bottom in 12-team league (bottom club relegated automatically) enters play-off system with second, third and fourth in Division One

  • Present requirements for 6,000-seat stadia and undersoil heating to remain

    Division One

  • Contain 10 clubs, eventually increasing to 12 if the SPL is reduced to 10 should Uefa demand a maximum of 36 fixtures in all Europe's top leagues

  • Present play-off system retained for relegation to Division Two

  • Promoted clubs would require a 3,000-seat capacity and a high quality of floodlighting and changing facilities (ground-sharing permitted pending improvements)

    Division Two

    10 clubs as present, with promotion and relegation as present

    Division Three

  • 10 clubs with promotion arrangements as present

    Bottom club to play a round-robin against two clubs wishing to apply for membership.

    "Once the principle of entry to the fourth tier was established, both third and fourth tiers to be regionalised," said the statement.

    "The case for less travelling, more local derbies and increased interest is overwhelming.

    "The above model establishes a pyramid system allowing progressive clubs to enter and progress through their efforts."

    The blueprint also suggests opening up the Scottish Cup to more clubs - members of the Scottish Junior Football Association are presently not involved.

    It also suggests ambitious ways of allowing football clubs to make a more significant impact in their local communities.

  • A project executive set up to represent all Scotland's senior clubs to lobby for more money from the Scottish Executive.

  • Aim to raise 10m to turn all Second and Third Division pitches into synthetic surfaces.

  • Turn four existing stadiums into regional centres with roofs over the pitch at a cost of 20m.

  • SEE ALSO
    Scottish league ready for change
    29 May 06 |  Scottish League
    Donald breakaway fears are eased
    26 May 06 |  Scottish League
    First Div clubs unite for change
    23 May 06 |  Scottish League


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