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Page last updated at 16:47 GMT, Friday, 18 February 2011

Scottish regional league idea fails to win support

By Jim Spence

Scottish Football League

Proposals to regionalise the lower divisions in the Scottish Football League are dead.

The Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football Association presented their vision to the 30 SFL clubs at Hampden on Thursday.

But one leading Third Division club spokesman told BBC Scotland: "Clubs want to play in a Scottish league, not a regional set up.

"The proposal has gone. It is dead in the water."

The SPL's 12 clubs reached a broad agreement in February to move towards a new 10-club top-tier and a second tier of 12 encompassing the SFL's current Division One sides.

After formulating its proposals, the SPL promised to consult the SFA and SFL.

I'm not sure there is any appetite for the pyramid system from the clubs outside the SFL

Third Division source

And regionalisation of the leagues below was a feature of the recent SFA-commissioned report into the professional game by former First Minister Henry McLeish.

However, at this week's meeting, there appears to have been no demand among clubs in Divisions One, Two and Three to change the current national league set-up at that level.

There are also doubts over the introduction of a pyramid system, which was also aired in the McLeish report.

That would allow clubs from the Juniors, the Highland League and the East of Scotland League entry to the SFL via regionalised leagues.

One spokesman for a Third Division club said: "There is nothing imminent.

"I'm not sure there is any appetite for the pyramid system from the clubs outside the SFL.

"We are in a consultation period just now with the SPL about their views for the game and we will canvas opinion to see whether there is interest in a pyramid system.

"But I'm not sure there is any real interest."

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see also
SPL clubs agree on top-10 format
17 Jan 11 |  Scottish Premier
McLeish review backs two-tier SPL
16 Dec 10 |  Scotland

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