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Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 12:36 GMT
SPL ends internal strife
Hearts chairman Chris Robinson and Dunfermline's John Yorkston arrive at Hampden
The end of a long and winding road
A damaging nine-month split between the Old Firm and the other 10 Scottish Premier League clubs has been resolved.

The 12 clubs came to "an agreement in principal" after a Wednesday morning meeting at Hampden Park.

SPL chairman Lex Gold described it as "a great day for Scottish football".

The 10 non-Old Firm clubs will now move to withdraw their resignations from Scotland's top league.

This is an excellent outcome

SPL chairman Lex Gold
Those had been tendered in May after Celtic and Rangers blocked proposals for the league's own pay-per-view television channel.

Gold said: "I am delighted that broad agreement in principle has been achieved on all of the proposals I put forward with the SPL executive to resolve the differences between the 12 clubs.

"We will now accelerate the legal work to put the agreement formally in place.

"When that is achieved, and agreed, the 10 clubs, who notified us of their intention to leave the SPL at the end of next season, have confirmed that they will withdraw their letters of resignation.

"This is an excellent outcome. It clears the way for us to concentrate harder on enhancing the quality of the top-level game in Scotland."

The 10 non-Old Firm clubs had demanded a change in the voting procedure, requiring an 11-1 majority, which had effectively given the Glasgow giants a veto over attempts to change SPL rules.

Celtic and Rangers have agreed to an 8-4 majority on most issues and 10-2 to change the number of clubs in the league, although 11-1 will remain for major issues like the division of television money.

It appears that the Old Firm have already made concessions that allow a reduction in their share of revenues from television coverage.

The biggest stumbling had appeared to be over new media rights.

We can sign in a few weeks' time

Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston
But Dunfermline Athletic chairman John Yorkston told BBC Radio Scotland: "It was more to do with clarity of what people were wanting.

"For example, Celtic had been wanting to broadcast from opposing grounds on the internet.

"But, once it was clear that they wanted commentary as opposed to pictures, a lot of us were happier with that.

"I think we have made a lot of progress. I think the lawyers now have the job of putting our ideas into words and we can sign in a few weeks' time."

The way to compromise had been paved on Tuesday at Tannadice, where the 10 non-Old Firm clubs had resolved their own differences.

Speculation had suggested that three clubs - Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian - were continuing to pursue a hard line against the Old Firm.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston
"I think we have made a lot of progress"
SPL chairman Lex Gold
"We are back on track"
See also:

13 Feb 03 | Scot Prem
11 Jan 03 | Scot Prem
23 Dec 02 | Scot Prem
27 Nov 02 | Scot Prem
20 Nov 02 | Scotland
15 Nov 02 | Scot Prem
08 Apr 02 | Scot Prem
Links to more Scot Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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