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Last Updated: Thursday, 17 August 2006, 11:42 GMT 12:42 UK
SPL to create a second division
The Scottish Premier League has approved the creation of a second division, with invitations going out to 10 Scottish Football League clubs.

SPL chairman Lex Gold described the move as "seismic" and said the restructuring would be good for top-flight football in Scotland.

A meeting of the present 12 SPL clubs also approved the introduction of a cup tournament restricted to member clubs.

It is hoped to have the new arrangement up and running for season 2008-09.

The new "SPL Two" would:

  • Retain the present one-up, one-down system from the SPL to the First Division.

  • Replace the club finishing tenth in the new second division with the top side in the surviving SFL league below.

  • Force the ninth-placed team into a play-off against a side missing out on automatic promotion.

  • Restrict entry to clubs with a 3,000 all-seater stadium and a pitch protection scheme. (Criteria, such as a minimum of 6,000 seats, for entry to the SPL is retained).

  • Require clubs to play in reserve and under-19 league.

  • Require clubs to have an approved youth development programme.

  • Require clubs to have audited accounts to be lodged with the league each year.

  • Require clubs to "demonstrate current best practice in corporate governance".

    Any club wishing to leave the SFL must serve two years notice, unless 20 of the 30 clubs that make up Divisions One, Two and Three support the change.

    But Gold insisted nothing will be confirmed without consultation with other governing bodies.

    Our clubs decided it would be of interest to Scottish football to invite 10 further clubs to join a restructured top flight

    SPL chairman Lex Gold

    "The general motivation for our clubs has been to see if we can strengthen the top structure of the game in Scotland," he said.

    "They decided it would be of interest to Scottish football to invite 10 further clubs to join a restructured top flight.

    "We are going to be discussing that, in the first instance, with our colleagues in the Scottish Football League and with the Scottish Football Association.

    "Our clubs also had a look at the paper produced by nine of the 10 First Division clubs and broadly support the pyramid structure."

    The proposal, championed by Livingston chairman Pearse Flynn but not yet supported by Gretna, suggests that the remaining clubs below the SFL should form regional leagues.

    "Also, in relation to regionalisation, they believe this could serve as a catalyst for further thought to be given to that," said Gold.

    "But they were also clear that is not a matter for our clubs but for the SFL and the SFA.

    "With a change of this nature, you have to be sensitive to it, hence our decision to have discussions with our colleagues at the SFL and the SFA."

    At present, the three Scottish Football Leagues below the SPL are without a sponsor and do not have regular television coverage.

    But one First Division club owner told BBC Sport that a major international gaming company was lined up to sponsor both the current SPL and the new "SPL Two".

    Donald critical of SPL intentions
    17 Aug 06 |  Scottish League
    Clubs aim to shake up Scots game
    30 May 06 |  Scottish League
    Scottish league ready for change
    29 May 06 |  Scottish League


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