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Page last updated at 15:45 GMT, Friday, 24 December 2010

Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson hails SPL talks

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Plans to reconstruct the Scottish Premier League are still on track

By Jim Spence and Chris McLaughlin

Reconstruction of Scottish football remains on track after a Christmas Eve meeting at Hampden, according to Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson.

The six top flight clubs that have not been involved in discussions met to discuss recently-mooted proposals.

Representatives from Hearts, Kilmarnock, Dundee Utd, Inverness, St Johnstone and Hamilton all aired their views at a "worthwhile session".

"It was a very good meeting and very constructive," said Thompson.

The full Scottish Premier League board will now meet on 4 January where a vote could take place on a proposal to form two top leagues of 10 clubs.

The meeting was not about negotiations, it was about making a point - which was to talk about the paper issued on change and express our opinions

Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson

"It was certainly worthwhile and everyone had plenty of time to make their points known," Thompson told BBC Scotland.

"The clubs who were there were not represented on the steering group last week so today we got the chance to air our views.

"The meeting was very well chaired and very open and constructive.

"I think everyone feels a bit better that we have had some input and that it has been heard."

Several clubs outside of the Old Firm pair of Rangers and Celtic have also supported the idea of introducing a play-off system at the top of the table to determine a league winner at the end of the season.

However, Thompson insisted the meeting was not organised to make decisions on any of the proposals, but to give clubs outside of the SPL's steering group an opportunity to be involved in the early debate.

"There were no decisions taken and all the SPL clubs will meet on 4 January to decide what happens next," said the United chairman. "There is a lot still to happen on this one.

"The meeting was not about negotiations, it was about making a point.

"The main point of the meeting was to talk about the paper issued on change and express our opinions."

Thompson reiterated his views that radical changes had to be looked at for the game in Scotland, including plans to combat unexpected changes in the Scottish weather and altering the scheduling of matches during the season.

Thompson added: "I'm all for starting the season earlier even than has been suggested.

"Sunday night games are also something we could look at again.

"I wouldn't be against Sunday night matches - we did it before.

"We need to start experimenting.

Thompson added: "The whole point of talking about change was to open the debate for a wider thought process."

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see also
SFA chiefs differ on league size
22 Dec 10 |  Scotland
Accies boss wants expanded league
15 Dec 10 |  Hamilton
SPL plans could face opposition
13 Dec 10 |  Scottish Premier
SPL changes 'will help all clubs'
13 Dec 10 |  Scottish Premier
SPL to consider radical shake-up
12 Dec 10 |  Scottish Premier
McLeish buoyed by review response
17 Aug 10 |  Scottish Premier
Change demanded in Scots football
23 Apr 10 |  Scotland
McLeish has role in changing game
28 Apr 10 |  Scottish Premier

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