Restructure SPFL for one season, says former SFA chief Gordon Smith

Former SFA chief executive Gordon Smith has urged the SPFL to consider restructuring the Scottish leagues for one season after the coronavirus pandemic wreaked havoc with the current campaign’s fixtures.

Scotland’s game has been suspended until June 10 at the earliest due to the threat of the disease.

The situation has led to the SPFL tabling a controversial proposal to end the season in all three divisions below the Premiership in order for clubs to gain access to much-needed prize funds in order to survive.

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It would see Championship, League One and League Two final positions based on a combination of when each league was suspended as well as on a points-per-game basis due to any previous postponements following bad weather.

However, the proposal has been a contentious one, with confusion over Dundee’s potentially deciding vote, and Rangers disputing SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan’s insistence that the body could not distribute money to members without final league placings.

Rangers have also called for SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster and legal adviser Rod McKenzie to be suspended over the voting procedures and repeated their call for an independent probe into the issue, while Hearts owner Ann Budge has suggested that the SPFL tried to “unduly influence” the outcome of a vote.

However, Smith not only believes it is too early for any definite decisions to be made but feels making three bigger leagues as opposed to the three leagues of 10 along with the 12-team Premiership may be the fairest way forward.

“I don’t think the season should be concluded yet, we should still wait and see if we have enough time to fit the games in,” Gordon Smith exclusively told Sky Sports News.

“I would divide the leagues up into three divisions of 14 with teams promoted that are currently in a position to be promoted but no team is relegated.

“It would only be for one season and plans could be put in place now for when football gets up and running again – it’s the best way forward and means the distribution of money can happen too.”

‘Proposal would bring flexibility’

With there being no definite date when it could be safe to resume playing, Smith believes the three-division, 14-team leagues could provide some form of flexibility for the following season depending on the length of time available.

“We don’t know when it’s going to restart again so by having this structure for one season will help fulfil the leagues,” Smith added.

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