20 Nov Would you be in favour of a 16-team league?
Falkirk chairman Doug Henderson has called for a 16-team top tier and urged clubs to put their “vested interests aside” for the good of the game.
Henderson was speaking at the club’s AGM and warned that Scottish football will continue to suffer if it doesn’t make changes.
“Our League structure is out of kilter with the economics of football in Scotland and I believe that my counterpart Chairmen recognise what we have currently is outdated,” he said.
“Playing other clubs four times a season is not attractive to most football supporters – as surveys show – and there is a slippage of attendance for many clubs in the Premier League.
“Television dictates our fixtures with high revenue Saturday games often being moved to midweek with little consideration given to fans and their families, or the financial consequences for clubs like Falkirk.
“Our international side does not compete with countries like Ireland, Norway, Iceland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Belgium and others.
“Even with Celtic’s unique financial position, it has in recent times been incapable of competing effectively in Europe. Our other Clubs which qualify for Europe are very frequently knocked out at the early stages of competition.”
League reconstruction is on the agenda again as next summer the three-year lock down after the SPFL merger in 2013 comes to an end and Henderson believes the ideal chance to make radical changes to the game.
“Reflecting economic reality and the need for Premier Division full-time football, I believe that we must put vested interest aside and reform our leagues bringing about a 16 league Premier Division.
“There are suggestions that the League Cup should be restructured. But, I don’t believe that a sectional League Cup would be attractive to supporters – unless the leagues themselves are restructured.
“Next summer Scottish Football concludes its three-year deal linked to the play-offs.
“This is an opportunity for us all who love the sport to make sensible restructuring changes which can help to lay a strong foundation for the future, protecting the maximum number of full-time Clubs and securing a sustainable platform for growth in our national sport.”