the tanner ba'

12-12-18 is…DEAD.

Ross County Chairman Roy McGregor:  Our Hero

Ross County Chairman Roy McGregor: Our Hero

Just as a refresher, this is what the Scottish Premier League clubs were voting on this morning:

  • A 12-12-18 league structure.
  • The leagues would be called Premier Division, Championship and National League.
  • Top two leagues (24 clubs) would split into three leagues of 8 after 22 matches, then play 7 home and 7 away matches.
  • Top 8 teams would play for the title & European places; middle 8 for promotion to/relegation from the Premier Division; bottom 8 to decide who drops into National League
  • 11 out of 12 SPL clubs needed to vote in favor of the plan, while the proposal required approval of 23 out of 30 SFL clubs
  • One league body to replace SPL and SFL

Those in favor of this plan have portrayed it as an “all or nothing” vote, i.e., vote in favor of the plan or a meteor will immediately hit Scotland instantly destroying anything and everything involved with football.  I’m pretty sure that would even include small children wearing replica kits and kittens named “Striker.” In other words, they have claimed- quite hysterically, mind you- that, “THERE IS NO PLAN B!!”  That, of course, just isn’t true.  A “no” vote retains the status quo, which might not be a great thing, but it’s not as bad as this plan being voted through.  That’s one “Plan B.”  There’s also the possibility of coming up with an alternative plan (one that combines the league bodies, redistributes revenue, and creates a larger top division- all things Ross County would be in favor of) and voting on that.  That’s a second “Plan B.”

Those against this plan, St. Mirren and Ross County, are against the three-part split (and that it calls for club in the “middle 8” to lose the points they earned during the first 22 matches), don’t understand why revenues can’t be redistributed under the current set-up, are troubled by the fact that their is no evidence/explanation of the sources of “new revenues” claimed by those in favor of the plan, are troubled that this system has already failed elsewhere, and that it completely ignores the wishes of football supporters in Scotland.  To that last point, a recent survey conducted by no less than the Scottish Football Association found that 87% of Scottish fans want a bigger top league, with 16 being the most popular size.

From my perspective, this plan also fails to address the implementation of a true “pyramid” system in Scotland nor does it increase promotion and relegation between the SPL and First Division and between the Third Division and non-league football- two things that would created more meaningful matches at the top and bottom of league football-something that the clubs in favor of 12-12-18 want to see happen.  The clubs in favor of 12-12-18 believe it will also bring increased sponsorship (because of the increased competition), but they have been unable to provide the name of a single sponsor that has agreed to back the league if the proposal goes through.

So, enough of my dithering about.

It’s over.

Ross County F.C. and St. Mirren F.C. voted against the proposal and it failed.

I can’t say that I’m happy- there is still much work to be done to right the ship of Scottish football and it needs to be done sooner than later.

HOWEVER, I am THRILLED that Ross County’s Roy McGregor listened to the wishes of the club’s supporters and voted against this farce.  He spent a week being bullied (there’s really no other word for it) by several other SPL chairman and he held fast.  Aberdeen’s Stewart Milne’s behavior, in particular, has been appalling and Aberdeen supporters should hold him accountable for the things he said this week about both Roy McGregor and St. Mirren’s Stewart Gilmour.  Charges of “bringing the game into disrepute” would be forthcoming if the SPL/SFA had any integrity at all.  But of course, they don’t.

A few final notes:

  • It’s funny that the SPL is now complaining that despite an “overwhelming majority” (10 clubs) voting in favor of the proposal, it has been defeated.  I feel I should point out that the “11-1” requirement was not only voted through by the SPL, but created so that Rangers and Celtic could effectively veto any proposal they didn’t like.  You reap what you so, no?
  • When you make a last minute offer to change the voting structure to “9-3” (because Ross County and St. Mirren opposed the 11-1 model for the reason I just outlined), is that really a “compromise?”  We’ll change something you don’t like in order to get you to vote for all of the other things you don’t like?  Huh?
  • The “we didn’t get what we want so we give up” attitude of the other SPL chairman is exactly what got the SPL- and Scottish football in general- into this horrible state.  If they really want to stick it to the supporters, vote for a bigger top league, redistribution of revenue, and a true pyramid and then scream at the fans when it doesn’t work.  Except that, of course, it will work.

Whatever the fallout from this vote, I could not be more proud of both my club and our chairman.

‘mon the County!!

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3 comments on “12-12-18 is…DEAD.

  1. Martinovich
    April 16, 2013

    Is it true that Gilmour and McGregor told Milne that clubs who are winning trophies and fighting for European spots won’t be dictated to by diddy clubs like his? I read it on Scotsman.com, so it must be true, yes?

  2. Pingback: Game, Set, Match to Roy McGregor | the tanner ba'

  3. Pingback: Did Scottish Football Just Move Forward?! | the tanner ba'

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