the tanner ba'

Game, Set, Match to Roy McGregor


You may recall that three weeks ago Ross County F.C. chairman Roy McGregor (above) and St. Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour were the only two Scottish Premier League chairman to oppose the SPL’s asinine 12-12-18 proposal for the reconstruction of Scottish football and all that went with it.  Both chairman based their opposition on their own personal beliefs, but just as importantly, on the feedback they received after consulting their fan bases.  In case you don’t recall the SPL’s proposal, it was this:

  • 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
  • The redistribution of payments to clubs coming from sponsorship agreements (mainly the broadcast media)
  • 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

The main sticking points for both clubs and the chairmen was the third point and the difficulties that went along with hit:  How does a club sell season tickets for matches after the split when the quality of the opponent is not known, why should clubs in the middle 8 “promotion/relegation” group be stripped of the points they had earned before the split, etc.?  Both chairman were also troubled by the 11-1 voting rule which was essentially set up to allow the then Old Firm to block any move they didn’t like (though in this case it backfired and allowed County and St. Mirren to block a move they didn’t like!).  Both chairman were also in favor of a larger top tier and modification of the current playoff system.

Both chairman also said that they couldn’t understand why the three parts of the plan that seemed the most important- the introduction of a true pyramid system, the redistribution of revenues, and the creation of a single body to replace the SPL and SFL could not go ahead without the other changes.  There was a lot of sputtering on this topic from the other 10 chairman, but their basic answer was, “Because we said so.”  Well, that wasn’t good enough for McGregor and Gilmour so they blocked the whole proposal and we had to listen to a week of the ten other Chicken Little’s berating these two men (much as they had bullied and badgered them in the week leading up to the vote) and crying about how the game was doomed in Scotland.  Fast forward to this morning…

The SPL clubs have agreed (thought the “formal” vote will not come until their next meeting in two weeks and will also require the approval of 23 of the 30 SFL clubs) on the following changes to be implemented beginning with the 2013-2014 Scottish Premier League season:

  • A 12-10-10-10 league structure
  • A more even distribution to the First Division
  • A true pyramid structure from top to bottom in Scottish football (including increased SPL and SPL/SFL playoffs)
  • A single body to govern the current SPL/SFL.

Not only is that exactly what supporters expressed as their preference when meeting with Roy McGregor (save a larger top tier), it is essentially what McGregor and Gilmour were fighting for at the meeting three weeks ago- let’s scrap the 12-18-18 and all of the nonsense that goes with it and adopt the rest.  I would have preferred a 14-14-14 set up, but at this point that’s nothing more than nit-picking.  Certain disaster has been avoided and there just might be a little light becoming visible at the end of Scottish football’s tunnel.

It’s funny that there hasn’t been a peep out of Aberdeen chairman and Doom Monger in Chief Stewart Milne today…


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This entry was posted on May 7, 2013 by in Aberdeen F.C., Ross County F.C., St. Mirren F.C. and tagged , .
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