SPL clubs back reconstruction plans

Scottish Premier League chief executive Neil Doncaster has revealed all 12 clubs have unanimously agreed in principle to a "24-18" team model following further talks on league reconstruction at Hampden.

Last month, the SPL agreed to seek the expansion of their membership, with plans that would see two leagues of 12 split into three divisions of eight after 22 games. It is believed Monday's summit resulted in further agreement on issues such as financial distribution and voting structures.

Doncaster now hopes to meet with the Scottish Football League and the Scottish Football Association on Thursday to discuss the plans further.

Speaking after the meeting, he said: "I'm delighted to say that we have unanimous agreement in principle from the 12 SPL member clubs to the 24-18 team model. We are looking forward to sitting down with the Scottish Football League and the Scottish FA to talk about the details.

"What we aim to have is a consensus model that cares for all of Scottish football and that's got to be the objective going forward."

Doncaster, who saw his plans for a 10-12 two-tier SPL fail to get off the ground last year, hopes progress can finally be made. He said: "Unanimity amongst the SPL clubs has sometimes been difficult to achieve when we've been talking about structure.

"We're in a position where we do have that unanimous in-principle agreement from all 12 SPL clubs about their preferred way forward. There was no formal vote but every club gave an indication informally as to where they were."

Doncaster gave a strong hint that top-flight clubs were willing to share some more wealth with the lower leagues but was reluctant to discuss whether they would want any new format to fall under the umbrella of the SPL.

"We understand that there needs to be a lot of redistribution from the biggest clubs and that's something which the clubs, in principle, bought into," he said.

"It's too early to talk about what the branding might be. We need to sit down with the other clubs and the SFA and agree the best way forward for everyone."

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