Tuesday, April 26, 2011

SPL: Twelve Probably Won't Become Ten

The SPL's dream of a ten team top league seems ever further away after Dundee United's board confirmed their decision to vote against the proposal.

United chairman Stephen Thompson said:

"We had a board meeting today and as far as we're concerned we're unconvinced that this is the way forward for Scottish football.

"There are a lot of good things in the proposals but we don't believe that a top league of 10 is the way forward." (Courier)

No tears shed on this blog of course.

I've been consistently, repetitively and boringly anti the ten team proposal.

Not because I'm an enemy of change. But because it is clear that the fans don't want a top flight of ten and that the SPL were unwilling or unable to offer proof that extra TV money would be forthcoming.

Faced with the need for change the clubs seemed happy to sleepwalk into a solution that further alienated supporters and offered no real guarantees of revenue increases.

That always seemed daft.

I suspect United won't be alone, making the 11-1 vote in favour of change impossible.

At a supporter's forum last week I heard both Davie Provan and Craig Patterson arguing that a move to ten teams was the best solution for the Scottish game.

I disagree with them. But at least they were trying to make an articulate argument for the change and offering proper footballing reasons - if not hugely convincing ones - to make their point.

That's something the SPL have failed to do. Most noticeably it is something the SPL's chief executive, the underwhelming Neil Doncaster, has failed to do.

Doncaster has been the most visible and most vocal advocate of the ten team league. He's certainly not about to embark on a career as TV evangelist any time soon.

If he fails to deliver that, fails to deliver backing within his own organisation, then his usefulness has surely been spent.

We all want change. But we want positive, inclusive, thoughtful change.

Many of us hope that George Peat's exit from the SFA this summer will help that body address some of Scottish football's problems.

Maybe the SPL should also be considering Doncaster's position.

They've spent too much of this past year locked in what appears now to be have a futile debate.

It might now be time to prove that they're slightly more than an army of sheep led by a donkey.

> I missed this earlier but the BBC are reporting that Inverness will also vote against the ten team proposal as it currently stands.

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