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Are Celtic and Rangers at odds over new look SPL

Whilst there seems to be a concensus that something has to be done to secure the future of the SPL and the game in Scotland there was a mixed reaction to this week's news that the SPL, Scottish Football League and the Scottish FA were discussing a varierty of options.

Ideas like a 16 team top division, more relegation and promotion, fewer divisions and so on are all belived to have been looked at but no firm proposals have been put forward.

Some might be surprised that Celtic manager Neil Lennon told BBC radio Five that he is unconvinced by the notion of a 16-team top division in Scotland.

"A 16-team league? I'm not sure it's going to work,"he  told the broadcaster.

The Scottish Premier League, formed in 1998, was expanded from 10 teams to 12 in 2000, with Celtic the reigning champions.

The Scottish Football League is proposing a three-tier system with 10 teams in the middle division. The bottom league could contain 16 or 18 sides, depending on whether second-string teams from Celtic and Rangers were included with existing league clubs.

However, the SPL is also discussing expanding to 16 and is against the idea of being absorbed into the SFL.

Lennon highlighted previous SPL discussions that suggested a top flight of 10 would offer the best financial package for member clubs.

In contrast Lennon's opposite number across the City of Glasgow, Ally McCoist feels change to Scottish football's league reconstruction is necessary

"You're always looking for the variety but, having spoken to the SPL a year ago, these things come up every one or two years; restructuring, promoting the game a bit more and making it better," he said.

"It's a proposal from the SFL, I've not really had a chance to digest it all yet."

"I actually think that looks all right," said McCoist.

"The majority of people realise that something has to be done to help the Scottish game moving forward and I think the SFL proposal is certainly worth looking at.

Rangers chief executive Charles Green who was not at the meetings this week did say thgat if  "Hearts have got into financial difficulty and there were rumours in the papers that there were another couple of SPL clubs in financial difficulty so it is a time for change.

"Whether the SPL could survive if two clubs go out of business would be really questionable.

"We are just focusing on winning the Third Division and getting promotion.

"We are a football club, we just win matches and, if you keep winning games, you will end up at the top.'

Whatever the restructuring it seems hard to see how you can get away from the big two dominating - assuming rangers get back to the SPL in the shortest time span.


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