The Scottish FA, the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League have, for the past two years, been involved in a series of discussions at Board level with the objective of securing radical and co-ordinated reconstruction of the game in this country.
Today, we are asking clubs to consider a package of reforms which have the potential to rejuvenate Scottish football at senior level and safeguard its future at a time when uncertainty and fear prevail.
The proposals are based on five principles previously outlined by the Scottish FA as key to streamlining Governance, ensuring greater financial distribution and above all, providing better entertainment, enhanced competition and value for money for supporters.
Upon agreement by the respective Boards, the proposals will placed before the SPL and SFL clubs for approval to be activated immediately and phased in over a two-year period.
A working party will be formed, including three representatives from both the SPL and SFL, to devise a new structure for the senior professional game in Scotland. This group will have an independent Chairman appointed by the Scottish FA. They will be tasked with delivering by 30th November, 2012, a recommendation for structural change effective 2013/14. This will incorporate primarily:-
a. The introduction of an enlarged top tier for Scottish Senior Professional Football.
b. A new detailed model for senior professional football in Scotland including number of divisions; number of clubs per division; number of matches per season per division; number of promotion and relegation places per division and the introduction and operation of play-offs.
c. An all-through distribution model providing certainty for all clubs as to the percentage of distributable income which will be received. As a minimum, clubs in the current third and fourth divisions will receive the settlement agreement proportion guaranteed as per the current arrangement. In addition, the value and number of parachute payments to relegated clubs will be considered.
d. The introduction of a pyramid for Scottish football to provide a route for licensed clubs to enter the new structure effective 2014/2015.
In the event that a final decision is not reached by 30th November 2012, the Scottish FA will seek to implement a new structure in time for the 2013/2014 season.
The members of the working party including Chairman will be announced in the near future and will ensure consultation with all stakeholders prior to final recommendations being made.