With ever increasing media comment by other Clubs and specifically yesterday’s reveal by fellow SPFL2 Clubs that our league had reached a unanimous view on a structure of 14, 14, 14 for next season, the Club Board consider it appropriate to break our silence and publish Stirling Albion’s considerations in enabling this consensus to be reached. It should be noted, that this view had already been shared, in confidence, with the Supporters’ Trust Board.
I would wish to assure supporters that the Board’s position is solely based on the information currently available and if and when a formal proposal is put to all 42 SPFL Clubs, we will engage in full and proper consultation with the Supporter’s Trust Board prior to reaching a decision on how the Club will vote.
Further communications will follow, as and when, there is something tangible to report.
Finally, I would personally like to acknowledge my thanks and appreciation to my fellow SPFL2 Chairmen. Over the period of Lockdown and through the wonders of WhatsApp and Zoom Conferencing, a strengthened mutual respect and alliance has been forged that has allowed us to achieve a remarkable synergy that will serve us well, both now and in the future.
SPFL RECONSTRUCTION – THE VIEW OF THE SAFC CLUB BOARD
This paper is based on our best interpretation of the feedback to date from the SPFL Reconstruction Working Party.
Above all, we recognise that our destiny in respect of getting back to playing football is very much not within our control and it is all but inevitable that considerable financial pain lies ahead that we – and our fellow SPFL Clubs – can only strive to mitigate, not eradicate.
The Working Group is seeking to address: –
- the current and continuing impact on the SPFL of Covid-19
- what is best for the 42 SPFL Clubs
- minimising the financial impact on Clubs
On the basis the assumption above is broadly accurate and given that no one can currently accurately predict when life in general, let alone football, will be able to resume some semblance of normality, we are of the opinion that the focus should be on a short-term “fix” for Season 20/21 necessitated by the unprecedented, devastating and continuing impact of Covid-19.
The time to consider any formal reconstruction is when a high degree of certainty returns to the equation.
In putting forward the following proposal, we have taken account of the following: –
- an acceptance that there is broad agreement to increasing the size of the Premiership to 14 Clubs
- there is an increasing likelihood that season 20/21 will not start on time
- if the delay is considerable, we have to accept that there is a possibility that there may be an enforced curtailment of fixtures for season 20/21
- there is no single outcome that will please every Club
RELEVANT EXTERNAL FACTORS
- The Highland and Lowland Leagues have been concluded for season 19/20
- There is no relegation from the Highland League
- There is relegation from the Lowland League but this has been suspended following the curtailment of season 19/20
- As a consequence, the Lowland League has suspended its full obligations to the pyramid structure
PROPOSAL FOR SEASON 2020/21
- The current 42 Clubs compete in three leagues of 14
- We leave it to the Premiership Clubs to determine how their fixtures are arranged
- For the lower tiers, we propose playing a straight through programme of 39 fixtures (accepting that this will mean an imbalance of home and away fixtures)
- This proposal for the lower tiers allows for the very real potential of a substantial delay to the commencement of Season 20/21, insofar as the programme could be reduced to 26 fixtures
- The SAFC Board wish to acknowledge that the only definitive “loser” from our proposal and our SPFL2 peer group is Cove Rangers FC
- They are undoubtedly worthy champions of SPFL2 for Season 19/20; an honour that will remain in the record books whatever the way forward for next season, and beyond
SAFC CLUB BOARD