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Hearts SPFL reconstructions proposals looking unlikely to be passed

:Headline: Hearts SPFL reconstructions proposals looking unlikely to be passed:
Hearts owner Ann Budge has suggested changing the structure from four to three divisions, each with 14 clubs, for two seasons.

Clubs will discuss Scottish league reconstruction proposals next week but Hearts owner Ann Budge's plans already look doomed to fail.

Budge has suggested changing the structure from four to three divisions, each with 14 clubs, for two seasons.

The plans were discussed at a Scottish Professional Football League meeting on Wednesday but it is the clubs who will determine their fate and there appears little prospect of success.

Budge, who is aiming to save Hearts from relegation, will need the backing of 11 of the 12 Premiership clubs and 75 per cent of the remainder.

Ann Budge faces an uphill struggle (PA)

However, top-flight clubs ended earlier discussions on the same topic and the new proposals have received an underwhelming response.

Following an SPFL board meeting, a league spokesman said: "The board has now received Ann Budge's paper to clubs on the topic of league reconstruction.

"As these matters are ultimately decided by clubs via a democratic process, we will now facilitate a series of divisional meetings, starting with the Premiership on Monday, at which all 42 clubs will have the chance to discuss the proposals in detail."

A majority of Premiership clubs wanted a permanent solution when the issue was discussed earlier this month and the plans leave open the prospect of three top-flight teams being relegated in two years' time, a situation unlikely to find favour with the likes of St Mirren and St Johnstone, who helped scupper the initial idea.

Stranraer's Stair Park ground would be hosting bottom-tier football (PA)

Championship clubs are also reported to have baulked at the plan and there has been little encouragement in the lower leagues.

Although Budge has also stressed she is aiming to save Partick Thistle and Stranraer from an "unjust" relegation, the bottom four clubs in League One would find themselves in the bottom division, which carries with it the threat of dropping out of the league altogether.

Budge has acknowledged the uncertainty over whether clubs in the lower leagues can play at all next season and claimed her plan is flexible, depending on which of them are able to field teams.

But Stenhousemuir chairman Iain McMenemy believes she has misjudged the mood in the lower leagues.

McMenemy told BBC Scotland: "I just think Ann's got her timing all wrong. There are so many uncertainties, so many questions, that to restructure now just adds another set of issues and risks to an absolute plethora of unknowns already there."

He added: "It does seem to be revolving around Premiership clubs. I can't see a lot has changed since we found out they weren't keen on it two weeks ago.

"If you're St Mirren, Hamilton, St Johnstone, Ross County, you're being asked to save Hearts for this season in the Premiership. But you're pretty sure that in a couple of years' time there's going to be at least a double relegation from the Premiership.

"If you're a Championship club, then if that league has to go from a 14 back to a 10... and you'd have 16 teams when the two come out of the Premiership. So you potentially have six clubs dropping out of the second tier. Why would the Championship clubs support that?"

Elgin are unimpressed (PA)

Clubs are grappling with the financial impact of playing behind closed doors and likely carrying out a series of Covid-19 tests if they were to re-sign players.

Elgin chairman Graham Tatters also has little time to consider Budge's plans.

"We would want to stick with the status quo," he said. "Some of us are hanging on threads at the moment, so it is hard enough without worrying about reconstruction."

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last updated article - 2020-05-27 18:19:30:
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Scottish Premiership Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CCeltic30262289197080
2RangersRangers29214464194567
3Motherwell30144124138346
4Aberdeen3012994036445
5Livingston30109114139239
6Hibernian30910114249-737
7St Johnstone2981292846-1836
8Kilmarnock3096153141-1033
9St Mirren3078152441-1729
10Ross County3078152960-3129
11Hamilton AcademicalHamilton3069153050-2027
RHearts30411153152-2123
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CLiverpool33292272254789
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3Leicester CityLeicester33177963313258
4Chelsea331761060441657
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd331510856332355
6Wolverhampton WanderersWolves33131374536952
7Arsenal33121384941849
8Tottenham HotspurSpurs33139115244848
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10Burnley33137133746-946
11Everton33128134048-844
12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle331110123545-1043
13Southampton33134164255-1343
14Crystal Palace33119132840-1242
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton33812133544-936
16West Ham UnitedWest Ham3387184058-1831
17Watford33610172952-2328
18Aston Villa3376203662-2627
19Bournemouth3376203259-2727
20Norwich CityNorwich3356222561-3621
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