THE prospect of league reconstruction took a tentative step forward yesterday, at the same time as an authoritative fans' survey restated the overwhelming desire of Scottish football supporters for an enlarged top flight.
Following a special meeting of the Professional Game Board at Hampden Park, facilitated by the Scottish Football Association, it was revealed that the Scottish Football League had made a commitment to vote on the 12-12-18 reconstruction proposals no later than Friday, April 19, with the Scottish Premier League already set to vote on Monday, April 15.
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The SFA will also ask their financial department to provide due diligence on the financial claims made in the plans, which offer a merger between the two leagues, and a more equitable distribution model in addition to two top leagues of 12, which split mid-season into three leagues of eight.
Although the discussions were said to be positive, the proposal still has its work cut out if it is to succeed in time for next season.
A show of hands at an SFL meeting last month was split 14-14 on the proposals and effectively concluded that proceeding for 2014-15 was a more viable option.
Ross County and St Mirren are two top-flight clubs with serious reservations and whose opposition could see the plan fail to meet the SPL's 11-1 tariff.
The positive developments were also undercut somewhat by the findings of the maiden Scottish National Football Survey, which found 87% of Scottish fans restating their commitment to an enlarged top tier.
Rangers chief executive Charles Green, spotted in the directors' box at St Mirren this week, said the survey endorsed his idea for a 14-14-14 structure.
"Today the SFA released results of a major survey which made it clear fans want to see an expanded top division and no more than three tiers," said Green, whose club Rangers are denied a vote as they are only associate members of the SFL.
"That is entirely consistent with my earlier proposal for a 14-14-14 set-up which is no more complicated than what is being currently proposed by the SPL.
"If they vote this in, they'll be doing it out of fear of being left with the status quo because they have been told constantly no other option can work," Green added.
"That's simply not true and it is comforting to know the fans can see that. That's why the findings of this first ever Scottish National Football Survey shouldn't be dismissed with mere platitudes.
"If the clubs are really listening to their fans they will act accordingly and do what is right. No matter what anyone says the current proposals will not give the fans what they are demanding."