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SPL product a 'flawed brand', claims Raith Rovers chairman

Turnbull Hutton, the Raith Rovers chairman believes, the Scottish Premier League may struggle to attract another 12 sides to a revamped top flight, describing the league as a "flawed brand".

Representatives of all SPL clubs agreed on Monday that they would pursue league expansion, which is believed to consist of two top tiers of 12 clubs, which would split into three leagues of eight after 22 matches for an extended play-off system.

However, in order to progress with the strategy they would require 12 Scottish Football League clubs to agree to leave their current governing body and make the step up.

While reluctant to make definitive judgment without seeing details of the SPL's plan, Hutton believes any invitation will be looked upon doubtfully by his fellow clubs. He said: "I have no doubt there will be some clubs who buy into the 'greed is good' mentality. But whether there are enough is another matter. The impressions I've had from meetings with SFL clubs is that they are bit more savvy than that.

"The SPL is a flawed brand. If they had enjoyed 14 years of spectacular success and were now sending the boats back to save the rest of Scottish football then the plan would have some credence. As it stands, nobody likes it, the whole system is in turmoil, and we are supposed to buy into the proposals, still under the umbrella of the SPL. What would happen to those sides who would be cut adrift?"

Aside from his blast at the lack of success of the SPL, Hutton is not sure their proposal is what fans would like to see. He added: "Former SFA chief executive Gordon Smith talked about this structure when he was chief executive and they have just revamped and dusted that down, with Neil Doncaster attempting to sell it. I'm not sure a league in which you need to be a mathematician to figure things out is what the fans want.

"This attitude regarding fans and financial support for smaller clubs coming from the same person who warned us about Armageddon without Rangers is hard to believe. I didn't realise the road to redemption went via Armageddon."

Hutton does not hold out much hope of an agreement between the SPL and SFL clubs in the coming weeks. He added: "Life is too short for this. We, the SFL clubs, spent a day at Hampden and give our unanimous backing to a proposal. The SPL spend a day at Hampden and gave their unanimous backing to a proposal.

"Why can't Neil Doncaster, David Longmuir and Stewart Regan sit down, iron out a proposal that they all agree on, and present that to everyone together, instead of continuing with this sideshow?"

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