QUEEN’S PARK president Gerry Crawley has backed Hearts’ latest league reconstruction proposal insisting that change can only be good for the Scottish game.

Tynecastle chairwoman Ann Budge has suggested changing the current four division structure to three, each with 14 clubs, for two seasons.

The plans were divulged at a Scottish Professional Football League meeting last week but it is the clubs who will determine their fate and there appears little prospect of success for Hearts.

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.

On the proposal, Spiders chief Crawley said: “I’ve been trying to hold fire on giving comments on reconstruction, because I’m not sure if some of the comments are helpful.

“I am supportive of reorganisation in some way for a variety of reasons.

“There’s the fact that clubs play each other so often, I don’t think it is great for the game in Scotland at any level.

“I understand why the top league goes by that format because of the Sky contract with the Old Firm games, I totally understand that.

“I am supportive of a larger number of clubs in each of the leagues and I think with four divisions it is quite difficult to work out what is going on in the other leagues.

“If you drop to three leagues then there is a greater chance of understanding the greater good of the Scottish game.

“At the moment in division two you only really find out what is going on through the press really.

“So yes I am supportive of reorginisation, but clearly events may over take that from happening now.

“We have a situation where the country is trying to emerge from lockdown and there remains some uncertainty about the success of that.

“It remains uncertain who will be in a position to play next year and all that discussion is still ongoing so although I am supportive of reorganization I still wonder is it the appropriate point to do it?

“Even if you say lets put it back to next year I think events might overtake us anyway. The more competitive the game is in Scotland the better it is.

“I understand there are SPFL meetings across the divisions this week, but I don’t know the content of them.

“But hopefully we can get something done sooner rather than later. If there’s no crowds, there’s no hospitality, it is a professional game, we are professional club and we need to pay our players.”

Crawley is also fearful that the country could lose some of their top talents to other leagues across Europe if Scotland sticks with its repetitive football calendar.

He continued: “If you are a player who has grown up in Scotland, then you will continually play against those players for the rest of your life if you stay in Scotland.

“It just comes around again and again, the same players, and I don’t know how good that is for the game.

“My personal view is that it is easier to defend than it is to attack and if you are playing against the same opponent, you get to know the tricks and the way they play. So it becomes easy to stop them.

“Even though I do think each of the leagues brings its own excitement, I think we need to get that balance of keeping the tension around each team but with leagues bigger.

“How do you do that? I’m keen to explore it.

“During my playing career when I moved south due to my day job it was a joy to play against players I had never played against before.”

Unlike other clubs in Scotland, Queen’s Park have defied the financial impact of the coronavirus following their decision to turn fully professional in November.

Scotland’s oldest club opted to end their 152 years of amateur status and landed a lucrative sponsorship deal with wealthy Scottish businessman Lord Willie Haughey.

This agreement along with the sale of Hampden to the SFA looks set to see the Glasgow club on the straight and narrow for the foreseeable future.

Crawley continued: “We’ve turned professional, we’ve gone full-time, Covid-19 got in the way, but we wanted to become more relevant than we have been in the recent past.

“We were continually losing our better younger players and not receiving any compensation.

“This now gives us a pathway for them, this gives us a pathway to continue to develop the players the way we have been.

“For example last season, we had players going to Aberdeen, Hibs, Ross County and St Mirren and it is like why would you want to go? Stay with us and you could feature in our first team.

“None of those players featured at those clubs in the first team, pardon me maybe one of them.

“But as I say it is a pathway and it gives us an opportunity to recruit younger players, develop them and ultimately keep them with us for longer.

“I think in the last Scotland international almost a fifth of the starting eleven had come through the Queens Park youth system so that is something to be proud about and we hope to continue that.

“Not playing at Hampden next season is a big loss and therefore we had to adjust. It would be really difficult to attract players to play games at what is now lesser Hampden on an amateur status, virtually impossible.

“The aim now is to get on the front foot.

“The competition is being upped, the pyramid brings a kind of threat, but that necessarily isn’t a bad thing, it is a good thing because it will promote change.”