Finally, there is light at the end of the tunnel. It appears as though the end of Scottish football’s reconstruction saga is finally in sight. After months of lost votes, scathing criticism of our game’s governing body and collapsed talks, an agreement will finally be on the table for clubs to vote on.

The 14-10-10-10 proposal to be put forward on Monday by Hearts chair Ann Budge seems to me to be the obvious solution to solving the injustices thrust upon some clubs by the coronavirus pandemic. Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer are all rightly angered by the decision (as it stands) to relegate them, while the likes of Falkirk, Edinburgh City, Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts understandably feel aggrieved at missing out on the chance for promotion from their respective divisions.

Budge’s reshuffle will ensure that no team is left worse off as a result of the Covid-19 crisis, an outcome that even the most entrenched of supporters will surely admit is the best possible solution. Relegating teams who may well have survived does not sit well with many, and this suggestion from Gorgie counteracts that threat. Where clubs have done well they will be rewarded, and no one will be punished.

The phrase ‘sporting integrity’ has been banded about a lot in recent weeks but if we are looking for a truly just outcome from all of this, then the 14-10-10-10 proposition is an obvious remedy.

The decision to curtail the 2019/20 campaign, particularly in the lower leagues, was one that made some sense at the time. Clubs were starved of income and the only way to release funding was to call the season as it was so that prize money could be issued. As Neil Doncaster has explained, this was the only practical means of administering that all-important cash injection.

But the landscape has now changed. Teams are still living hand-to-mouth further down the SPFL pyramid, but the initial crisis has subsided in part. Cash flow remains a pertinent issue but the philanthropic donation from James Anderson, believed to be over £3 million, will go a little way to assuaging these concerns.

Now that clubs are on a slightly more solid financial footing, the time has arrived to properly debate the merits of league reconstruction. Previous talks fell apart with those in opposition arguing that now wasn’t the time to discuss a shake-up, but that excuse will not fly anymore. Premiership sides will soon be returning to training and a start date for next season has been tentatively pencilled in. Scottish football’s wheels are in motion, and now is the time for the proposal to be taken seriously.

However, the relative financial paucity of the SPFL could prove to be the death knell in the talks’ coffin. Clubs, understandably, will vote for whatever format best suits their own financial interests: something that makes reconstruction all the more elusive.

Only two dissenting voices from the Premiership will be enough for the proposal to fail, and there will be some clubs who will feel obligated to do so. Under the proposed format, the Premiership would likely split after two rounds of fixtures into a top six and bottom eight, leaving clubs in the lower section with only two money-spinning games against the Old Firm each season.

Playing additional fixtures against other bottom-half sides will go some way to alleviating the reduction of income from fewer fixtures against Rangers and Celtic, but it is hard to envisage the shortfall being made up in its entirety. For top-flight teams that reckon they will be there or thereabouts in future campaigns, this then represents an unnecessary fiscal risk. If they stand to lose money from such a proposal – and heaven knows there’s already a scarcity of cash in our game – then it is unthinkable that teams will cast their ballots in support.

I would like to see reconstruction pushed through and believe it is the fairest outcome to those clubs who have been left behind. Fans have been crying out for a shake-up of the current format for years, with an overwhelming majority backing some form of reconstruction. But so long as the SPFL is run as a democratic body that is ruled by self-interest, it is hard to see it ever happening.

If the last few months have taught us anything about Scottish football, it is that the governance structure is in dire need of reform. Here we have a solution that is both popular with supporters and goes some way to avoiding punishing teams for the coronavirus outbreak, yet still feels destined to fail. There is no clearer evidence of why reform is crucial.

The SPFL is too democratic and so long as the apparatus remains as it is, meaningful change seems impossible. An urgent rethink of how our game operates is required to keep supporters happy and included. It may well be that Monday’s proposal is passed and that change is implemented (in which case I’d be delighted to admit I got it wrong) but we have been here before and previous botched attempts at reaching consensus paint a foreboding picture.

It sounds obvious but until everything changes, nothing will.