THE debate and discussion over league reconstruction is as old and wearisome as the one about the Old Firm to England or the merits of the Premiership split. In some instances the three can be conflated to make even more shades of grey in a conversation about the future of Scottish football that is never black and white.

Talk over the structure of the game from top to bottom has gathered pace in recent days after the prospect of a Conference League - comprising of B Teams and clubs from the Highland and Lowland Leagues - was made public. Unsurprisingly, it split opinion up and down the divisions and proved to be quite the point of dispute.

It was followed by comments from Craig Levein regarding the expanding gap between the Glasgow giants and the rest of the Premiership. The answer to that particular problem for the former Scotland manager was to send Rangers and Celtic packing down to England, and ask them to give £50million each to those they leave behind every season.

It is not Michael Beale's job to find solutions to the ills of the game. His task, of course, is to simply and solely find a way to take Rangers back to the top of it and the latest small step on that particular journey will be taken at Fir Park on Saturday.

The Englishman does have more than a vested interest in the fortunes of Scottish football but his concerns relate to how the Premiership standings are decided and how the levels below the top flight prepare players for the challenges of turning out for club and for country.

"What’s Craig planning on doing with us?," Beale said when asked about Levein's comments after he stated he would 'absolutely drive the Old Firm down there myself' and predicted the game here would grow and thrive without the big two. "Everyone has an opinion on the Lowland League or an opinion on whether Celtic and Rangers should be in the league or out of the league.

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"I have a personal opinion on the split. Unless everyone plays everyone else the same amount of times it’s not a fair league.

"Why not just add two more teams and then we can have a six split and an eight split? Everybody is going to have an opinion on it.

"I didn’t see Craig’s comments, but he has been in and around Scottish football a lot longer than me."

The split will arrive sooner rather than later and Rangers have just five more fixtures to play before their schedule for the final weeks of the campaign are determined by the SPFL.

In all likelihood, it will matter little to Beale's side this time around as the games run out and the deficit to Celtic remains despite an unbeaten Premiership run since the 42-year-old's return to Ibrox.

The chances of the Old Firm being asked to head south of the border are miniscule. There could, however, be scope for more clubs to join the division at some stage in the future.

"The more complicated you make the competition, the less credibility it has as well," Beale said. "That’s not me talking down the league.

"I look around different leagues in Europe and the Belgian league seems very complex. Someone needs to sit you down and explain how that works. You can be sixth in the league and finish top.

"In our league we have a split and you should be playing all five teams at home. But obviously it has to be three and two.

"And if you were to drop a position to miss out on Europe or get relegated and you haven’t played the exact same fixtures as the team that comes off best. That doesn’t seem right.

"That’s just my personal opinion, but I’m just a manager in the league. I don’t want to be the person that decides all that. I just want to look after Rangers."

That statement was followed by a 'but' as Beale continued. He raised the issue of the 11-1 voting structure when matters such as artificial surfaces and league reconstruction are on the table and spoke of a 'a really big window of opportunity' that was missed in Scottish football.

Calls for an expanded Premiership come around every so often and there would be merit in reducing the number of fixtures against the same opposition to keep the league fresh. On the other side of the coin, it is all about the pounds and pence as clubs crunch the numbers and look after their bottom lines.

Beale added: "Would two teams make much difference? Does everyone want to play Rangers and Celtic more or less? I don’t know.

"Would it make it a tighter league if you only had to play us twice and not four times each? All those things are for people further up the rung. I’m just in my first year as a manager and I just want to deal with Rangers.

"What I would say is that, if people like Craig – who has been the national team coach, a player and manager in this league for many years – feels something can’t we get more people like Craig in a room and give us a plan moving forward?"

The item that is top of the agenda right now is the Conference League and the blueprint for the future of the game as Rangers and Celtic seek to find a solution to a long-standing problem. As always, there will be no quick fix.

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Beale remains sceptical about the merits of the Rangers B Team competing in the Lowland League. It has provided players with a structured programme and the demands of playing against more senior players and for three points each week but the jump from there to the Ibrox first team is sizeable and unsustainable.

The current format hasn't allowed Beale to use fixtures to aid the recoveries of the likes of Ridvan Yilmaz, John Souttar or Ianis Hagi and he believes a more established B Team model - like those in place on the continent - would be more conducive to the continued development of the rising stars of Scottish football.

"It is a mixed bag, it is not ideal both ways," Beale said. "Certainly before the old Reserve league that these boys were playing in wasn’t fit for purpose in my opinion. We have to find a way that we think helps our young players develop.

"You would say to me that Rangers could send players out on loan to different teams in the league but it is whether those teams play in the style and if it develops players to play for Rangers.

"There is an argument for and an argument against. I think we need to look at some of the countries that are doing that and ask the question why? There are enough countries doing it and it being successful, whether that is Germany, Portugal, Holland, Italy now with Juventus."