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The death of lower league Scottish football



Taken from BBC.co.uk:
The Scottish Premier League has approved the creation of a second division, with invitations going out to 10 Scottish Football League clubs.

SPL chairman Lex Gold described the move as "seismic" and said the restructuring would be good for top-flight football in Scotland.

A meeting of the present 12 SPL clubs also approved the introduction of a cup tournament restricted to member clubs.

It is hoped to have the new arrangement up and running for season 2008-09.

The new "SPL Two" would:

# Retain the present one-up, one-down system from the SPL to the First Division.

# Replace the club finishing tenth in the new second division with the top side in the surviving SFL league below.

# Force the ninth-placed team into a play-off against a side missing out on automatic promotion.

# Restrict entry to clubs with a 3,000 all-seater stadium and a pitch protection scheme. (Criteria, such as a minimum of 6,000 seats, for entry to the SPL is retained).

# Require clubs to play in reserve and under-19 league.

# Require clubs to have an approved youth development programme.

# Require clubs to have audited accounts to be lodged with the league each year.

# Require clubs to "demonstrate current best practice in corporate governance".

Any club wishing to leave the SFL must serve two years notice, unless 20 of the 30 clubs that make up Divisions One, Two and Three support the change.

But Gold insisted nothing will be confirmed without consultation with other governing bodies.

"The general motivation for our clubs has been to see if we can strengthen the top structure of the game in Scotland," he said.

"They decided it would be of interest to Scottish football to invite 10 further clubs to join a restructured top flight.

"We are going to be discussing that, in the first instance, with our colleagues in the Scottish Football League and with the Scottish Football Association.

"Our clubs also had a look at the paper produced by nine of the 10 First Division clubs and broadly support the pyramid structure."

The proposal, championed by Livingston chairman Pearse Flynn but not yet supported by Gretna, suggests that the remaining clubs below the SFL should form regional leagues.

"Also, in relation to regionalisation, they believe this could serve as a catalyst for further thought to be given to that," said Gold.

"But they were also clear that is not a matter for our clubs but for the SFL and the SFA.

"With a change of this nature, you have to be sensitive to it, hence our decision to have discussions with our colleagues at the SFL and the SFA."

At present, the three Scottish Football Leagues below the SPL are without a sponsor and do not have regular television coverage.

But one First Division club owner told BBC Sport that a major international gaming company was lined up to sponsor both the current SPL and the new "SPL Two". [/b]

Well, lower league football dies today. That twat of a livingston owner Pearse Flynn has shafted lower league teams outwith the 1st division. I hate that shithole of a dump livingston enough as it is, but words cannot describe my contempt for it now. Flynn is only doing this cause Livingston are so crap that they got relegated from the original Self Preservation League.

This puts my team, Ayr, in exactly the same position as it was a few years ago. When we were in the 1st div it was ourselves and Livingston going for the ***le. Unfortunatley they were able to clinch the ***le by a few points, but it was probably due to the fact that our players gave up knowing that they would not be promoted. The SPL has this silly rule for ground requirements, we had to have a 10,000 all seater stadium. Our board applied, it was aproved by South Ayrshire council but blocked by the Executive. Somerset Park is 10,000+ already, but is mainly terracing so we couldn't have gone up. Now, having been relegated (party due to the fact we didn't gain promotion, and spent alot of cash on the squad to get us there and became skint, sold our players and became useless) and trying to get promoted this season, we have to put in around 2,000 seats at Somerset. Somerset is a really old ground and I doubt we'd get the planning permission to get it. Ayr aren't the only team stuck though, plenty of the other teams are nackered.

SFL and common sense in Scottish football, RIP.
Blimey, I never knew things were that bad.

Sounds as stupid as when Kiderminster wern't allowed to go up into the football league because their ground wasn't 'up to standsrds'. Ironically, their ground was better then Northamptons, who were reprieved from dropping into the conference in the process.
Well the SPL is run by a bunch of arseholes, it's about time the SFA just said enough is enough, and took charge of all 42 senior clubs in Scotland.

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