Scottish FA to push for league bodies merger

By Jim SpenceBBC Sport
The SFA wants to merge the SPL and SFL

The Scottish FA aims to push through a merger of the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League in time for the start of the new season.

The governing body also wants to introduce a fairer system of income distribution and a pyramid system.

One SFA source told BBC Scotland: "We are at a situation of critical mass.

"Someone has to take a lead and sort out the internal bickering and point scoring and also to ensure that the Rangers situation never happens again."

With Rangers destined for liquidation, a new company will submit a bid to join the SPL in time for next season since there are no regulations in place to cover the issue of a 'newco' route.

Once that application is received top flight clubs must wait at least 14 days before voting on the matter.

Should a new Rangers fail to gain the necessary 8-4 vote, they could turn to the SFL and apply to fill any vacancy created by a team being promoted into the SPL to take the place of the old Rangers.

But the SFA has lost patience with the two league bodies and is now set to push through radical change in the way the Scottish game is structured by next season.

"We need to use the mood for change among supporters in the country to tackle the current inertia and do what is right for the game," the source continued.

"Change has to be democratic, but the time for talking has passed. We need action now to save the game."

It is understood that, over the next few weeks, the SFA, which is the body that licenses the clubs to play, will hold meetings with the SPL and the SFL to push through the changes it feels are needed.

The SFA wants to merge the two current league bodies, introduce a new method of wealth distribution and to reinvigorate the Third Division with the introduction of a pyramid system to allow new clubs entry to a national league set-up.

"There is complete anarchy going on," the source continued. "Both sides are agreed on the need for fundamental change, but neither side has been able to build an alliance.

"The fans are demanding fundamental change. The Rangers situation has intensified the need for a resolution and, over the next few weeks, we will meet with the SPL and SFL to find a solution."

Dunfermline, who were relegated from the SPL last season, could be the team to benefit if a new Rangers fails to win a place in the top division.

Pars chairman John Yorkston welcomed the idea of a SFA-driven merger, although he was sceptical about how quickly such a move could be realised.

"Someone needs to take the bull by the horns," he told BBC Scotland.

"There are too many governing bodies and this should have been done long before now.

"But whether or not it could be done before the start of the season I very much doubt."

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