SPFL reconstruction: Partick Thistle urge clubs to do 'right thing' and back plan

Partick Thistle were relegated when the Scottish Championship was curtailed
Partick Thistle were relegated when the Scottish Championship was curtailed

Partick Thistle have urged fellow SPFL clubs to do "the right thing" and back league reconstruction.

Scotland's 42 senior sides have until 10:00 BST on Monday to indicate whether they support a change to a permanent 14-10-10-10 format next season.

If passed, it would reverse the relegations suffered by Thistle, Hearts and Stranraer in their respective divisions when last season was ended.

"Our plea is simple: choose to do no harm," chairperson Jacqui Low said.external-link

"Let's be blunt in our plea to fellow clubs so that there's no misunderstanding. Use this opportunity to do something positive for our game - right the wrongs done to us and a number of other clubs.

"Don't use your vote to settle old scores. Don't reinforce rivalries between clubs just to keep fans happy. Don't turn a blind eye because it doesn't impact on you - this time.

"If this vote collapses because people cannot set aside self-interest and ego, our game potentially faces irreparable damage and ongoing division for many years to come.

"Recognise there will be far-reaching consequences of your actions for Thistle and everyone associated with the club," Low added. "If that doesn't matter to you, then focus on doing the right thing for Scottish football."

The Maryhill club were bottom of the Championship, two points behind Queen of the South with a game in hand, when the SPFL's resolution to end the season was passed by 81% of clubs.

Thistle's situation is compounded by the uncertainty over whether League One clubs will be able to play next season. The Premiership aims to begin behind closed doors on 1 August, and Championship clubs have been balloted on an October start, but the bottom tiers have no date in place.

Low says they will be the "hardest hit" of Scotland's clubs.

"We stand ready, willing and able to play, including behind closed doors. But today, we still don't know when or even if we will play football next season.

"Does anyone in Scottish football believe we deserve to be punished with a double whammy like this? Which club would find it acceptable if they were in our shoes? Not one of them."

Brora hope clubs 'make right call'

The proposed change from the current 12-10-10-10 format would expand the top flight and promote Highland League champions Brora Rangers and Lowland League winners Kelty Hearts to the bottom tier.

Brora manager Steven Mackay echoed Thistle's plea for clubs to put self-interest aside, although he fears his side are seen as a "threat" by some lower-league teams.

"You hope that clubs don't vote strategically and what suits themselves best," he told BBC Scotland Sportsound.

"It's difficult; we're relying heavily on Premiership clubs to make the right call. It's last chance saloon for us and Kelty. I believe both clubs would bring huge benefit to the Scottish league.

"There are teams that have been in League Two for a number of years that are quite happy to take the money and just sit in that periphery of the play-offs and not really challenge.

"If two new clubs come into the league with the ambition to do what Cove Rangers and Edinburgh City have done, that's an immediate threat to them. There's fear that the decision will be made on that basis."

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