SPFL reconstruction: Hearts, Partick Thistle & Stranraer relegations confirmed

Partick Thistle were two points adrift at the bottom of the Championship with a game in hand when the season was halted
Partick Thistle were two points adrift at the bottom of the Championship with a game in hand when the season was halted

Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer have had their relegations confirmed after only 16 clubs indicated that they would vote for league reconstruction.

The SPFL's 42 sides were asked if they would support a permanent 14-10-10-10 setup but the backing fell short of the threshold required.

The league say their board has now "agreed to draw a line under reconstruction talks".

It means that next season will begin with the existing 12-10-10-10 format.

Hearts are consigned to the Scottish Championship, Partick Thistle to the League One and Stranraer to League Two.

The trio were all relegated having been bottom of their respective divisions when the campaign was curtailed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

It also means that Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts and Highland League counterparts Brora Rangers will not be invited to join the SPFL.

League chief executive Neil Doncaster said the clubs' responses give "absolute clarity".

"Whilst a number of clubs were in favour of a new divisional set-up, the support for it was insufficient and we will now move forward based on the current 12-10-10-10 structure," he added.

"Now that we have a confirmed structure for next season, the SPFL's fixturing team will begin work on the Premiership fixture list, which will start on the weekend of 1 August."

The indicative vote was designed to establish whether an EGM should be called to hold a formal ballot.

However, the resolution would need the backing of 32 clubs - with 17 from the top two tiers combined and 11 from the top flight - to pass.

The SPFL have not confirmed how many clubs registered their position, but it is believed less than 50% approval was reached in each category.

Hearts and Thistle have both mentioned the prospect of mounting a legal challenge against their demotions should this process fail.

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