Scottish Football - St Mirren opposition likely to sink reconstruction proposals

Plans to restructure Scottish football look doomed after St Mirren announced they would vote against them next Monday.

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St Mirren (PA Photos)

Ross County had previously indicated they were opposed to proposals for a 12-12-18 structure with the top two divisions splitting into three after 22 games.

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour revealed his club wanted a 14-team top flight and were opposed to the retention of the Scottish Premier League's 11-1 voting requirements for major change.

Ironically, that very democratic structure looks set to kill off the other changes, which also include generally popular plans for a merged league, fairer wealth distribution and a pyramid structure.

Gilmour told BBC Scotland: "We have never been particularly keen on the two 12s splitting into eights but if everything else had been okay we might have had to live with that. We have queried a number of items and we were told this was an all-in deal, with not a lot of negotiation.

"The 11-1 vote for us is absolutely an out-and-out (no) because you will never get out of what you get into. We have always supported a 14, for a long number of years. I know fans want a 16 but that is commercially and financially really difficult to deliver."

Gilmour, who revealed he had not spoken to SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster since last Wednesday, believes there could be room for negotiation.

He said: "We are very keen to work through this but going into that league set-up, with an 11-1 vote, and being nailed down for three years, that was something our board just couldn't take. I would hope that people don't dig their heels and come to an all-or-nothing situation. We saw that as a wee bit of a threat and I don't think that's the way to get things done."

However, Dundee chief executive Scot Gardiner accused Saints of "self-interest" and warned that clubs could go out of business unless change was instigated.

"Everyone has to compromise to come up with a system that keeps 42 clubs happy," Gardiner said. "I'm afraid it's utopian and doesn't relate to real life to think that some clubs can cherry-pick what they want, particularly when those clubs didn't bring up certain things during the process."

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