Scottish Football - Scottish fans against league reconstruction proposals

Scottish football fans have given a massive thumbs down to league reconstruction proposals after a survey commissioned by the Scottish Football Association revealed the vast majority of supporters want a bigger top-flight.

PA Sport

Around 7,000 fans were polled for the first-ever Scottish National Football Survey, with 87 per cent of respondents claiming they want to see a top division made up of more teams than the Scottish Premier League's current 12 members.

That flies in the face of SPL plans for a 12-12-18 set-up just days ahead of a vote on the subject. Fans also say they want to see no more than three divisions and have argued for the SPL and Scottish Football League to be merged into one body.

Now SFA chief executive Stewart Regan has called on Scottish clubs to start listening. He said: "Naturally, league reconstruction is the hot topic among the supporters at the moment and while the numbers remain subjective, the overwhelming majority of fans believe a single league body, fairer financial distribution and pyramid are essential in any reconstruction process.

"While ultimately it is a matter for the league bodies to decide on, the feedback from supporters is in line with the Scottish FA's view and I am sure the results of the report will be taken on board by the respective bodies."

Just over half of those responding to the survey - 51 per cent - said they would prefer to see a 16-team competition at the top of Scotland's league ladder, with 15 per cent calling for a 14-team division and another 18 per cent suggesting a 18-member set-up. Three per cent of fans called for a league containing more than 18 teams.

But only nine per cent - around 600 of the fans - appeared to back plans drawn up by the SPL and Scottish Football League that would see the top-flight continue with its current 12-team top flight. The SPL clubs will meet on April 15 to vote on 12-12-18 proposals, although there is opposition from some to the hasty timetable that would see the new set-up brought in for next season.

A statement released on behalf of SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster did not mention league reconstruction but did say: "On behalf of each club I would like thank everyone who took the time to complete the survey, and provide extremely valuable information that will be used to guide continued improvement in our game."

His SFL counterpart, David Longmuir, added: "Scottish football supporters are the most passionate in the world. They have demonstrated by this response how much they care about Scottish football's future. All three football bodies will take these views seriously and where possible deliver against them."

Among the other headline findings included fans arguing that claiming greater financial distribution and a merger of the SPL and SFL should be the most important aspects of any league reconstruction.

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