With the Scottish Football League voting whether or not to accept league reconstruction on Thursday, Ayr United finally made their position clear. Chairman, Lachlan Cameron announced his intention to reject a new 12-12-18 format because it is designed to be implemented next season.
On the Facebook page he set up last week solely for Ayr United fans to address their concerns he revealed that he isn’t a fan of the new proposals and ideally he’d prefer a larger top tier.
However, he admitted that if 12-12-18 ended up being the only way to get the SFL and SPL rolled into a single governing body then it would have to be considered. This makes me wonder about the outcome of Thursday’s vote. Will other clubs push it through providing it is set up for 2014/15 season?
Cameron insisted he would reject any proposal designed for next season as it isn’t fair and clubs would not have time to adjust. Obviously Cameron’s view needs to be echoed by the directors for Thursday’s vote but it looks like the Honest Men are set to vote no.
The wide view amongst supporters of clubs in Division 2 and 3 is that they are being dumped into one big league of 18 that will be extremely difficult to get out of. The trump card for the SPL and SFL is the merger of bodies. One league body suggests fairer distribution of money and a better crack of the whip in the future and clearly some chairman think that too.
Personally, my fear is that this proposal is a disguised form of an SPL2. It’s promising five times as much for current First Division clubs which may tempt them to voting yes and opting into a system that will widen the gap between full time and part time clubs, but to use the direct words of our chairman “If it was a straight choice between 12-12-18 and what we have now, I would take 12-12-18 purely to get us rolled into one body” then it could be worth the compromise. This might be the only chance of changing the structure of our game and albeit it’s far from perfect but the opportunity to change may not arise again anytime soon.
The fear is for SFL Chairman at any club: reject this and nothing will ever change. I anticipate that many SFL clubs will hide behind the fact that the proposal is for next season and reject it due to that fact not because of the actual proposal. It’ll be then up to the governing bodies to go back to the drawing board by accepting their decision or make clubs vote again on the same proposal to be in place for the following season.