Football - Fans' group welcomes league shake-up

Supporters Direct Scotland have welcomed plans to revamp Scottish football following a meeting with football chiefs on Thursday.

The Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League have agreed in principle to a restructuring plan that would see the organisations merge in a 12-12-18 structure, with a vote likely to take place later this month.

Paul Goodwin, head of Supporters Direct Scotland, said: "Supporters Direct Scotland (SDS) welcomes the first steps towards the restructuring of Scottish football.

"Recognition that change was required has to be welcomed by everyone involved in the game both now and in the future. I attended a meeting yesterday with the chief executives of the Scottish FA, Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League and was encouraged that their members are committed to change for the good of the game.

"I was also pleased to receive assurance that any new single league body will work with SDS to ensure maximum transparency to supporters on all future decisions and to ensure that fans' views are heard.

"SDS also believes that other key stakeholders such as the Professional Footballers' Association in Scotland and the Scottish League Managers' Association must also be involved so that all voices are not just heard but are part of the decision making processes from now on.

"Whilst welcoming the possibility of a more equitable monetary distribution, I reiterated that many supporters have reservations over the proposed league structures but welcomed their willingness to work with us going forward.

"We also urged the league bodies and, in particular, the member clubs to consult closely with supporters to ensure a fuller understanding of any proposed new league format.

"As a result SDS has suggested hosting a series of roadshows for fans with representatives from the relevant football authorities to ensure a wider understanding of the proposals for league reconstruction.

"We would encourage fans to keep making their views known to us either through our website - www.scottishfans.org - or by attending our roadshows which happen throughout the season. It's important for SDS to have the most informed and up to date view from the people that matter most, the supporters of football clubs and of the game as a whole."