Regan plays down dispute claims

PA Sport
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan hopes to implement a new structure to the country's football leagues
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SFA chief executive Stewart Regan hopes to implement a new structure to the country's football leagu …

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has played down reports of disagreement between the country's two league bodies over reconstruction ahead of a meeting of the 30 lower league clubs.

The Scottish Football League will meet later on Wednesday to discuss proposals for a 16-10-18 structure supplemented by Old Firm reserve teams in the bottom league.

However, the Scottish Premier League clubs are not involved in the talks and any agreement between the SFL teams is effectively redundant if the top-flight clubs fail to concur.

Regan and the SFA have been trying to lead talks about changing the structure of the leagues, and merging them, for two years but not even the crisis of Rangers' impending liquidation could force consensus this summer.

However, Regan retains optimism over the possibility of consensus and will bid to drive forward change when the SFA professional game board - which features the main decision-makers of the SFL and SPL - next meet.

Regan said: "There's always going to be differences of opinion on any matter involving reconstruction. That has been the case for two years. The various iterations that have been put forward have been debated at length and will continue to be debated at length.

"Once we have consensus on a way forward then the professional game board will be the body that takes it to the next step, both the SFL and the SPL have agreed to that situation."

When pressed on reports that SPL clubs are likely to reject the SFL proposals, Regan responded: "The SPL haven't met yet. They are not meeting until December 3 so any suggestion that things may or may not happen I think is a little bit premature."

SFL chief executive David Longmuir believes his proposals could give the game a positive shake-up. He said: "The SPL are aware of it. It's not something new; these talks have been going on for quite a while. The content and the substance of the reconstruction proposal is slightly different, but the actual principle of discussing league reconstruction is not a new subject matter.

"We've been working with our clubs on ideas and how we might wish to take the game forward and how to improve it. We're going to be discussing a proposal that might re-energise and refresh the game and be compelling for fans and create a better structure for the game."

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