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BBC: Stewart Milne finds St Mirren's stance on reform hard to take


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Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne has criticised St Mirren for going public with their opposition to Scottish league reconstruction plans.

 

Clubs will next week vote on the 12-12-18 model, which would involve the top two tiers splitting into three leagues of eight midway through the season.

 

Milne finds St Mirren's stance "very difficult to accept" and has urged Ross County to vote in favour of the plans.

 

The Dingwall club are understood to be considering rejecting the proposals.

 

With an 11-1 majority needed for measures to be passed by the Scottish Premier League, 'no' votes from St Mirren and County would effectively halt the 12-12-18 plan before Scottish Football League clubs have the chance to hold a vote of their own.

 

Milne says all 12 top-flight clubs were in favour of the plans when they held meetings in December and January.

 

"To find out in the press one of the clubs changed their mind and didn't have the courtesy to wait until next Monday to discuss it with their fellow members first, I find very difficult to accept," Milne said of St Mirren's opposition.

 

"Many other chairmen do as well."

 

County chairman Roy McGregor is expected to meet with his board on Friday to decide how they will vote.

 

"I appreciate the way Roy and his board have handled it to date," explained Milne.

 

"Every single one of the 12 clubs has concerns about certain aspects of the plan. We've only been able to come up with this plan because there's been compromise on all fronts.

 

"Yes, they've got to look after the interests of Ross County but there's also a need to think about the wider aspects of Scottish football.

 

"I think if we fail to deliver this plan on Monday then there will be serious implications for Scottish football going forward."

 

Milne feels Scottish football "is currently on its knees financially" and believes 12-12-18 as an alternative to the current 12-10-10-10 offers a solution for all senior clubs.

 

"The fact that it is an all-through distribution system is going to bring benefits right down through all the clubs," he added.

 

"It's the easiest thing in the world to say we want a 16-team league or an 18-team league. The reality is that to introduce a 16- or 18-team league would finish off a great many clubs."

 

Meanwhile, Inverness Caledonian Thistle chairman Kenny Cameron fears another opportunity to restructure the Scottish game may be some way off if the 12-12-18 plan is rejected.

 

"I'll be disappointed if the new proposals do not go through, as they deliver most of what the supporters and the majority of clubs want," he said.

 

"The set-up is far from ideal from an ICTFC perspective but all 42 clubs should get behind the changes proposed with a willingness to work together for the betterment of all clubs in Scotland and the game in general.

 

"Let's use the proposed model as a stepping stone on the journey for change, the key that unlocks the door that has remained firmly closed for so many years.

 

"If the SPL gets its fingers burned this time, having come such a long way, then my fear is that it may be years before we come so close again."

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Meanwhile, Inverness Caledonian Thistle chairman Kenny Cameron fears another opportunity to restructure the Scottish game may be some way off if the 12-12-18 plan is rejected.

 

"I'll be disappointed if the new proposals do not go through, as they delivermost of what the supporters and the majority of clubs want," he said.

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I may be a cunt. But something has to give at some point. Why carry on reorganising league structures in order to prolong the already drawn out death of a lot of Scottish clubs. At some point these clubs are going to go to the wall, why Jill the rest of Scottish football in order to delay it.

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I get what Milne is saying, fine, disagree with the proposals but at least fucking say so to your opposite numbers when you meet to discuss it FFS fuck sake.

 

I don't like the proposals either, the 3 way at the end just sounds ridiculous and has been tried elsewhere, doesn't football have to use evidence based practice??

 

I'd leave it pretty much as it is with a play off for each division in addition to automatic relegation/promotion spots. Play offs elsewhere have been very successful. I suppose you have to accept what the overwhelming majority of chairmen are saying ie a bigger league along the lines wanted by fans isn't financially viable or sellable to TV/sponsors.

 

League set ups are all very well, but to me they are a total distraction from the whole truth, the quality is declining and the price of viewing it is too dear. Arranging the deck chairs on the deck of the Titanic won't change much, the game has to change.

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I agree with Baggy, Scottish fitba is what it is - we're not big time box office anymore, so let's find our level. There are 6 clubs in the first division that have been in the spl in recent memory, I say let them in and let's get on with a straightforward 18 team league. I'm just as likely to go and see aberdeen play Livingston as I am a game against Celtic. No more splits, play each other twice, better variety and choice of away trip.

 

If they think 34 games isn't enough they need to reformat the league cup, make it start in a group stage like the European tournaments.

 

Fucking splits, 3 way splits, etc it's all bollocks. The EPL don't do it, we should base our set up on the English model, albeit on a smaller scale.

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I agree with Baggy, Scottish fitba is what it is - we're not big time box office anymore, so let's find our level. There are 6 clubs in the first division that have been in the spl in recent memory, I say let them in and let's get on with a straightforward 18 team league. I'm just as likely to go and see aberdeen play Livingston as I am a game against Celtic. No more splits, play each other twice, better variety and choice of away trip.

 

If they think 34 games isn't enough they need to reformat the league cup, make it start in a group stage like the European tournaments.

 

Fucking splits, 3 way splits, etc it's all bollocks. The EPL don't do it, we should base our set up on the English model, albeit on a smaller scale.

 

 

Agree 100% I think this is the way to go.

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I agree with everything said previously, even though that's contradictory.

 

If true that the big league isn't financially viable, then the question has to be why? It can't just be asserted and left at that. 'You all want it, but you can't have it, and you don't deserve a detailed reason for that."

 

I'd suspect it's almost exclusively down to the reduced number of OF games (our governing body and media investors operating solely on the assumption that a hypothetical future scenario whereby a pseudo rangers team exists in the top flight is as much an indication of why our game is goin to rack and ruin under the authority of these people as anything else). If that's the case then why not have the bigger league and also recreate the regional cup competitions? For the Glasgow Cup specifically you could have a small league format with home and away games. That'd give broadcasters their minimum 4 OF games (it'd give them 2 straight away without der hun even being in the top flight).

 

I can't see a problem with that personally. Would also think other parts of tge country would benefit from a local tournament with a bit of top-flight kudos to it. Whether as stand alone events in addition to the league cup, or as a series of regional cups that ultimately feed into a national last 8 or last 4 to compete for a the third national title. It'd still be behind league and scottish cup in terms of prestige, but a new format focussing on local rivalries and guaranteeing proper derby games would be quite fun imo.

 

[this might be dragging the thread towards a need to merge with the main reconstruction thread btw mods...]

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Playing devils advocate here...

 

How many would be in favour of a 16/18 team league if it leads to Aberdeen going out of business?

 

Not that im particularly in favour of the 12-12-18 set up, just that there must be a reason and figures to back up the 16/18 team league being catastrophic for the clubs.

 

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SPL clubs are having to budget for 3 seasons (at least) without one half of the Bigot Brothers, so surely they can cope longer term in a bigger league only having to play them once at home, which is effectively the same as what they have for the next three seasons (including this one) - i.e. two Infirm games at home (against the Tims) is the same as two Infirm games at home in a larger league if both the ugly sisters were in the league.

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Playing devils advocate here...

 

How many would be in favour of a 16/18 team league if it leads to Aberdeen going out of business?

 

Not that im particularly in favour of the 12-12-18 set up, just that there must be a reason and figures to back up the 16/18 team league being catastrophic for the clubs.

 

 

But are these threats about clubs going out of existance not the same ones that were made last year when the Regan and Doncaster were trying to shoe horn the Zombie Huns back into the SPL. Not seen anything concrete from the clubs to say why it has to be this set up only the same financial armagedon threats.

 

Milne talks about the money distribution model being the saviour of the game. Whats to stop the money being redistibuted in bigger leagues.

 

 

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For the folk implying there's lies being told by chairmen (ours too it seems) about the viability of a much larger league, why would they lie?

 

I don't know why it would be to the individuals/clubs advantage to lie about that.

 

 

 

 

 

 

same reasons that some (admittedly fewer) supposedly objective people in the game lied through their teeth last year. Unless the lies were being told only by donaster/regan etc and the chairmen simply swallowed and regurgitated them. if that's the case though, they don't have a clue and their views are extremely fallible/open to manipulation from the bullshit doncaster/regan want to spin to suit themselves.

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That's not a reason for the individual clubs to lie.

 

I can't think of a reason, from a purely AFC perspective nor from a general football perspective that would be to anyone's advantage to lie about it.

 

 

 

 

Agreed, but it would be good to hear Milne come out and state exactly what the financial implications are of ignoring the wishes of the majority of Dons fans.

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"It's the easiest thing in the world to say we want a 16-team league or an 18-team league. The reality is that to introduce a 16- or 18-team league would finish off a great many clubs."

 

Seems pretty straightforward what his reasons are for not wanting an extended league. The reasons behind the ridiculous 8 team mini-league split are less clear.

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Well, short of opening up the books of each club I suppose you have to take their word for it, to an extent.

 

Rightly or wrongly I'm inclined to believe chairmen/clubs, certainly more than Regan et al given their unseemly desperation to keep the huns sweet last year.

 

It's all very well having fans say they'd prefer whatever set-up, they've got to turn up and if it's the same fitba at the same price they won't. 

 

 

 

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With specific regard to a 16 or 18 team league, the fans are categorically wrong.

 

The very best teams have absolutely nothing to gain, learn from, or improve by playing against teams traditionally in the lower echelons of the Scottish First Division.  Why, when our national team and young talent production line is at an all-time low, should we come up with a plan to prop up teams in the first division and below, and resultantly "spread the wealth"?  It's a preposterous idea when you have a country that can only sustain 20 full-time clubs - and the definition of the word "sustain" is very much in question as well given the state of Hearts, Dunfermline and a few others.

 

The 10-10 format with regional leagues below is the best option.  The 12-12 is a watered-down version of it.  In exactly the same way as the SPL was a watered-down version of the Scottish Super League idea first discussed in the early 1990s. Compromise isn't always a good thing.

 

Let the SPL/SSL/whatever we decide the top division will be called simply look after itself.  If the sides in the tiers below can't cut their clothm then that unfortunately is their problem.  A good number of football clubs need to be left to die, and only then will Scottish Football wake up to the fact that the deep-rooted traditionalism needs to die with it.

 

I think the only way out of this if there is a no vote is that we will see another breakaway forming.  St Mirren and Ross County will be kicked out and I suspect the "rebel 10" will go their own way, maybe bringing Partick Thistle and dare I say it Old Sevconians with them.

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Anything that DOESN'T INVOLVED A FUCKING CONTRIVED "SPLIT"

 

10-10-regional, 12-16-12, 1-2-3-O'Leary, whatever, but no FUCKING SPLITS.

 

I want to know my teams league schedule, for the whole season, at the start of the season. It's bad enough games get shunted to ludicrous KO times for TV, but to suggest "Let's start a league, then split it and change the clubsin it half way through a season" has to be about the most idiotic ting I've ever heard!

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Suggests to me that it is ll down to losing the opportunity for bumper away crowds from Celtic, and for some clubs the dons, Hibs & hearts. Really poor way to work you finances if yer relying on the league being kind with regards to your home matches and your team making the top 6 or being in a relegation battle in the bottom

 

 

The whole meaningless fixture argument is void for me. That will happen no matter what the league structure is and a quick look at the bottom 6 shows there are 15 meaningless games between now and May (unless st Mirren lose 5 and dundee win 5)

Without the split there would still be the draw of climbing as high as possible (still an outside chance of 3rd for hibs, dons and killie) but apart from the edinburgh derby I cant see any game away from celtic park getting 10000 fans (if that). Did Ross County, Arabs and Caley budget for not getting another visit from the dons?

Did the arabs budget for one less dundee derby? etc etc

 

Until the day someone slaps a few heads and says 'this financial system aint working. Downsize accordingly and stop thinking yer a big deal in world football' i predict it will only get worse.

 

 

 

 

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It will continue to decline as long as any half decent talent or prospect at ANY club outwith "them" either signs for the of or goes to england after one (or even half) a decent season.

 

Doesn't matter if "it brings in money" the hemorrhaging of talent away from Scotland is a HUGE problem which, no matter what "reconstruction-magic-wand" is waved is going to lead to the shallow talent pool, and hence appalling standard, of football in Scotland.

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