Scottish football is at a crossroads as the game’s leaders consider a radical shake-up of the current league format ... and fans on Buddie Banter are concerned it might not be heading in the right direction.
Plans are in place to overhaul the SPL and Divisions One, Two and Three by introducing a new 12-12-18 league formation.
All 42 SPL and Scottish Football League clubs are expected to vote on the proposals before the end of this month and the new leagues could be in place as early as next season.
Under the suggested set-up, three new divisions – the Premier, the Championship and the National League – would be formed.
After 22 games, in which each of the teams has played each other home and away, the top two divisions would split into three leagues of eight.
The top eight clubs would then meet a further two times to fight it out for the title and European places, while the bottom four clubs in the Premier would play against the top four from the Championship to contest promotion and relegation in and out of the Premier.
Each of these eight teams would have their points total re-set to zero before meeting each other at home and away.
However, St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour has stressed the plans are NOT a done deal, with fans on Buddie Banter backing his cautious stance.
Regular contributor William Livingstone, of Ralston, Paisley, e-mailed to say: “If the media coverage is anything to go by, it seems this new 12-12-18 set-up will be in place sooner rather than later.
“I’m not a fan of the proposals. Personally, I’d prefer to see a bigger SPL, with 16 teams.
“The likes of Partick Thistle would be a welcome addition to the SPL and it’d also be great to have Morton back in the top flight so we could cuff them on a regular basis!”
Mike Gladstone, of Linwood, added: “I suppose the idea of the bottom four teams in the Premier being involved in play-offs with the top four teams in the Championship would add some excitement but, as a St Mirren fan, I’m not sure it would do much good for my nerves.
“Saints would have to finish in the top eight to avoid the play-offs and, with the size of squad Danny has at his disposal, that could be a tall order.”
Meanwhile, flying full-back Paul Dummett has returned to parent club Newcastle United after his three-month loan deal at St Mirren expired – but he’s certainly not been forgotten by the Paisley faithful.
Dummett, 21, fulfilled a boyhood dream last weekend when he came on as a second half sub for the Magpies in their FA Cup third round tie away to Brighton and Hove Albion.
Buddies boss Danny Lennon is keen for Dummett to return to Paisley on another loan deal before the end of the January transfer window but, with a crippling injury list causing him grief, Newcastle manager Alan Pardew may well decide to hold on to Dummett.
It means Saints have been left in limbo – but fans would welcome the Welsh Under-21 cap back to Paisley with open arms. Black & White Army (@bawarmy) took to Twitter to say: “Hoping that Paul Dummett rejoins the Buddies on loan. Really came on to his game up here – and he is lethal from 12 inches out!”
Tommy Roberts (@Saint_tom) was disappointed to see the young defender leaving Paisley.
He tweeted: “Hope you are back, mate. If not, all the best and thanks for the great effort you put in for the Saints.”
Meanwhile, the player himself has been reflecting on his debut for the Magpies, which ended in a disappointing 2-0 defeat.
He tweeted: “Not a good result for Newcastle but buzzing that I made my debut.”
On a more sombre note, tributes are still being paid to St Mirren superfan Jimmy ‘Toshie’ McIntosh, whose funeral took place at Woodside Crematorium, in Paisley, yesterday.
Holly McCormack (@Hollz2012) tweeted: “Would just like to pay my respects to Toshie. Rest in peace, Buddie.”
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