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SPL step up their plan for revamp; EXCLUSIVE.

Byline: Gordon Waddell

SPL chiefs held a cloak-and-dagger meeting to push forward reconstruction plans on Friday night at Hampden - with a 40,000 crowd outside.

The top-flight clubs met as the Scotland v Wales game was kicking off to formalise papers which need a 21-day notice period before the sides vote on 12-12-18 plans on April 15.

And they're determined to try to push through their proposals in time for next season.

However, they could yet be killed off by SFL clubs when they get together at Hampden on Thursday.

All 30 sides will gather to discuss the proposal and although it is a non-voting meeting, it's expected consensus on all the issues is too far off for chief executive David Longmuir to corral enough support for the reforms as they stand.

SFL rules require a 75 per cent majority for the plans to be approved, meaning a minimum of 22 clubs would need to back the motions.

There's a growing concern that with less than two months of the season left, the draft rulebook for a new league body has been rushed through without due care.

Other clubs also believe they should be entitled to play for promotion and earn it, rather than have the structure changed around them for next season with no notice period.

Meanwhile, there are fears the new "SPFL" organisation will be less a merger and more a takeover of the SFL by SPL.

It's believed the company number for the new ruling body is the same one with which the SPL is registered at Companies House.

The idea of being governed by an organisation widely regarded as a failure appeals to very few in the SFL.

However, any wavering from the SFL is expected to kill the entire process. The issues where there is consensus - one ruling body, a fairer distribution of wealth, the introduction of a play-off to the top flight - will all fall by the wayside along with the 12-12-18.

An SPL source told MailSport: "It's pretty much now or never. If this doesn't happen we'll have the status quo."

ALL THE LATEST SFL ACTION Pages 74,75, 76,78 & 79

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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Mar 24, 2013
Words:364
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