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Falkirk chief: Put 'vested interest' aside and create 16-team top-fight

Douglas Henderson called the current league structure "out-dated" and "out of kilter."

Structure: The SPFL's system is in place until at least next summer.
Structure: The SPFL's system is in place until at least next summer. SNS Group

Falkirk chairman Douglas Henderson wants his fellow Scottish clubs to put "vested interests" aside and create a 16-team top-flight.

The Bairns chief called the current league structure "out-dated" and "out of kilter with the economics of football in Scotland."

Henderson proposes an expanded top division and sees next summer - when the deal linking the SPFL to its current play-off system  expires - as the ideal opportunity to implement those changes.

“Our league structure is out of kilter with the economics of football in Scotland and I believe that my counterpart chairmen recognise what we have currently is outdated," he told the Falkirk AGM on Thursday.

“Playing other clubs four times a season is not attractive to most football supporters – as surveys show – and there is a slippage of attendance for many Clubs in the Scottish Premier League [sic).

“Television dictates our fixtures with high revenue Saturday games often being moved to midweek with little consideration given to fans and their families, or the financial consequences for clubs like Falkirk."

Contenders: Peter Houston's side are chasing promotion this season.
Contenders: Peter Houston's side are chasing promotion this season. SNS Group

Henderson addressed calls for restructuring of the Scottish League Cup, but instead believes that focus should be applied to the league system.

"Reflecting economic reality and the need for Premier Division full-time football," he continued.

"I believe that we must put vested interest aside and reform our leagues bringing about a 16-team premier division. 

"There are suggestions that the League Cup should be restructured.  But, I don’t believe that a sectional League Cup would be attractive to supporters – unless the leagues themselves are restructured.

"Next summer Scottish football concludes its three year deal linked to the play-offs.

"This is an opportunity for us all who love the sport to make sensible restructuring changes which can help to lay a strong foundation for the future, protecting the maximum number of full-time clubs and securing a sustainable platform for growth in our national sport."

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