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Relegation saga rumbles on

THE news Blues fans dreaded has been confirmed – a plan to reconstruct the leagues has failed and Stranraer FC are relegated. Hearts and Partick Thistle have also had their relegations confirmed though Hearts say they will mount a legal appeal. It was announced today that 16 clubs indicated that they would vote for league reconstruction – not enough for the change that would have altered the promotion/relegation picture to go through. The SPFL's 42 clubs were asked if they would support a switch to a 14-10-10-10 set-up but the proposal did not cross the required support threshold. It means that next season will begin with the existing 12-10-10-10 format. Stranraer are now forced into League Two, Hearts are consigned to the Scottish Championship and Partick Thistle down to League One. All three clubs were relegated having been bottom of their respective divisions when the season was curtailed amid the Coronavirus pandemic. There was anger at Stair Park as most of the Blues' remaining games were home ties against opposition from the lower section of the league. many felt they had a realistic chance of avoiding the drop were the season played to a finish. The league say their board has now "agreed to draw a line under reconstruction talks". League chief executive Neil Doncaster said the clubs' responses – announced this morning – give "absolute clarity". "Whilst a number of clubs were in favour of a new divisional set-up, the support for it was insufficient and we will now move forward based on the current 12-10-10-10 structure," he added. "Now that we have a confirmed structure for next season, the SPFL's fixturing team will begin work on the Premiership fixture list, which will start on the weekend of 1 August." Today's indicative vote was designed to establish whether an EGM should be held to hold a formal ballot. The resolution needed the backing of 32 clubs - with 17 from the top two tiers combined and 11 from the top flight - to pass. The SPFL have not confirmed how many clubs registered their position, but it is understood less than 50per cent approval was reached in each category.

<< back Published: 15 Jun 2020, 15:38

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