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Should The SPL Be Expanded?

Sunday 20th November 2011
Is it time to extend the Scottish Premier League to 16 teams instead of 12 teams?

Well, there is a strong argument for it. The top tier in Scotland is suffering from poor quality, attendances and lack of finance resulting in our coefficient ranking dropping as fast as Scottish teams going out of Europe. So is it time to accept that our "top" league is so bad that even cash strapped First Division sides can hold their own. As a fan of Ayr United a team that have beaten 3 SPL sides to get into the semi-finals of a National tournament I have to say yes.

Let's face it only 2 teams are going to win the SPL no matter what format it's in 10,12,14,16,18 it's still going to be the Old Firm's for the taking. The key to this debate is European representation. Even Celtic and Rangers have struggled to represent Scotland and if they are no longer able to be a credible force then it's time for change. With Rangers amidst a huge financial crisis and Celtic struggling to find any sort of form should we acknowledge that Scottish football has punched above it's weight too long and that we are more Irish Premier than English Premier in standard.

The only team to beat  Rangers domestically this season are First Division Falkirk and you can instantly rubbish arguments that more teams equals less chance in Europe, well if last season was an attempt to reignite Scottish performance in Europe then who are you kidding, our performance in Europe is completely laughable of late. The SPL is crying out for reform. 12 teams playing each other 4 times evey season is dull and boring and alongside the recession this is driving crowds away from football matches. £20 to watch St Johnstone play St Mirren? Err, no thanks.

Time for a radical overhaul of this prehistoric format but after extensive deliberation nothing will happen and the Scottish game will slip into the abyss and before you know it we will have to play about 5 qualifying rounds to enter the group stages of a European tournament. A change in league structure will not automatically save the Scottish game but at least for some spectators it will keep it moderately interesting. One season Rangers played St Mirren 7 times in one season. That is absolutely ridiculous and epitomizes the monotony of the Scottish game.

It's time to give First Division sides a chance to compete I'm pretty sure that at least 5 or 6 of these teams can compete in the SPL and it provides some sort of anticipation that your not playing virtually the same team every third week.

Calum McClurkin

Total articles: 15

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