SPL - Scotland boss Levein backs 10-team plan

Tue, 18 Jan 10:22:00 2011

Scotland boss Craig Levein has thrown his weight behind plans for a 10-team top flight.

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The Scottish Premier League announced "broad agreement" for a new structure of a 10-club Premiership and 12-club Championship following talks with their 12 member clubs on Monday.

But Hearts, Inverness and Kilmarnock all voted for a 14-team top division during the meeting with Ayrshire side Kilmarnock seemingly set to continue their opposition to the official plan.

"I'm hugely positive about the 10 and 12," former Hearts and Dundee United manager Levein said. "The fact that we can strengthen 22 teams is a positive thing.

"I have one thought in my mind when I'm thinking about reconstruction and that is: what is the best number of teams to give me as international manager the best quality of player coming through.

"And there is absolutely no doubt that when you play best against best, that produces better players. The better quality of teams that play against each other without meaningless games or a big gap between one team or the other, then that produces the best players."

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan believes the proposals meet the criteria set in former First Minister Henry McLeish's review of the Scottish game.

Regan is set to discuss the concept with his counterpart at the SPL, Neil Doncaster.

Regan said: "What Henry proposed was a concept where the best play the best at club and player level. That's the performance strategy to get the very best Scottish players for the future.

"We all recognised there needed to be change. Whether it's 10, 12 or 14, that's for the clubs to decide. When they have decided that, it will come to the SFA for our approval.

"We are hopeful we can implement a restructure so we can improve competitive league football in Scotland."

PA Sport

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