Scottish Football - SFL clubs vote for merger with SPL

Scottish Football League clubs have voted in favour of a merger with the Scottish Premier League at Hampden Park.

PA Sport
Scottish Football - SFL clubs vote for merger with SPL
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A minimum of 22 of the 29 SFL clubs eligible to vote - Rangers did not get a vote as they are associate members having joined last summer - were needed to push reconstruction proposals through.

Amid a background of acrimony surrounding the vote and with the ever-present threat of a breakaway by the first division clubs, 23 clubs voted yes with six against.

The bodies will form the new Scottish Professional Football League ahead of the coming season. The structure of Scotland's four divisions will remain the same - a top tier of 12, with three divisions of 10 clubs underneath.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir: "I feel there were some reluctant heroes today. We have always embraced the big principles but once you go behind the big principles like governance, distribution and one league body, there were areas of major concerns.

"But nevertheless a lot of them have seen it for the good of the game and we all accept that Scottish football is better governed under one roof.

"On 27 June there will be a formalised completion of the process and the first board meeting of the new organisation - the SPFL - will take place that day and at that point a board will be appointed."

Jim Ballantyne, president of the SFL, described the move as a 'takeover'.

"We are joining their company, their organisation," Ballantyne said. "They have swallowed us up. We could use nice words about it, but it is a takeover.

"It is very sad that the Scottish Football League has had to be a casualty but unfortunately we were left with one option.

"Did I want to see the end of the Scottish Football League? Absolutely not. Did I want to see football strive forward? Then yes. It will be for others to decide if this step takes us to where we want to go."

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