SPL in reformat talks

Amid growing optimism for the future of the Scottish Premier League, one club has only just escaped from the cold, clammy grip of the taxman.

SPL in reformat talks

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Andy

December 3rd, 2012

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Having faced a winding-up petition issued by HMRC, Hearts have today claimed that a tax bill of £450,000 has now been paid in full. Players agreed to defer last month’s salaries to help out, while shares in the club were purchased and donated to the club’s youth academy after a fundraising drive. A deal has now been struck allowing the bill to be paid in two instalments after the club failed to meet a previously-agreed deadline.

Now that this shadow has been dispersed, Hearts were able to concentrate on an informal agreement by each of the twelve SPL clubs to pitch a new league format to the SFL and the Scottish Football Association.

Under the new ’24-18’ structure, an expanded SPL membership would initially play as two leagues of twelve, before splitting off into three leagues of eight at the halfway stage based on performance up until then.

The meeting held today at Hampden Park also went into more complex matters such as distribution of league revenue and voting structures.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster is now expected to meet with representatives of the Scottish Football League and the Scottish FA on Thursday, where he will elaborate on the plans that were unanimously welcomed on an informal basis by the current twelve SPL teams.

“I’m delighted to say that we have unanimously agreement in principle from the 12 SPL clubs to the 24-18 team model,” Doncaster told reporters.

“We are looking forward to sitting down with the Scottish Football League and the Scottish FA to talk about the details.

“What we aim to have is a consensus model that cares for all of Scottish football and that’s got to be objective.”

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