Updated Friday, 9th March 2007
The SFL have not had a good week. First their own report said they were not fit for purpose and now a significant number of clubs want to leave - sooner rather than later.
Gold left his Hampden offices on Thursday night with the First Division clubs still in discussion. He believes an August 2008 start was "do-able" but added: "There was a feeling in the room amongst some of them that they want to move quicker. Others had more modest aspirations. It would be difficult." The current structure of the SPL are still in dispute with the SFL over the financial settlement should the expansion plan happen, at whichever date is finally agreed. The SPL currently give £1.6million a season to the SFL clubs but want to reduce that to just more than £1million.
Gold said: "The next step for us is we're waiting for the SFA to arbitrate on our disagreement with the SFL. We have an element of frustration that the process in Scottish football always grinds exceedingly slow. We believe there is a need to improve the top level of our game. The gap between ourselves and the First Division will grow unless that is addressed. Some of the frustration we have had is we put forward our proposals on August 17. Just under eight months on there have been no substantive discussions about the proposals." There is no real pressure on the SPL to move at a quicker pace than currently suggested. It is the ambition of the SFL clubs that will determine the pace of change. Gold added: "It's a matter for them and not for us - we are not in the business of trying to shape things."
Ger Harley (ger@scottishfitba net)
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