SPFL reconstruction: Two bottom-tier chairmen critical of Hearts’ proposal – BBC News

Elgin City chairman Graham Tatters is not in favour of reconstruction amid the current crisis

Ann Budge has “got her timing all wrong” with a reconstruction proposal doomed to failure, says Stenhousemuir chairman Iain McMenemy.

And fellow League Two chairman Elgin City’s Graham Tatters confirmed he would vote against the plan.

Hearts owner Budge is proposing a 14-14-14 SPFL set-up for the next two seasons, but McMenemy predicts a lack of support from the top two tiers.

“I’d be very surprised [if it goes through], he told BBC Scotland.

“It does seem to be revolving around Premiership clubs,” McMenemy added. “I can’t see a lot has changed since we found out they weren’t keen on it two weeks ago.

“If you’re St Mirren, Hamilton, St Johnstone, Ross County, you’re being asked to save Hearts for this season in the Premiership. But you’re pretty sure that in a couple of years time there’s going to be at least a double relegation from the Premiership.

“If you’re a Championship club, then if that league has to go from a 14 back to a 10… and you’d have 16 teams when the two come out of the Premiership. So you potentially have six clubs dropping out of the second tier. Why would the Championship clubs support that?”

With Scottish football suspended since 13 March because of coronavirus, and uncertainty over how many SPFL clubs will be able to play next season, McMenemy believes if reconstruction takes place it will be “natural”.

The SPFL hopes to start the season in August but lower-league clubs have voiced opposition to playing behind closed doors, with Queen of the South describing it as “financial suicide”.

Speaking on the Scottish football podcast, McMenemy added: “I think if you hang on, we might find that even over the next two weeks we will have a sense of who can actually start to play and it will be a restricted league, just to get through it.

“I just think Ann’s got her timing all wrong. There are so many uncertainties, so many questions, that to restructure now just adds another set of issues and risks to an absolute plethora of unknowns already there.”

Tatters, meanwhile, insists Budge’s plan – which includes the option of a 16-team bottom tier – has “nothing in it” for clubs in Leagues One and Two of the current 12-10-10-10 format.

And he says discussing reconstruction is “a waste of time” amid the current problems facing the game.

“‘It is very little change to what was proposed before,” Tatters said. “We would want to stick with the status quo.

“Some of us are hanging on threads at the moment, so it is hard enough without worrying about reconstruction.”

Budge has urged clubs to discuss their concerns with her regarding the latest proposal.

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