St Johnstone: Worry over broadcasting deal hit reconstruction talks – BBC News

St Johnstone say the broadcasting deal is the only “realistic” source of income for all 42 clubs

St Johnstone say failed plans for league reconstruction were unworkable in such a short timescale.

Reconstruction talks ended on Friday with insufficient support from Premiership clubs to change leagues.

In a statement, Saints said it was “unrealistic to overcome the many intricacies and complexities” to push through restructuring changes.

The Perth club were also concerned about a potential risk to clubs’ income tied to next term’s broadcasting deal.

A 15-strong panel had been set up to look at proposals following the SPFL’s April ballot to end the lower-league season because of coronavirus.

But at last week’s meeting of top-flight sides – plus Championship winners Dundee United – it emerged the majority were against changing the 12-10-10-10 format this summer.

A 14-14-14 structure had seemed the most likely to succeed and the backing of nine of the 12 Premiership clubs was needed, along with eight in the Championship and 15 across Leagues One and Two.

St Johnstone stressed that the club is not against restructuring at some point in the future and that their chairman Steve Brown “has been a vocal supporter of league construction for a number of years”.

“It was more than apparent prior to our discussions last Friday that the majority of clubs both in the Premiership and elsewhere wanted a permanent solution,” the club added.

“We were concerned that there was a potential risk to the broadcast deal which is the only realistic source of income for all 42 clubs for the foreseeable future. In our opinion, it would be negligent and reckless to do something with the knowledge that it could likely have a detrimental effect to income sources.

“Lastly, we are keen to stress that the issue of league reconstruction should not be taken off the table and we remain open to future discussions.”

All 42 SPFL clubs will be balloted at an EGM on Tuesday, which was called after Rangers – backed by Hearts and Stranraer – made an official request for an independent inquiry into the SPFL’s vote to end the lower-league season.

That April resolution also gave the SPFL board the option to curtail the suspended Premiership season if it deems the outstanding 49 fixtures cannot be played.

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