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SPFL: Hearts propose 14-14-14 league revamp for two years

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack says he is "supportive in principle" of Budge's proposal

Hearts owner Ann Budge has submitted a reconstruction proposal to the SPFL board for three leagues of 14 for the next two seasons.

The document has been circulated to all 42 member clubs and the SPFL board will meet on Wednesday to discuss it.

Budge's plan involves the Premiership splitting after two rounds of fixtures into a top six and bottom eight.

She also suggests a 14-14-16 structure could be implemented if clubs voted to include Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers.

Top-flight Hearts, Championship side Partick Thistle and League One Stranraer were relegated in the SPFL's current 12-12-12-10 format when the season was curtailed by the coronavirus crisis.

Hearts and last season's Championship runners-up, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, would make up the expanded Premiership.

Budge insists the proposal is "a better way for Scottish football to deal with the current emergency, while at the same time righting an unintended injustice".

Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack is "supportive in principle" of Budge's plan and added: "For the survival of Scottish football, I hope every club feels they can get behind this approach."

Adding two teams to the top flight would require a change to the distribution of prize money model, but Budge says this would be offset by Premiership clubs not having to finance the £300,000 parachute payment that Hearts would be due on relegation.

There is also the potential for a play-off involving teams in fifth, sixth and seventh to determine a European place and address concerns about potentially meaningless fixtures.

The second and third tier can decide on nature of their split.

Budge also pledged to share Covid-19 testing facilities and resources with clubs across the divisions to help cover the costs of enabling players to return to training and playing matches.

For Hearts' 14-14-14 plan to pass, it would require nine of the 12 Premiership clubs to vote in favour, along with eight in the Championship and 15 across Leagues One and Two.

A 14-14-16 model - which would include Lowland League champions Kelty and Highland counterparts Brora - needs the approval of 11 of the 12 Premiership clubs, 17 in total from the top flight and Championship, and 32 of the current 42 in all divisions.

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