BERWICK Rangers have given their support to a proposal to overhaul Scottish professional football.
They are now calling on the views of their fans before the final decision is taken on any restructure, which would see either three or four divisions, made up of 12, 12 and 18 teams or 12, 12, 10 and 10.
Under the proposal, The SPL and SFL could potentially come together as a new organisation, governing all 42 clubs and with an agreed system of distributing finances across all levels of the professional game.
It would also see the end of conditions of entry to top-flight football, such as stadium seating and under-soil heating being removed, which currently would prove restrictive for smaller clubs, including Berwick.
A UEFA Bronze Licence (which Berwick Rangers already have) would enable participation in all divisions of the proposed league.
Berwick director John Bell said: “The process of merging two bodies, each with significant assets and in one case, over 100 years of history, would not be an easy one, and no decision to do so has been taken.
“Work is on-going, and some concerns have been taken on board by the SFL. In the meantime, there is broad agreement from SFL clubs that the proposal has much in its favour, and it could present some exciting opportunities for future development.”
Berwick are now inviting comments from their fans with regards to the restructure.
“We would invite comments from our supporters as to whether or not there is a feeling from fans to retain a 10 team division,” said Bell, “or expand to an 18 team division with, in either case, two automatic promotion places and a third available through play-offs.
“In the case of the latter, we would play the 17 other teams twice a season, once at home, once away.”
Some fans have already expressed their views through the Berwick Rangers’ Facebook page.
A number have come up with a third option, of three equal divisions of 14 teams.
Brian Parkin posted: “18 or 20 team league for me. The achievement of actually doing something in that bigger league would be greater than finishing in a 3rd Division playoff place. For it to work though, there would need to be a pyramid below with a couple of relegation places and enough promotion places at the top. Personally, I find 10 team league tedious.”
Meanwhile, Berwick got back to action with their first competitive game in three weeks when they travelled to Peterhead on Saturday and took a point from a 1-1 draw.
Darren Lavery netted his 11th goal of the season, cancelling out a fifth minute opener from the home side just 60 seconds earlier.
Only two datys earlier, on Thursday evening, Berwick completed the signing of striker Scott Dalziel on a full transfer just hours before the January window closed.
Dalziel has scored over 50 goals for his previous clubs and is seen as a useful addition to Ian Little’s squad as they chase a potential end of season play-off place.