Alternative to SPFL Proposal

We were contacted by a happy lurker who has drawn up his own plans with regards the playoffs and was more than willing to have his mail published and dissected.
The good chap will be logging on at some stage to take onboard any and all comments regarding his proposal.


Hail! Hail!

Firstly, it’s a pleasure to read your comments on your website, makes me smile as always!

I’m forwarding the message below (I’ve sent to Scots Fans Org, Dundee SLO) to share an alternative proposal to end the 19/20 season and declare champions etc.

This would allow Hearts a chance at avoiding instant relegation and the likes of ICT and Dundee a shot at promotion… Dundee Utd would get automatic promotion as champions.

All this null and void nonsense from the Sevco can be taken back to the sewer from where they crawl. UEFA needs definitive winners and league standings to allow UCL and UEL placements for 20/21.

I really hope UEFA actually grew a pair and carried out due diligence on the financial signs offs by SFA / SPFL …. Sevco do not have any legitimate claim to play in Europe after non disclosure of their accounts.

Back to the point in hand, giving the 41 proper teams a more fairer proposal is required:
The current SPFL proposal is not viable for teams who would have been in a strong position for promotion or potentially escaping relegation had the full fixtures been completed.

My suggestion, based on where we are today with no indication of when football will restart, is to propose play-offs, based on league position as it stands if the season cannot be completed with full fixture list, thus declaring Champions to each Scottish Division.
For Scottish Championship, League 1 and League 2, the Champions promoted automatically.

In terms of relegation and promotion, let’s use the Scottish Premier/Championship as the example:

Play off A: Winner of playoff A to face winner of playoff B for final place to determine 12th team in Scottish Premier for 20/21 season. Loser here will be in Championship for 20/21.
Otherwise we’d have 13 teams ( unless we relegate the zombie club! )

Play off B: 2nd/3rd Championship sides play off in one off tie (neutral venue) to decide winner who will go to play off C. Loser remains in Championship.

Play off C: Loser (play off A) v Winner (play off B) at neutral venue to decide who gets final premier place for season 20/21; loser in Championship.

This in principal could apply to the rest of the leagues below to ensure a more fairer attempt to avoid instant relegation and non promotion for high position teams.
Play offs could be implemented in July prior to new season KO.
I know Hamilton would probably have a gripe but they would have had to go through a play off if they had finished 11th after 38 games.
There is no easy solution but at least this one would give everyone a chance as they would have had upon completion of all the fixtures.

Having grown up in Scotland, it’s a wee bit embarrassing here in London to see how Scottish football can’t seem to organise anything and always appear to be a joke in the eyes of the press. Kind regards,

Stay Safe!

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April 14, 2020 4:58 am


Interesting proposal. I expect the main opposition to it-from those with vested interests,like Hearts!-would be with regard to season ticket sales. It can’t be easy selling tickets to watch that lot as it is,never mind not knowing what league you’re gonna be paying for.

Of course,given the logjam currently that is Scottish football,and their constant refrain that their stance has nothing to do with self-preservation,I’m sure that they will view that as a mere bump in the road back to normality.

And of course,the play-offs are meant to be an end of season event. These would have to be a pre-season event as it would be unfair to ask players to respond without being able to regain their fitness levels.

The first part of my reply refers to the self-interests of the clubs involved. That will be difficult to overcome,but it is not insurmountable. Simple-put it to a vote,job done. The second part,not so much.

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 5:18 am

Morning all

Welcome Harvey.

Not for me I’m afraid.

The powers that be need to take the bull by the horns and stop trying to pander to the needs of the desperate.

We are in an unprecedented situation.

End the season NOW.

Why have play offs over 1-2 matches when there’s been 28 matches or so already played?

The positions as they are should stand. Average points applied. Celtic are champs. Hearts are relegated. Every position and promotion / relegation based on current average points / positions

Call it as over . Now.

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 5:55 am

Dundee about to vote YES.

According to the Record.

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 6:02 am

Dundee being added to the “ we should never set foot in that ground again” by the threadbares.

So , with Dundee United already on that list, what a glorious day for the city of Dundee. Never again will they see their streets plagued by the rotten mob.

House prices set to rise in Dundee??

April 14, 2020 6:06 am


Aw,diddums. Picture all those huns throwing their cherished Oor Willie annuals into the bad fire.

April 14, 2020 6:10 am


Taking of people who think that everyone should just kowtow to their superiority…

Seems Trump threw a wobbly at yesterday’s press conference when some mere mortal-reporters of all things!-dared question his just beautiful leadership. Today’s article on it in The Guardian begins with…

“A toddler threw a self-pitying tantrum on live television on Monday night. Unfortunately he was 73 years old, wearing a long red tie and running the world’s most powerful country.”


April 14, 2020 6:14 am

Morning all.
Thanks for the article Harvey.
An interesting article.

April 14, 2020 6:15 am

Follow Follow meltdown.
Dundee and Hamilton voting for the Vatican. ??

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 6:43 am

FF a riot this morning eh! ?

I’ve stayed under the radar on there a long time. I might need to hand myself in now. I don’t think I’m gonna be able to resist a few:

?????’s, with a couple of “ dry yer eyes” thrown in.

April 14, 2020 7:07 am


Wow,that’s incredibly sharp for this time of the day!

April 14, 2020 7:50 am


If my mates back home found out I posted on FF,they would put road blocks up to bar my return. Bad enough that they know about here and,previously,CQN.

Too risky. So I don’t.

But well done on going deep cover!!!

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 8:00 am

I get a happy birthday message from them every year…. but I gave the wrong birthdate when I joined. So, I’m like the queen. Two birthdays per year.

Actually I’ve not made a post on there for some time, but watching the meltdown on match days was a lovely way to spend some of my weekends.?

big packy
April 14, 2020 8:12 am

MORNING ALL AND JIM , Harvey great article ,welcome to the blog, think ill go with twisty on this one, keep posting HH.

big packy
April 14, 2020 8:19 am

only ever went on follow follow once, read about 2 articles and left, wont be back, anybody know of any other rainjurs sites for me to go on, you know a love the famous glesca rainjurs?

Harvey Singh
April 14, 2020 8:33 am

Hail Hail!

Good morning guys and thank you Mahe for posting my alternative.

Twist n Turns, I think you’re right regarding the close proximity of playoffs before season starts.

Seeing the news this morning regarding Dundee voting YES, therefore leagues should be ended. We’ve just started peaking the covid19 death rate and it’s approx 6 to 8 weeks to get to the levels required to potentially relax the lockdown (although I’m enjoying not doing the daily commute on the tubes here in London!)

It’s time to award the Champions!!

Here we go to 10 IAR!!!

God bless you all my fellow hoops!

Kind regards

April 14, 2020 9:01 am


I know how difficult it is to get about London without the tube-there isn’t one in Streatham where I lived,for starters. Or Sutton,come to that,but they went all retro and brought in trams.

Good luck with your daily journey. I’ve never been so happy just to drive a van with myself for company!

You’ve provided an excellent article,and our grateful thanks. It,like so many things,throws up options to get out of the hole that football,and the world at large,is facing. And on so many occasions,an option hits that bump in the road I referred to earlier. But it’s clear that these are exceptional times,and we will have to resort to exceptional measures to rectify the situation.

It may well be that the decision is made to finish the season as is and cancel relegation,but promote the top two clubs,giving us a 14-10-10-10 situation for a while. It may well be that we play to a finish. Yours is certainly an option if we finish the season as is,but continue with relegation and promotion.

And in exceptional times,people have to suck it up sometimes.

Welcome to the site,mate. Please give us your thoughts on the lunacy and mayhem we have on here,particularly during the night shift,but more importantly on all things Celtic!

April 14, 2020 9:07 am

Good Morning Bhoys and Ghirls

Welcome Harvey, certainly an interesting alternative suggestion. My view is to call the league now, as I cannot see any other way in which to proceed given the circumstances. The often expressed 14 teams for next season would be my preference, so as not to disadvantage promotion contenders, and at the same time acknowledge that (some) relegation candidates may – may – have had an arithmetical chance of avoiding that outcome. I would also get rid of the split, which is a blight on the game, and play each team home and away, meaning 26 matches in total. Should that be deemed too few matches, then i would prefer a 16 team league with home and away games leading to a total of 30 matches with no split. If there is to be a split in a 14 team league, then it should be 7:7, meaning a 38 match season and an equal number of home and away games. I still think that 38 matches is too many, and I would be interested to hear other ideas on how to reduce that whilst adopting the principle of one home and away fixture against each team rather than the existing two, which seems to me to be for one unsound reason only. We, as in the clubs, should be dictating the broadcasting terms, not acting as a filler for the EPL. Easier said than done, I know.

April 14, 2020 9:14 am

I’ve stolen this from Huddleboard.??
@CelticFC Any idea when the Dundee friendly tickets go on sale??

April 14, 2020 9:15 am

Morning Harvey.
Welcome and enjoy.

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 9:30 am

Hi Harvey
Thanks for the reply.

Yes the potential Dundee u turn is a game changer.

Safe journeys as you commute around London. I couldn’t deal with it. Longest I ever travelled was Coventry to Telford. Drove it there and back every day for about 2 years. The M6 was a riot most evenings. Drove me up the wall.
The toll road opened about 16 months into that 2 year period and was a God send to me but still felt it was too much. I moved to Telford eventually.

Don’t be a stranger to the blog now that you’ve dipped yer toes in the waters.

(There’s no one in here bites except Awe Naw and Mags but that’s down to their home town background. You had to be able to bark in that god forsaken town they were reared in. They applied to move a mile east on various occasions but failed to get sponsorship)

April 14, 2020 9:44 am

Good morning all from the Govanhill bayou. Keep on chooglin. ?

big packy
April 14, 2020 9:50 am

morning brrb, sunny down here at the moment, just had egg and bacon, you got all the skwerr??

April 14, 2020 10:02 am

Barry Ferguson admits he’s thrilled to lift his first ever title as a manager – even if he’d have preferred his Kelty Hearts side to have been able to finish the job on the park.

Lowland League officials last night pulled the shutters down on their season amid the coronavirus crisis and declared Ferguson’s side champions with five matches remaining.
Ferguson said: “First and foremost I would have preferred to win my first ever title as a manager fairly and squarely on the pitch.

“But the longer this current health crisis continues the more obvious it has become that we’re not going to be in any position to re-start the season any time soon.

“We’re sitting six points clear with just five games to go and felt we were in a really strong position to finish the job off.

big packy
April 14, 2020 10:12 am

aff oot with the dugs for my 1 hour walk, I can see the oul man u supporter across the road with his stopwatch, cant disappoint him?

April 14, 2020 10:19 am

BP rattling them pots and pans shortly. Lorne,bacon, egg and totty scone. ?

April 14, 2020 10:25 am


Bastert! I’m beginning to think you lack empathy,old son. Even the very mention of lorne or skwerr,to give it its proper name-has us expats salivating.

Fortunately,I’ve just had a big plateful of curry. And I must admit,bloody excellent too. Bed shortly to sleep it off.

April 14, 2020 10:34 am

Sorry Mick, I forget that some of you poor folks live far away from the holy ground. ?. What kind of curry?

The Gombeen Man
April 14, 2020 10:40 am

Welcome Harvey and that was a great read this morning.

So it’s hats off to Bonny Dundee.
I guess the issue with the play off scenerio is that Sevco wanted a nil and void. Could you have play offs in that scenario?
It’s a laudable suggestion but Sevco have their own agenda.

It’s ironic for a club that have literally embezzled millions from the other clubs and have misused the administration of the game for their own ends are now be at loggerheads with the SPFL?

Maybe more transparency and accountability in the SPFL will result?

Be careful what you wish for.

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 11:03 am

50 pairs gloves posted oot. Delivery tomorrow but they couldn’t guarantee time.

Noo…. if ye ever bump intae ma missus…. hide. She stood in the queue all the way along high street to get into the PO. ?

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 11:17 am

That’s FF now encouraging supporters to boycott Ladbrokes to “ show them the power of the Rangers”

Oh the irony.

Follows this :

RANGERS Football Club’s contract with Ladbrokes as a provider of in-stadia betting services will come to an end in advance of next Season 2020/2021.

Director of Commercial & Marketing, James Bisgrove, commented “Following a number of supporter enquiries over the Easter weekend, we can confirm the arrangement with Ladbrokes, who provide betting facilities at Ibrox stadium, will not continue next season.”

In anticipation of our 150th anniversary, Rangers will continue to grow its Commercial Partnerships programme, both domestically and internationally.

April 14, 2020 11:33 am

Twists n Turns

Twisty yir no a bad Lhad…..But yir wife is an angel.hh

Tony Gillespie
April 14, 2020 11:41 am

In a long line of pro-Sevco articles in the Press, I have found the latest tin-foil winner in The Evening Times by James Morgan:-

“NO ONE did social distancing over Easter weekend quite like Neil Doncaster.

Just as the Tory government has been sidestepping the difficult questions over its handling of the Covid-19 crisis, the SPFL chief executive has been all too visible in, well, his invisibility since the farce over the vote to call the lower leagues early started to unfold.

We could cast Doncaster in the role of hapless Matt Hancock spraying hospital balls to NHS spokespeople. But at least the minister for health has been seen fielding questions, however feckless he has appeared in doing so.

Where has the SPFL chief executive been in the middle of this meltdown? A brief statement last Wednesday aside, there has been no word of communication from him.

Murdoch MacLennan, the SPFL chairman who has business links to Celtic owner Dermot Desmond and shareholder Denis O’Brien, has assumed responsibility for acting as the board’s mouthpiece.

The situation has, in turn, become tribal, loaded with claim and counter-claim; all too regularly the case in Scottish football and all too regularly to its detriment.

It is often said – sometimes too often – that the clubs themselves are the SPFL. With disparate interests to be heard, there are times of rampant discord and division as a result.

It is therefore incumbent on Doncaster, as highest-paid director, to step forward and assume the mantle he has been entrusted with as public face of the organisation. His position should exist specifically for moments such as this – when faced with competing self- interests strong and stable leadership is required.

On Saturday, a petition aimed at removing him from his post was launched by a Rangers fan. As of late yesterday afternoon it was closing in on a target of 25,000 signatures.

“This man is far too close to Celtic football club [sic]. There must surely be a conflict of interest going on here,” wrote one signee, somewhat predictably.

“Completely lost faith. No reasons properly given for not releasing funds to clubs now. Rushed and poor decision making,” remarked another.

Outlandish? Maybe, then again maybe not. Such claims refuse to go away and do the SPFL’s credibility no good whatsoever.

Of course, it is not the first time Doncaster has dealt with a crisis or met with stiff criticism.

The league went three years without a title sponsor and when it finally got one it was with Ladbrokes, a third betting company (to go with Betfred and William Hill) when the game was being rocked by a succession of stories involving players and club officials breaking the rules on gambling.

Worryingly, the language which has been expressed in the aftermath of Friday’s vote has an echo of 2012 when the then SFL clubs talked about scare tactics and bullying over efforts to find a home for Rangers in the first division.

The feeling among some clubs is that this has been an unfair procedure from the outset, the voting process has been flawed and the publication of an exit poll before everyone had voted beyond belief.

As an exercise in administrative probity, it was a shambles. “My role as chief executive
is to represent all 12 clubs equally,” said Doncaster, when league reconstruction was on the agenda back in 2013.

“It’s not the case that I drive the clubs; it is the other way round.” Doncaster is actually responsible for all 42 clubs, yet too often it seems he is acting in the interests of a cartel.

His own a la carte definition of the job is at odds with his statement last Wednesday, which

used intemperate language suggesting “now is the time to act” and “the quicker we reach a final position the better”.

There is no doubt that some clubs are on the brink, but previous talk of impending financial Armageddon in the face of the Rangers crisis compromises his argument.

Doncaster possesses the comportment of a door-to- door insurance collector; you sense his definition of strong and stable might refer to the garden furniture at Dobbies. Alas, in recent days his organisation has looked as if is being held together by a few sheets of MDF and tin tacks.

He has been lauded for negotiating the record £150million TV deal with Sky Sports that is due to come into being next season. A sizeable amount, yes, but there is no doubt that the deal could have been better.

In 2018, the same year the Sky Sports deal was struck, Eurosport agreed to pay £48m for the rights to show games in Sweden’s top flight. In Rangers v Celtic, Doncaster has one of the biggest sporting spectacles in Europe as a selling point.

In 2008, the Scottish Premier League successfully negotiated a deal with Setanta Sports that brought £31m a year over four years. The deal collapsed due to Setanta’s financial implosion a year later but it was a fair barometer of market value.

The new deal agreed by the SPFL is just £1m more than that, a meagre three per cent in the 12 years since it was struck.

It’s not even in line with annual inflation, unlike Doncaster’s salary increases, however. In 2013, when he was chief executive of the SPL he was earning £200,000, today he earns almost double that when bonuses are factored in.

It equates to £388,000, more than the entire prize money handed to those teams that finished in places 4th to 11th in League 2 last season.

He is surely the highest-paid powerless administrator in world football and it appears to suit the SPFL clubs to allow Doncaster to stand on the steps at Hampden and take bullets for them.

Increasingly, though, the system he represents looks fatally flawed. If he is in a no- win situation as an employee then the problem lies with the job itself. The chief executive, his chairman and his board should have a degree of autonomy as final arbiters when competing interests prove insurmountable, yet the whole edifice is built on representatives with vested interests – Doncaster and MacLennan aside.

Perhaps radical league reconstruction – which should be unavoidable now – must look at all facets of the structure, including what goes on behind the chief executive’s door. “

April 14, 2020 11:53 am

A wee tea break from work and a message for all (esp Mags)

HH & Back to Work CSC

Bada Bing
April 14, 2020 12:08 pm

Twists- exactly what VP said……thanks to you and your good lady.HH

Bada Bing
April 14, 2020 12:10 pm

Ladbrokes are pulling out of Scottish football, that could be in stadiums as well,another hollow victory, and more fake news from the Gullabillies….

Twists n Turns
April 14, 2020 12:16 pm

Clearly yev never met her ?


Yer welcome. Let me know they arrive ok tomorrow. Danka

April 14, 2020 12:17 pm

bada bing1
Ladbrokes are pulling out of Scottish football, that could be in stadiums as well,another hollow victory, and more fake news from the Gullabillies….
Bada don’t be daft,they’re pullin oot cause they’ve lost the mighty blue pound :O) fekn wallopers

April 14, 2020 12:18 pm

SFTB, Morgan claims the situation has become ‘tribal’. And yet he throws into the mix of his article that MacLennan has business links with DD. What’s that got to do with anything? Celtic have not been involved in this latest shenanigins but he mentions a petition against Maclennan because of dubious links to Celtic? The tribalism is encouraged by hacks like Morgan.

In all his castigation of Doncaster, where does he mention Doncaster’s role in the Rangers & Sevco events from 2011?

Morgan should think twice before accusing others of tribalism and bias and incompetence.

Bada Bing
April 14, 2020 12:19 pm

I’m sure the intrepid Laptop Loyal, will be trying to unmask the whistleblower………

Bada Bing
April 14, 2020 12:20 pm

Sky reporter just said ‘ statement O’clock….’ ??

The Gombeen Man
April 14, 2020 12:24 pm

Sevco were allegedly onto Ladbrokes at the weekend most probably asking them to put pressure on the SPFL.
That contact was leaked, so too was Sevco’s request that Ladbrokes ‘go easy’ on one of their chosen few.
Ladbrokes obviously told them to ‘go and raffle’ and are pulling back from football sponsorship

April 14, 2020 12:25 pm

Just to be clear, I’m not defending Doncaster or any other suit at Hampdump. i would gladly see them all run out of town over any reason. By whomsoever.

April 14, 2020 12:32 pm

Morning Packy. 🙂

Bada Bing
April 14, 2020 12:36 pm

The comment probably nearer the mark with Ladbrokes…

April 14, 2020 1:04 pm

Good afternoon All, I hope this finds you well.

It’s right to consider alternatives to what’s been proposed. I’ve still got an issue with the 2-part solution of the premierleague being decided at a later date. I can’t help but think CFC are walking into a trap! But on balance I think Twists is right and the SPFL are required to sort it out. I suppose the reality is that although every club is affected some are affected more than others and therefore it is a difficult circle to square!!

….and Twists, with your intimate knowledge of it…..
That Morgan article is disgraceful! And moreover it sounds like FF rant!! I don’t read much of the tabloid articles, really just what’s posted on sites with links attached, but feck me!! Morgan’s outburst is the most biased piece of shit I’ve seen in a long time. You could pick holes in every part of it, he was all over the place! Pure and utter shit. To bring DD and McBride into it tells you everything you need to know!!!

April 14, 2020 1:10 pm

Hi Jim, how are things with you today? How’s the knee holding up? I completely agree with you on this….

SFTB, Morgan claims the situation has become ‘tribal’. And yet he throws into the mix of his article that MacLennan has business links with DD. What’s that got to do with anything? Celtic have not been involved in this latest shenanigins but he mentions a petition against Maclennan because of dubious links to Celtic? The tribalism is encouraged by hacks like Morgan.

In all his castigation of Doncaster, where does he mention Doncaster’s role in the Rangers & Sevco events from 2011?

Morgan should think twice before accusing others of tribalism and bias and incompetence.

April 14, 2020 12:18 pm

April 14, 2020 1:11 pm

No way can you bring curry to a breakfast conversation…it’s just wrong, mate!!! 😉

April 14, 2020 1:12 pm

Big Railroad BlueNose
You put the cat among the pigeons when you start talking Full Scottish on an International Blog!! 🙂 🙂 🙂

April 14, 2020 1:13 pm

It will soon be Statement O’Clock


Bada Bing
April 14, 2020 1:13 pm

Freddie Mercury tribute act…

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