Hibs seeking support over play-off cash

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HIBS will need to gain the support of 75 per cent of clubs from each division if they are to force change regarding Premiership play-off cash.

Under current rules, the Scottish Professional Football League is entitled to 50 per cent of all ticket revenue from the three two-legged knock-out matches.

And, with Rangers and Hibs among the teams chasing promotion, the SPFL expects to land a windfall in excess of £1 million from the six matches, with that money then distributed to lower league clubs.

However, Hibs want that levy reduced to 25 per cent and the issue will be put to a vote at next Thursday’s SPFL annual general meeting.

Hibs’ city rivals Hearts and Motherwell, who could compete in the play-off final as the side that finishes second bottom of the Premiership, are also behind the proposal.

Those clubs keen on change would need the support of 75 per cent of teams in each tier of the game, meaning nine Premiership, eight Championship and at least 15 clubs from Leagues One and Two would need to vote in 
favour. However, it is thought that many lower league sides will be against the idea of having their end-of-season windfall cut.

In a statement issued by yesterday, Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster stressed the debate around play-offs was legitimate, but was not initiated by Hibs.

“The debate began in October when the board of the SPFL sought to introduce minimum pricing for play-off matches and to change the rules to state that season tickets were not valid. We disagree, because we believe clubs should be allowed the flexibility to deal with their season-ticket holders as they think best. Resolution 1 has been requisitioned by three clubs – and other clubs say they support it – because the board of the SPFL refused to amend its proposal to accommodate the point of principle.”

She stressed that the levy was originally designed to help pay for the parachute payment made to relegated clubs, and added: “When the parachute payment is fully funded by the Scottish FA, as it is at the moment, there is no need for a levy. In those circumstances, all the levy does is take money paid by supporters to watch the team they support and redistribute that to every other team in the league. Any club which can imagine itself in that situation would say that was unfair.”