League reconstruction: here’s what the players think

14-14-14 is favoured model, according to PFA Scotland survey

Action from Ross County v Rangers on 8 March on the last weekend of football before the shutdown. Picture: Rob Casey / SNS
Action from Ross County v Rangers on 8 March on the last weekend of football before the shutdown. Picture: Rob Casey / SNS

PFA Scotland members have given their emphatic backing to league reconstruction for next season with just over 60 per cent in favour of a 14-14-14 set-up.

A total of 692 players took part in the PFA Scotland survey, including more than 200 from the Premiership, and the results will be sent to the SPFL’s working group on reconstruction.

Almost 80 per cent of respondents said the leagues should be reshaped from the start of the 2020-21 campaign, with 76 per cent stating reconstruction should be permanent.

The most popular structure among the players is three divisions of 14 with a top seven-bottom seven split after 26 rounds of fixtures, while two up, two down and play-offs is the most favoured option for promotion and relegation.

PFA Scotland are not represented on the 15-strong SPFL working group, co-chaired by Hearts owner Ann Budge and Hamilton vice-chairman Les Gray, and more than 63 per cent of respondents to the survey stated players are not consulted enough by governing bodies on major issues in the game.

“Everyone seems to have a view on league reconstruction, from our own clubs to supporters and the media,” said St Johnstone midfielder Liam Craig, chairman of PFA Scotland.

“However, it is vitally important that the players’ voice is heard. That is why we asked PFA Scotland to put this survey out to our members so we can get their opinion on the possible restructuring of the leagues we play in.

“It is the future of the game we play that is being debated, and we feel strongly that our opinion should be taken into consideration.”

Fraser Wishart, PFA Scotland chief executive, said: “While it is the governing bodies who make the decisions, players' opinions seem to be largely overlooked. People tend to forget that players are at the heart of the game, it is their job and they care passionately about it. These results show that beyond doubt.

“Since the start of the COVID-19 outbreak we have repeatedly called for everyone in the game to work together to find a way through this unprecedented situation the world finds itself in.

“We hope the Working Group will take the players’ views into consideration as their talks on league reconstruction progress.”