Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack has suggested he would back Hearts owner Ann Budge’s plan for temporary reconstruction after proposals were sent to SPFL clubs.
Budge has suggested three divisions of 14 for the next two years, while acknowledging a number of lower-league teams might not be able to play at all next season.
Some clubs in League One and League Two in particular have admitted playing on will be extremely difficult considering the costs of Covid-19 testing and playing behind closed doors.
Championship clubs such as Ayr and Queen of the South have also warned that playing next season would be impossible without financial assistance and Budge has been formulating a plan to avoid her team dropping down to the second tier, and Partick Thistle moving into League One.
After earlier leading a group of Premiership clubs reluctant to look at a permanent league rethink during the coronavirus crisis, Cormack backed this new proposal and said: “We’ve consistently said we don’t believe major and permanent league reconstruction should be carried out in the midst of this crisis. However, Aberdeen has always been supportive of a temporary reconstruction to avoid the relegation of Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer in this unprecedented situation.
“Given this is a temporary reconstruction plan, AFC is supportive in principle and, for the survival of Scottish football, I hope every club feels they can get behind this approach.”
As part of the plan, four clubs in League One, including Peterhead, would effectively drop down into the bottom division, despite nominally staying in the same division. League Two Cove Rangers, meanwhile, would be denied the step up into the second-bottom tier, remaining instead in the new bottom league.
Dons legend Alex McLeish is the guest on this week’s Northern Goal podcast, listen to the trailer here:
Budge has also proposed a change to the financial distribution model for the teams who finish 13th and 14th in Premiership, meaning her plan would need the backing of 11 of the 12 top-flight teams.
However, she has argued that her plan would not cost any more money than compensating the three clubs who were consigned to relegation when the coronavirus crisis led to the curtailment of the season.
The plans would also create an imbalance in the number of games teams in each division would play after a mid-season split – a top six in the Premiership playing 36 times and sides in the bottom eight playing 40 games.
Budge claims her plan tackles the “unjustness” of the relegation scenario while offering flexibility amid clubs’ battle for survival.