(Reuters) - Scottish Premier League (SPL) clubs backed plans on Monday to restructure the cash-strapped game in Scotland despite vocal opposition from former champions Rangers.
“The clubs were united in their view about the need for change,” said SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster.
“I firmly believe that any change can only come from consensus and there’s one consensus model for change going forward,” Doncaster told reporters after a meeting of the 12 SPL clubs in Glasgow.
The proposals envisage a switch to a three-tier structure from the current four, possibly as early as next season.
Rangers had to relaunch from the fourth tier of the Scottish game last year after their parent company collapsed. They have been told that there will be no short-cut back to the top for them under the proposed reforms.
They are unhappy that the changes will leave them languishing in the lowest level of the Scottish club game even though they are running away with their division.
The proposals envisage two top divisions of 12 clubs and a bottom division featuring 18 teams.
The 30 clubs outside the SPL are due to consider the reforms at a meeting on Thursday.
Rangers have proposed three divisions of 14 teams, with any changes delayed until 2014-15. Chief executive Charles Green has threatened to try to switch to another European league but there is no obvious alternative for the Glasgow club.
Writing by Keith Weir; Editing by Clare Fallon