Tony Fitzpatrick: 16 teams SPFL and Celtic Champions. How it could work

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The St. Mirren chief has stirred up a hornet’s nest among the deluded after calling for Celtic to be awarded the title and for there to be no relegation, stating that it is the perfect time for a restructure of the game in Scotland.

I tend to agree, for starters we saw today that Belgium has awarded the title to Brugge and it is only a matter of time before the major leagues follow suit and the SPFL are backed into a corner.

The facts are that null and void will be a catastrophe for football itself, it will be a positive for Rangers though so of course, the SPFL has a hard decision to make, the common good or their common greed.

With the question of how a 14 or 16 team Premiership could work it is worth thinking about the main thing broadcasters want, Glasgow derbies, we are contractually bound to give 4 a year, so here is how it could be done.

If we were to bring up 4 teams and make a 16 team competition then the Premiership would have Dundee Utd, ICT, Dundee FC and Ayr United join the existing teams.

Now we could then have 2 derby rounds, that is to say, 2 games home and away, organised at the start of the year and spliced within the main home and away draw.

Celtic would obviously play the Newco, Hibs vs Hearts, the Dundee derby, Kilmarnock vs Ayr, St. Johnstone, Ross County, Aberdeen and Caley could pair off and St. Mirren could play Hamilton and Motherwell play Livingstone.

The main point being that the TV companies would be happy with Celtic and Rangers being on every 7 to 8 games.

League 1 in its entirety would be promoted to the 6 teams remaining in the Championship making 2 Leagues of 16, League 2 would then be renamed something like the National League and have no relegation.

Instead, they would take the winners of the Highland and Lowland Leagues and move to a 12 team format, something that could be grown to 16 by promotion from those leagues without relegation for 2 more seasons.

In the Premiership this would make for a 32 game League, itself entirely home and away, no fudging of the fixtures, no split.

The derby rounds could be left out in the lower leagues to make way for the playoff rounds at the end of the season.

Next year is more than likely going to be a crowded affair due to a late start, by actually expanding the league and reducing the games it would be what is best for the League at this point of time.

You could also open up 2 direct relegation places and 1 playoff spot making the bottom of the table far more interesting, this is, as Tony Fitzpatrick has said, an opportunity to restructure the game.

If only the hindrances and self-interest at one particular club weren’t an issue at this time.