Reconstruction talks progress

Aberdeen will be without Russell Anderson and Ryan Jack for

their final Clydesdale Bank Premier League game of the season at

home to Hearts on Saturday.

Jack has picked up a knock while the club will not risk

Anderson, because he has a tight hamstring and is also one booking

away from a suspension.

Rory Fallon and Peter Pawlett will be absent as well because

they are serving bans at the moment.

Hearts manager Gary Locke is contemplating giving injured

skipper Marius Zaliukas a short run-out.

The Lithuanian defender is close to fitness after an ankle

problem and, as he is out of contract in the summer, he may be

given the chance to wave goodbye to the travelling supporters.

Defenders Darren Barr and Brad Mackay are rated doubtful for the

Pittodrie encounter.

The summit of all 30 clubs – including associate members

Rangers, who do not have a vote – backed plans for a 42-club merger

with the Scottish Premier League.

The discussions followed agreement by SPL clubs over revised

plans, which would include a merged organisation, a 12-10-10-10

structure and top-flight play-offs.

The SFL will propose a different distribution model, which

recognises the importance of the Second and Third Division clubs

but will not involve the SPL giving up more money.

They have also put a different governance model to the SPL ahead

of their meeting on Monday.

SFL clubs would likely be given 14 days notice of a formal vote

on league reconstruction, with no date set as yet.

Chief executive David Longmuir said: “We are most definitely

willing to continue with a 42-club solution to the league

reconstruction process.

“We are going to work hard to bring this to fruition as quickly

as we possibly can in the hope that what we deliver benefits the

whole game in Scotland.

“There are a number of things that we got unanimity on today. We

are going to initiate a process of due diligence to ensure we get

to a place where we have a proper health check on any merged

organisation to ensure there are no surprises.

“We agreed that the recommended financial distribution model

that the SFL put to the SPL this week is going to take us forward

and we got unanimous agreement that that was the will of the

clubs.

“I know Neil Doncaster is putting it to his clubs on Monday and

I hope that they look upon it as being a fair and appropriate way

to spread what wealth we’ve got in the game.

“On governance, the initial governance model that was proposed,

and seems still to be the favoured governance model, is not one

that we wish to pursue.

“The governance model that the clubs, in unanimous fashion

agreed to support, was the one that I previously put to the SPL,

which is a 3-1-1-1 governance model, as opposed to a 3-2-1

governance model.

“This is a marvellous opportunity for everybody to get behind

it. We are not far away.”