Allan Maitland suggests Hamilton’s vote will favour long-term solution


Accies chairman likes the sound of a 14-team top flight in Scotland.

The difficulty of reaching a consensus on Scottish league reconstruction has been underlined by the club of task force co-chair Les Gray setting out their own voting position before a choice is presented.

Hamilton director Gray revealed at the weekend that a preferred choice for a new structure should be ready by the end of the week but no discussions have started on whether it should be a permanent or temporary measure.

However, Accies chairman Allan Maitland has stated his club are keen on any summer change being for the long term.

Hearts owner Ann Budge, Gray’s co-chair, had claimed any restructure should be for one or two seasons and designed to protect clubs who face being relegated prematurely, including her own, as a result of decisions to terminate at least the lower three divisions amid the pandemic.

Les Gray is co-chairing the task force
Les Gray is co-chairing the task force (PA)

Gray cautioned that they should keep an open mind on the timings but his club already have a strong position.

When asked about Budge’s comments, Maitland told the Only Accies podcast: “It’s not our preferred choice. I understand the value of saying ‘let’s just make sure nobody is penalised, it’s nobody’s fault that this has happened, so next year we will be able to revert’.

“But equally it looks very much like it’s to save Hearts as a one-off season and that doesn’t sound right. It looks a bit narrow-minded.

“A longer-term solution of a 14-team league would work much better as far as we are concerned and that’s the way we are going to vote for it, I think.”

The comments came after the chairmen of Stenhousemuir and Elgin revealed they and their fellow League Two clubs were unanimously in favour of switching from four divisions to a 14-14-14 set-up.

The most talked about approach has been to increase the size of the top flight to 14 clubs while leaving the lower three divisions with 10 teams by promoting the top two teams in each division plus Highland League champions Brora Rangers and Lowland League title winners Kelty Hearts.

The Scottish Professional Football League board, of which Gray is a member, aims to produce a document after its meeting on Monday which would outline the pros and cons of all the structures discussed by the task force, which would then meet again later this week.

The ultimate target is to present clubs with one alternative to the status quo to vote upon.