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Clubs to vote on changing to 22-game season in Leagues 1 and 2

Hampden Park, home of the SPFL.
Hampden Park, home of the SPFL

Scottish League 1 and 2 clubs have been asked to vote on whether to change the current campaign to a 22-match season with a split after 18 games.

The steering group acting on behalf of the two SPFL divisions has expressed a desire to move to a 22-game campaign, despite the SPFL board advising an 18-match season was a more realistic option.

Resolutions have now been circulated to all clubs in Leagues 1 and 2 for a divisional vote by each of them, that will require approval from 75% of the clubs in each respective division. Clubs have been asked to return their votes as soon as possible.

If eight clubs from each league do not vote in favour of a 22-game campaign, the SPFL board will fixture games to deliver the 27-match programme previously agreed.

The SPFL board has agreed to delay the play-off competitions between the Championship, League 1 and League 2 to Saturday, May 8.

League 1 and League 2 clubs have also agreed with the SPFL board that the maximum density of the fixture schedule, regardless of the number of outstanding fixtures a club might have, will be Saturday-Tuesday-Thursday-Saturday, i.e. not more than four league matches in any eight consecutive days.

SPFL company secretary Calum Beattie said: “Since the suspension of League 1 and 2 matches was lifted by the Scottish FA on March 2, we have been in near-constant communication with the club representatives that make up the League 1 and 2 steering group.

“Those discussions have been very productive with everyone working extremely hard to develop a proposition that is agreeable to all parties.

“Although the recommendation from the SPFL board was that an 18-match season was the most practicable option, we fully recognise and respect the desire from clubs in Leagues 1 and 2 to aim for 22 games.

“I am pleased we have now reached an agreement that I hope will be approved by the clubs in the coming days.”

The resolutions will include the following details, as proposed by and agreed with the steering group:

League 1

• In the event that any club in League 1 has not completed 18 fixtures by Friday, April 23, the SPFL would not produce post-split fixtures for League 1. League 1 would instead automatically become an 18-game competition for season 2020/21. The remaining available dates between April 23 and the start of the play-offs would be used to ensure that all clubs in League 1 have played 18 fixtures. It is recognised and accepted that this may mean that some League 1 clubs could have a break in excess of two weeks before competing in the play-offs.

• If any club in League 1 cannot fulfil 18 fixtures by Thursday, May 6, final standings would be calculated on a points-per-game basis.

• In the event that all clubs in League 1 have completed 18 fixtures by Friday, April 23, the SPFL will produce post-split fixtures for League 1. If all League 1 post-split fixtures cannot be completed by Thursday, May 6, the final standings in League 1 will be calculated on a points-per-game basis. These standings will determine which League 1 clubs are promoted / relegated and which are to take part in the Championship / League 1 play-offs and the League 1 / League 2 play-offs.

League 2

• In the event that any club in League 2 has not completed 18 fixtures by Friday, April  23, the SPFL would not produce post-split fixtures for League 2. League 2 would instead automatically become an 18-game competition for season 2020/21. The remaining available dates between  April 23 and the start of the play-offs would be used to ensure that all clubs in League 2 have played 18 fixtures. It is recognised and accepted that this may mean that some League 2 clubs could have a break in excess of two weeks before competing in the League 1 / League 2 play-offs.

• In the event that all clubs in League 2 have completed 18 fixtures by Friday, April 23, the SPFL would produce post-split fixtures for League 2. If all League 2 post-split fixtures cannot be completed by Thursday, May 6, the final standings in League 2 will be calculated on a points-per-game basis. These standings will determine which League 2 clubs are promoted and which are to take part in the League 1 / League 2 play-offs as well as any potential Highland / Lowland League play-off.

• If any club in League 2 cannot fulfil 18 fixtures by Thursday, May 6, final standings will be calculated on a points-per-game basis.

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