Former Caley Thistle manager Craig Brewster reckons calls for a 14-team Premiership will only succeed if the proposal is financially viable for the league’s leading clubs.
Hearts are desperate to push through an expanded top-flight in order to avoid relegation to the Championship, while the proposal would also see Inverness promoted as second-tier runners-up.
The proposal will be discussed by all 42 SPFL clubs at a series of divisional meetings, starting with the Premiership clubs on Monday.
Although Brewster favours a the idea of a larger league, the 53-year-old feels it will struggle to pass unless it makes commercial sense for clubs at the top end of the Scottish game.
Brewster said: “I certainly like the idea of having more teams in the Premiership – that would always have been the case.
“The problem was finances, and trying to get the most money for the big two clubs because they dictated it really.
“At the end of the day it’s the people with the finances that dictate, in terms of what sponsors and the like can give to the governing bodies.
“For me that’s the big crux, but from a football point of view I think it’s a good thing there would be more teams.”
Should Inverness and Hearts take their place in the Premiership next season it would spell the return of the Highland derby and the preservation of the Edinburgh derby in Scotland’s top-flight.
Brewster, who had two spells in charge of Inverness, feels the local rivalries are a key part of the top-flight product.
He added: “It certainly makes sense from Hearts’ point of view. They have obviously struggled and found themselves bottom of the league pretty much all season, so if Ann Budge can be the catalyst for organising that 14-team league she has done brilliant.
“It’s not the first time they have been relegated into the Championship, and a lot of clubs have been in the same boat over the years.
“We’ve seen it with Dundee United, and it’s great they have come back up.
“That’s what you want to see in the top league.
“The Glasgow derby, the Edinburgh derby, the Dundee derby and Highland derby – that’s what people want to see.
“As a player, they are also great to play in – especially if you are on the winning side.
“The way these games are talked up beforehand is very positive, and these derby games are what it’s about.”
Brewster hopes any new format can offer variety in fixtures, adding: “Back in the day we would play each other four times, and then sometimes draw a team again in the two cups.
“You could potentially play teams six times a season – and I don’t think that’s healthy.
“You want it to be competitive, where fans are looking forward to going to the games.
“You want them to be excited rather than saying “here we go again, we just played them last week.”