Talks on 'Old-Firm busting' changes to Scottish Premier League voting system are delayed
14:38 GMT, 12 April 2012
A decision on controversial changes to the Scottish Premier League voting structure – which would render Celtic and Rangers powerless – has been delayed.
The 10 non-old Firm clubs are looking to switch the current 11-1 structure to a 9-3 format which could radicalise the game north of the border.
Currently just one club needs to veto a proposal to stop it from coming into force.
But under the new format both Celtic and Rangers could form an alliance and still be powerless to intervene.
Red card: Under the new plans Celtic and Rangers could be powerless to prevent change
A discussion on the change was expected to be held at today's SPL general meeting at Hampden but those talks were put on hold until the end of the month.
St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour said: 'It has been adjourned until April 30.
'We didn't discuss the voting structure at all today, it was just adjourned until the next meeting. Everybody was present today and it was a good, positive meeting.'
Buddies boss: St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour leaves Hampden
Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston insists the so-called 'Gang of 10' will not back down on their plans to push through the reforms.
Speaking ahead of today's meeting, he said: 'We're certainly not giving up on it.
'It remains to be seen what happens with Rangers, who the preferred bidder is going to be.
'Hopefully there will be some constructive talks about the voting structure when that is known.
'I think it's the majority of the clubs who are behind the move to change the voting structure. That remains on the table.'
Asked how the 10 clubs intend to push through the changes, when a 11-1 vote is needed to scrap the current voting structure, Johnston said: 'Hopefully through gentle persuasion and the fact that we are looking for a more democratic process.
'That should appeal to anyone. I don't think anyone should be worried about having a 75% majority to make major decisions.
'I think it's a perfectly good, sound proposal and there's nothing undemocratic about it.
'It's not going to cause any major worries for anyone who has the best interests of Scottish football in mind.'
Case adjourned: Rangers' Head of Football Administration Andrew Dickson departs the meeting
The vote is now set to take place on the same day that SPL clubs will vote on whether to introduce tougher sanctions for top-flight sides who go into administration or face liquidation.
A range of proposals are set to be considered in relation to financial fair play, with Rangers – who were forced into administration on February 14 – most likely to be affected by any changes.
Meanwhile, the main item on the agenda at today's meeting was the introduction of an Under 20 League from season 2012/13, which was unanimously approved by the SPL clubs, and forms an important part of Scottish Football Association performance director Mark Wotte's review of the Elite Player Pathway.
All SPL clubs will participate in the Under-20 League and the SPL board may also permit a club or clubs in the SFL to participate.
Neil Doncaster, SPL chief executive, said: 'Providing the right platform for developing young Scottish players is vital for the whole of Scottish football and I am delighted to announce the introduction of an Under-20 League from next season.
'Working in conjunction with the Scottish FA, I would hope this goes someway to reducing the development gap between the current Under 19 League and the Clydesdale Bank Premier League to better equip young players for the demands of first team football and aiding the development of more and better young Scottish players for the Scotland national team.'
Teenage kicks: SPL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster has hialed the Under-20 move
Wotte said: 'I am delighted at the decision of the SPL clubs today to approve the introduction of the Under-20 League.
'This is a fundamental part of the Scottish FA's Performance Strategy and it will be vital in bridging the gap between the current under-19s and the first-team squads.
'I am hugely encouraged by the positive discussions that have taken place between the SPL and the Scottish FA and, in particular, the support of the clubs' Heads of Youth and chairmen during the period of consultation.'
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: 'Today's decision is a major step forward in the football bodies working together in the best interests of the game. Mark Wotte has identified the Under-20 League as a key driver of the Performance Strategy and I am delighted the clubs share his vision.'