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SPL expansion plan given approval
SPL 2 plans may go ahead
By Andy Campbell

The Scottish Premier League is a step closer to creating a second division - two and a half years after first proposing it.

The Scottish Football League had contested a bid to introduce an SPL2, claiming it would breach a previous agreement between the two bodies.

But the Scottish FA's arbitration panel concluded on Thursday that a second tier would not breach the agreement.

"We welcome this outcome," said SPL executive chairman Lex Gold.

"It has taken quite some time to arrive at this conclusion.

"But the way is now clear for us to review this outcome with our clubs after which we will have discussions with our colleagues in the SFL.

"Our aim through all of this has been to enhance and strengthen the senior professional game in Scotland."

The proposal for a new top-flight structure of 22 clubs playing in two divisions was first introduced in 2006.

But the SFL challenged the proposal, insisting it would break a settlement agreement which was reached when the SPL was first set up in 1998.

That settlement agreement detailed issues such as promotion, relegation and parachute payments.

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The independent panel that was appointed to assess the SFL's claim of a possible breach included Hon Lord Brodie, PricewaterhouseCoopers' David Glen and Jim Clydesdale.

The SPL say they will convene an extraordinary meeting of its 12 clubs in mid-March to ask them if they still back the creation of an SPL2.

If that's successful, the SPL will then open negotiations with the SFL.

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