Why Stranraer did not want to be part of the SPFL reconstruction task force

Stranraer chairman Iain Dougan admitted this week that the club deliberately avoided joining the task force looking at ways to restructure Scottish football.

Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 11:27 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd April 2020, 11:30 am
Reconstruction could see Clyde and Stranraer both in the bottom tier (pic: Craig Black Photography)

The 14 panel members met for the first time on Monday – the task force led by Hearts owner Ann Budge and also comprising representatives from Airdrie, Ayr United, Cove Rangers, Dundee, Edinburgh City, Falkirk, Hamilton Accies, Morton, Partick Thistle, Queen’s Park and Raith Rovers, plus the Highland and Lowland Leagues.

But not Stranraer.

The chairman explained that, with the Stair Park side having been forcibly relegated, despite having a quarter of the season still to play, he wanted to avoid any suggestion that Stranraer would push for a solution borne out of self-interest, rather than the overall good of the Scottish game.

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He said: “That was deliberate. I know Partick Thistle, Hearts and Falkirk are involved but my feeling was whatever comes of it will come of it and we will either benefit or lose out.

“But the fact we’re not involved in the process means the finger can’t be pointed.”

Mr Dougan is already on record, several weeks ago, in favour of bringing in the Lowland and Highland League champions with no relegation.

He said: “Our favoured option would be the Lowland and Highland League winners automatically and two up, two up, two up.

“I know there are teams who were third or fourth in their leagues and would be keen to have 16-16-16 but the two up from each league is the path of least resistance, in my opinion.

“The Premier League wouldn’t be keen on it (16-16-16) and it’s a lot harder to get out of a 16-team league than a 14.

“And not only would we be relegated to the bottom flight, you’re also talking about Forfar, Peterhead and Clyde and possibly Dumbarton and one other. Given the voting structure, I can’t see that getting a lot of support.”

“I’ll put my hands up. Two up, two up, two up would have least resistance but it’s also the path that suits us best. It’s the only real path that saves us going into the bottom flight.”