Hibs & St Mirren join Livingston in backing SPFL plan

Premiership club Livingston say they want to end the season to provide clarity and secure their future
Premiership club Livingston said on Thursday they want to end the season to provide clarity and secure their future

St Mirren and Hibs have joined fellow Scottish Premiership side Livingston in supporting the SPFL's resolution to end the lower-league season now.

The league has balloted all 42 clubs on ending the Championship, as well as Leagues One and Two, with a decision on the Premiership on hold.

Shortly after the deadline of 1700 BST on Friday, top-tier clubs had voted 10-1 in favour, with one yet to respond.

Hibs say the SPFL plan is the "least worst" option available.

For the SPFL resolution to be passed, it needs nine Premiership clubs, eight in the Championship, and 15 in Leagues One and Two combined to vote in favour.

"The club appreciates that such an outcome will not be agreed by all and has sympathy for those clubs who will be detrimentally affected," Hibs said.

"Indeed, our own club will suffer some negative impact in that we will be demoted by one place and see a subsequent reduction in prize money.

"However, there is no 'silver bullet' that would provide a remedy suitable for all clubs, and with 30 matches played Hibernian believes there is no genuine or realistic prospect of bringing this season to a conclusion by playing eight rounds of matches without potentially creating massive disruption to next season as well as this season."

If the lower leagues are declared over, that would also lead to the Premiership being called on the same points per game basis if the SPFL board "determines the games cannot be played".

St Mirren, six points off the bottom and two points above the relegation play-off spot, went public their decision earlier on Friday.

The club Paisley says that "for the protection of both fans and players, football should take a break until after the summer and hopefully be able to start season 2020-21 as soon as possible, safely".

On Thursday, Livingston cited the need for next season's television deal with Sky Sports to start on a required date, and that the uncertainty is "detrimental" to future income including sponsorships and season ticket sales.

The club statement added: "This has been an extremely tough decision to come to as we as a football club would have loved the opportunity to finish the season and push for a European spot, which was potentially worth huge amounts of revenue.

"In our opinion, there is no viable space to finish the current season and we feel with over 75% of the games completed, an average points per game system is the best of all options, in which no option is great.

"Unfortunately, it is impossible to find a neutral ground which suits everyone."

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