English and Scottish Premier Leagues Could Merge Under New Plans

Daniel GoochAnalyst IApril 20, 2009

GLASGOW, UNITED KINGDOM - NOVEMBER 05:  Rafael of Manchester United battles with Barry Robson of Celtic during the UEFA Champions League Group E match between Celtic and Manchester United at Parkhead on November 5, 2008 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

Under new plans the EPL and SPL could merge and produce two new leagues. Clubs such as Celtic and Rangers would face formidable opponents from the EPL like Manchester United and West Brom (well not any more, relegated).

Each league would consist of 18 teams. The change is to free up weekends for players to go on international duty.

Clubs who lose income when relegated to the Championship will lose less money under this scheme.

The idea came from Bolton chairman, Phil Gartside, who will present it to his fellow Premier League clubs.

The addition of the Scottish teams would mean they would face tougher opponents from south of the border. It will create more enthusiasm for the fans and more benefits for the broadcasters.

The broadcasters would put in money that the clubs would lose after the league expands to the 36 clubs, rather than the 20 clubs at the moment.

There are a few drawbacks though. UEFA has repeatedly said that "teams will not be allowed to play in leagues outside their own country". It would also make it difficult for the Scottish giants to qualify for the Champions League.

The top four, Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Arsenal, will probably be against the plan as they would suffer a huge loss in income. High flyers such as Everton and Aston Villa may also feel the drop in funds.

A spokesman for the Premier League said:

"We haven't seen any proposal and therefore are unable to comment."

Will the idea go ahead? Is it a good idea? Do you even know the names of all the teams in the SPL?

If the plans do go ahead it will change the face of top flight football in England and Scotland.