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PARTICK THISTLE chairman David Beattie reckons the uncertainty surrounding Rangers has presented Scottish football with a golden opportunity for reform.
An emergency SFL board meeting was held on Tuesday in the wake of the Ibrox club's plunge into liquidation and with the future of the 'newco' Rangers up in the air.
SPL clubs are set to vote on whether they are allowed to remain in the top tier in two weeks' time. Without the support of seven other SPL clubs Rangers could find themselves demoted to the SFL - with Division Three a distinct possibility.
But Beattie is backing proposals to merge the SPL and SFL and rush through revolutionary plans which could see Rangers given the green light to play in Division One.
He said: "This could be the making of Scottish football if it's handled right.
"This is the opportunity to change Scottish football and that’s something we have been banging the drum about for far too long.
“From disaster comes opportunity but we needed something as cataclysmic as this to accelerate progress. It’s sad it has come to this but we are where we are.
“Let’s hope everyone embraces the need for change but it’s all being driven because of the Rangers situation.”
Speaking in the Daily Record, Beattie added: "It all about the detail, it’s about dealing with sporting integrity as well as commercialisation.
“Let’s be honest, commercialisation doesn’t work in Scottish football without Rangers.
“Sky Sports, other TV companies and sponsors need to have Rangers and Celtic vying with each other. That’s a blunt fact of what generates the most income for Scottish football.
“But the sporting integrity issue requires punishment to Rangers.
“I can see how it would work if they were demoted a division.
“All that is effectively being done is that there is a tinkering with the structure. There is only going to be one football association, which I am in total agreement with.”
Beattie believes the merger of the SPL and SFL into a new Scottish Professional Football League would make sense.
He said: “The SFA would be controlling Scottish football and then we would have the Scottish Professional Football League.
“It’s SPL 1 and SPL 2 packaged up as the SPFL. It’s about bringing the Premier, First, Second and Third divisions under the same body and there no longer being an SFL or SPL.
“It’s the way Scottish football should be anyway. I’ve been screaming about the need for change for a while and now is the opportunity to do it.”