The Daily Record is reporting Hearts are likely to be officially relegated from the Scottish Premiership tomorrow (Monday, 18 May), with Celtic awarded the title.
The Record has stated Jambos owner Ann Budge will submit a final case for league reconstruction at a meeting between all 12 Premiership clubs at 10am tomorrow. The case will be put forward at the same meeting where Celtic should officially secure their nine-in-a-row.
Budge was surprisingly allowed to table a proposal despite initially seeing plans for league reconstruction shot down by other clubs. The likes of Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen were happy for the Hearts supremo to resubmit her case. As recently as one week ago, though, Aberdeen chairman Dave Cormack declared it wasn’t the time to discuss the issue.
However, Budge will give it a go, despite only being given the green light on Friday. That means the Hearts owner will need to work tirelessly over the weekend to ensure her case is convincing.
However, the Record believes it won’t be. It looks as though Hearts will face similar opposition to their proposal. That means it looks likely Celtic and co will voting, overall, in favour of sending Hearts to the Championship.
Things look bleak for Jambos
There are barely any positives for the Premiership’s individual clubs when it comes to keeping Hearts in the division. Self-preservation has been the order of the day in Scotland since time began. Let’s go through them.
Firstly, league reconstruction will mean further sharing of next season’s prize money. A top league consisting of 14 or 16 teams would mean more clubs taking their share of the end-of-season kitty. Scottish clubs aren’t in a position, especially at the moment, to close revenue streams.
From Celtic’s perspective, they may feel such a move devalues their league title. If relegation is avoided, it makes the title-winners look less meaningful. Hearts will argue jobs and an unfair relegation are more important than that – but it’s all about self-preservation.
Finally, clubs such as St Johnstone, Livingston, Hibernian and others must be rubbing their hands. Hearts being taken out of the division wipes away what could have been a serious contender for the top six next season. With Dundee United already coming up from the Championship, clubs could see this as an opportunity to trim their enemies for next year.
The fact reconstruction has already been dismissed by Premiership clubs is also telling. A lucrative Sky contract kicks-in in August. Sky certainly didn’t agree to a 14 or 16-team league. The broadcasting company is more than likely to want to protect its big fixtures (Celtic against Rangers.
Budge has one hell of a job trying to persuade the clubs reconstruction is the way forward. Even this early, it looks as though Celtic, Rangers and Aberdeen’s willingness to hear them out will fail to bear fruit.
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