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 Thursday, August 1, 2002 18:26 EST

Discussions continue to end disagreement with Celtic, Rangers

[Reuters]

GLASGOW -- Ten of Scotland's 12 Premier League (SPL) clubs have resigned from the league after failing to resolve their disagreement with Celtic and Rangers.

Representatives of the clubs handed in letters of resignation on Thursday after failing to reach agreement on the league's voting structure at a meeting on Wednesday.

"I can confirm that we have received the resignations of the 10 clubs at 3 pm today," Iain Blair, the the SPL's secretary, said in a statement on Thursday.

Dominic Keane, chairman of premier league side Livingston, told Reuters that discussions would continue to try and resolve the impasse.

"The sooner we find a resolution the better and anything I can do to ensure we get a resolution to end the disagreement, I will," Keane said.

"I'm hopeful and I want the problems to be resolved. Discussions are ongoing."

All 12 SPL clubs agreed a two-year contract with the BBC for TV coverage on Wednesday, but that could not prevent the split.

The group of 10 first raised the prospect of resigning after Celtic and Rangers, Scotland's two biggest clubs, blocked the launch of an SPL TV channel in April.

Under current rules an 11-1 majority is needed to implement a major change such as the TV rights deal, but plans to change to an 8-4 majority were rejected by the two Glasgow clubs.

League rules state that two years' notice must be given for clubs wishing to leave the SPL.


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