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Alarm bells sounding for Everton

Everton
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Old Firm opposed to play-offs

Rangers and Celtic have found some rare common ground in opposing proposals that the Scottish league title could be decided by play-offs in future.

• Chairman proposes play-offs

Hearts have suggested that the top four teams should engage in a play-off in order to determine who is crowned SPL champions, with Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson lending his support to the proposal in an effort to break the Old Firm duopoly.

Celtic and Rangers have dominated the Scottish top flight for the past 25 years and it appears Bhoys manager Neil Lennon is not open to suggestions that will weaken that strangehold.

"I don't think it's fair at all, I think it's absolutely ludicrous," Lennon said. "I saw the headlines today and I didn't even bother reading them because I just think it's a piece of nonsense.

"I've been here ten years and if you look at the gap between the top team and the third- and fourth-placed team, the gap is always quite big. So basically you're saying your season comes down to two or three games at the end of the season? Absolute rubbish.

"Play-offs for the European slots might create a bit of interest but for the championship it's an absolute no-no. From my point of view it's one of the more silly ideas I've heard in recent weeks. In fact, it's the silliest idea I've heard in the last few weeks."

Lennon was supported by his rival at Rangers, Walter Smith. He said: "Do you think it's fair? Of course it's not. From memory, I think they tried it in Holland on one occasion. It was one occasion and then they got rid of it.

"If you look at the Championship in England, play-offs work as long as your first and second teams get the rewards that they deserve."

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