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Caberfeidh Shinty Club angry about proposals to reduce Premiership to eight teams

By Will Clark

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Caberfeidh Shinty Club have blasted proposals by the Camanachd Association to reduce the number of teams in the Premiership to eight.

Caberfeidh want the Premiership to stay at 10 teams.
Caberfeidh want the Premiership to stay at 10 teams.

The Strathpeffer club's president Ian Maclean criticised the governing body of attempting to 'contract rather than expand the sport' with plans to reduce the amount of clubs in the top flight.

Caberfeidh says proposals to reduce the number of teams in the Premiership from 10 to eight, while keeping the second tier National Division only at eight teams will damage the sport.

It is also proposed to reduce the regional leagues to eight teams.

Maclean says Caberfeidh want to see the Premiership remain at 10 teams while also increasing the number of clubs in the National Division to 10 to boost the sport.

"The proposals are looking to reduce every league to eight teams," he said.

"Senior clubs could be forced into smaller regional leagues which would be catastrophic for a club and reserve teams who could not play in the same leagues as their senior team.

"I can't see why we want to make shinty a smaller sport when everyone is talking about trying to move forward rather than move back the way.

"As a club, we are not happy about the proposals and it would be detrimental to shinty in general.

"Our preferred option is 10 teams each in the Premiership and National League.

"The proposals are not where Caberfeidh want the sport to go.

"We want the sport to expand and not contract.

"You want shinty to be competitive, but not cut throat."

Maclean says the club are unhappy about proposals focussing on playing a maximum number of games rather than a minimum number of games per season.

"A Premiership side, for example Kingussie, might get to the final of the MacTavish Cup, Macaulay Cup and Camanachd Cup and would play lots of games.

"But that is only looking at the elite, the teams that get knocked out in the first round of fixtures of competitions would have substantially less games.

"There would be less chance of developing players as the league would become more cut throat.

"In my mind it has been ill conceived and not thought through."

Caberfeidh are also concerned about the financial impact a smaller Premiership would have on clubs.

"With less home fixtures there would be less income," he said.

"You would have the same costs and sponsors would question if they were getting what they paid for."

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