- In these Pyramid Play-Off Competition Rules, the following words and terms shall (unless the context otherwise requires) have the following meanings:
“Club 42” means the Club occupying position 42 or if there are more than 42 Clubs in the Scottish Professional Football League (“SPFL”) in the relevant Season the Club occupying the lowest position in the SPFL at the end of the relevant Season;
“Membership Criteria” means the membership criteria of the SPFL;
“Pyramid Play-Off Competition” means the competition at the end of the season to determine which Club, if any, is to be relegated from the SPFL to the Scottish Highland Football League (“SHFL”) or the Scottish Lowland Football League (“SLFL) and which Club, if any, is to be promoted from the SHFL or the SLFL to the SPFL;
“Radio Transmission” means any terrestrial or satellite, analogue, digital or otherwise radio broadcast or transmission of sounds and/or commentary upon any match taking place as part of the Pyramid Play-Off Competition not consisting solely of storage and distribution of recorded sounds in tangible form whether such radio transmission is on a live or recorded basis in whole or as excerpts or clips;
“Rights, facilities and properties” includes, but is not limited to, all contractual and property (whether tangible or intangible) rights, all rights in and relating to intellectual property, including all rights held by way of license, all image and other similar rights held in respect of Players and all rights of access to databases and database rights generally;
“Team Lines” means the team lines using the format set out in the annex to these Pyramid Play-Off Rules which shall be utilised for all matches played in the Play-Off Competition; and
“Transmission” means the transmission through any available device or medium of any terrestrial or satellite broadcast or transmission of television of moving pictures (with or without sound) and any other means of transmission of moving pictures, including, without limitation, by broadband, IPTV, mobile network or any other new or other media means or mode of transmission of any match taking place as part of the Pyramid Play-Off Competition or cable relay of such broadcast or transmission or inclusion of such moving pictures in a cable programme service not consisting solely of the storage and distribution of recorded pictures with or without sound in tangible form whether such broadcast or transmission is on a live or recorded basis in whole or as excerpts or clips.
- References to rules within these Pyramid Play-Off Rules are references to the rules that are contained within this annex unless otherwise stated. Capitalised words and phrases not defined in these rules have the meanings ascribed to them in the Rules of the SPFL.
- Any amendment to these Pyramid Play-Off Rules must be agreed by each of the Scottish FA, SPFL, SHFL and SLFL prior to it becoming effective.
- Any club, Official, Player, or other person, who infringes any of these Pyramid Play-Off Rules, shall be liable to a fine, censure, suspension, order to replay a Pyramid Play-Off Match (in the case of a club), ejection from the Pyramid Play-off Competition (in the case of a club) and/or any such other sanction(s) as specified within the Judicial Panel Protocol of the Scottish FA.
- The Judicial Panel is empowered to consider and determine any allegations of infringement of these Pyramid Play-Off Rules and to impose such sanction(s), as specified within the Judicial Panel Protocol or in these rules, as it considers appropriate in order to deal justly with the case in question except where the sanction for a specific infringement is mandatory. In particular (but without prejudice to the generality):
- a club which is found to have infringed these Pyramid Play-Off Rules, may be ordered to replay the Pyramid Play-Off Match in question, at a time and venue and subject to whatever conditions (including as to allocation and/or indemnification of financial benefits and liabilities) as deemed appropriate by the Judicial Panel in its absolute discretion;
- where a club is found to have named within Team Lines a player who is not eligible to participate in the relevant match in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition pursuant to these Pyramid Play-Off Rules and/or the disciplinary procedures of the Scottish FA, then such Club will be ejected from the Pyramid Play-Off Competition. No party or other body (including but not limited to the Judicial Panel) shall be entitled to waive or modify the application of this Rule in any circumstances; and
- in the event of disorderly conduct by a club in breach of the Articles of Association of the Scottish FA, such club may be ejected from the Pyramid Play-Off Competition.
- For the avoidance of doubt, the provisions of this rule I l do not supersede or override the terms of any other rule which addresses sanctions for infringement thereof.
- no appeals shall be permissible from a Judicial Panel decision in relation to an infringement of these Pyramid Play-Off Rules.
- notwithstanding the terms above, the Scottish FA has the power to investigate any matter pursuant to the operation of the Pyramid Play-Off Competition.
- The League Champions of the SHFL and the SLFL at the end of season 2015/2016 and in each season thereafter will (subject to rule Ill(f)) take part in the Play-Off Match which shall consist of a home and away two-legged match approved and organised by the Scottish F.A to determine, subject to these rules, which club shall take part in the Pyramid Play-Off Match. A draw supervised by the Scottish FA will determine which club has home advantage in the first match.
- The winner of the match detailed in rule Ill(a), or the team determined in accordance with rule Ill(f), will enter a home and away two-legged match against Club 42 known as the “Pyramid Play-Off Match”. The Pyramid Play-Off Match pursuant to this rule Ill(b) shall be approved and organised by the SPFL and the basis on which the Pyramid Play-Off Match shall take place shall be as specified in the SPFL Rules. The winner of the Pyramid Play-Off Match will be entitled to be a member of and play in the SPFL League Two during the immediately succeeding Season and shall thereafter comply with the Rules and Regulations of the SPFL.
- In the event of Club 42 losing the Pyramid Play-Off Match, it will be relegated to the SHFL League if its Registered Ground is located North of Degree of Latitude 56,4513N or to the SLFL if its Registered Ground is located South of Degree of Latitude 56,4513N and it shall thereafter comply with the rules and regulations of the relevant league.
- The winning club in the Play-Off Match will be the club which scores the greatest number of goals over the relevant two match tie. In the event that the aggregate scores are equal after the second leg of the tie, extra time of thirty minutes (fifteen minutes each way) will take place and thereafter if necessary kicks from the penalty mark will be taken in accordance with the rules laid down by The International Football Association Board, which will determine the winner.
- The two legs in each of the Play-Off Match and the Pyramid Play-Off Match will take place on dates and at times determined by the SPFL Board.
- In the event that one of the Champion Clubs in the SHFL or the SLFL fails to comply with the Membership Criteria in circumstances where it is required to do so as the Candidate Club in terms of the SPFL Rules, and the SPFL Board has not granted any waiver, relaxation or period of grace in respect of that club’s requirement to comply with the Membership Criteria, there will be no Play-Off Match in terms of rule Ill(a) and, the other Champion Club will automatically go forward to the Pyramid Play-Off Match in terms of rule Ill(b).
- In the event that neither the Champion Club of the SHFL nor of the SLFL complies with the Membership Criteria in circumstances where it is required to do so as the Candidate Club in terms of the SPFL Rules, and the SPFL Board has not granted any waiver, relaxation or period of grace in respect of both Clubs’ requirement to comply with the relevant part of the Membership Criteria, there will be no Pyramid Play-Off Competition at the end of the relevant Season and Club 42 will retain its place in the SPFL in the immediately succeeding Season.
Laws of the Game
- All matches will be played according to the Laws of the Game as recognised by the Scottish Football Association Ltd.
Appointment of Match Officials
- Match officials shall be appointed by the Scottish FA from those referees whose names are included in the list of referees maintained by the Scottish FA.
- A Club may not refuse to accept the services of any match officials appointed by the Scottish FA. If any Club refuses to play a match due to an objection or concern about the identity of any match official, it shall be liable to ejection from the Play-Off Competition together with such other sanctions as are imposed pursuant to the provisions above under the heading of Infringement of Pyramid Play-Off Rules.
- Fees and expenses of match officials shall be paid by the Scottish FA in accordance with paragraph (ff) of these Pyramid Play-Off Rules.
Clash of Colours
- When the colours of the two competing clubs in the same match are alike or similar, the visiting club shall change to its second choice colours or a combination of its first and second choice colours (or, if applicable, third choice colours) provided that these do not include any of the basic colours of the home club. Whether or not there is a clash shall be determined by the referee in his sole discretion.
- The colour of the goalkeeper’s shirt must, in all cases, be clearly distinguishable from the colours of the shirts worn by all outfield Players of both participating clubs in any match and from those of the match officials. Whether or not there is a clash shall be determined by the referee in his sole discretion.
Number of Players and Substitutes
- Except for the circumstances described below under Replacement of Players on a Team Line, a team shall consist of eleven players and is permitted to list a minimum of five substitutes up to a maximum of seven, of whom not more than three may take part in the match. The team list must include two recognised goalkeepers, one of whom must be named as a substitute.
Eligibility of Players
- Only a Player registered at the Scottish FA by a Club on 31 March in the year of the relevant Play-Off Competition shall be entitled to be listed on the Team Lines of said Club for the purposes of playing in the Play-Off Competition.
- All Players in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition must be eligible to play in the relevant match having regard in particular (but without prejudice to the generality to the Registration Procedures and the Disciplinary Procedures.
- Team Line for matches in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition shall permit the listing of eleven players, a minimum of five substitutes up to a maximum of seven, and six technical personnel. The Team Line must be submitted in order to enable a Club to participate in a match in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition.
- Not later than 60 minutes before the start of a leg of a match, each Club will hand to the Referee and to its opponents a duplicate of the Team Lines for that club for the relevant leg. The Team Line shall contain accurate and complete details of the numbers, full player names in relation to not more than eighteen players, together with full names of the technical personnel to be seated within the technical area (subject to a maximum of six such technical personnel). The Team Line must be completed in block capitals, and signed by the club secretary or other accredited official. Upon such signature, such Team Line shall be deemed to be complete and binding on the Club concerned.
- The eleven first named players on the Team Line must commence the match. The other named players are designated a substitutes. The numbers on the players’ shirts and/or shorts must correspond to the numbers indicated on the Team Line. The goalkeepers and team captain must be identified.
- Only three of the substitutes listed on the Team Line may take part in the match. A player who has been substituted may take no further part in the match.
- It is recommended that a club’s doctor and physiotherapist are listed on the Team Line and accommodated in the technical area within the category of technical personnel.
Replacement of Players on the Team Line
- If any of the first eleven players listed on the Team Line is not able to start the match due to unexpected physical incapacity or other extreme circumstances (which are explained to and accepted by the referee), he may only be replaced by one of the named substitutes. The substitute(s) in question may then only be replaced by an eligible player(s) not originally listed on the Team Line as signed, so that the quota of substitutes is not reduced. During the match, three players may still be substituted.
- If any of the named substitutes listed on the Team Line is not able at the start of the match to be fielded due to unexpected physical incapacity or other extreme circumstances (which are explained to and accepted by the referee), he may only be replaced by an eligible player not originally listed on the Team Line as signed.
- If none of the goalkeepers listed on the Team Line is able to be fielded due to unexpected physical incapacity or other extreme circumstances (which are explained to and accepted by the referee), then one may be replaced but only by an eligible goalkeeper not originally listed on the Team Line as signed.
- If for any reason changes require to be made to the Team Line pursuant to the above provisions (and said changes are accepted by the referee) then the club must notify its opponent immediately thereafter.
- The club concerned must in addition to the requirements set out above, upon request, provide the Scottish FA and/or the SPFL with necessary medical certificates and/or a full written explanation of the circumstances that caused the change.
- The Scottish FA and/or the SPFL shall keep a register of the names of all of the players who take part in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition. The register shall be open for inspection by all clubs taking part in said Pyramid Play-Off Competition.
- In order to protect the pitch and unless otherwise agreed between both participating clubs, the following procedures shall be adopted by players and Officials in the periods immediately before and after and at half time during a match in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition:
- the pitch shall only be used for warming up or warming down by the players listed in the Team Lines;
- pre-match warming up by either team shall not commence until at the earliest 60 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time, shall not last for more than 30 minutes, and shall end not later than 10 minutes before the scheduled kick-off time;
- if portable goals are provided they shall be used for all goalkeeping drills other than crossing practice;
- the goalmouth area shall be used by goalkeepers only if portable goals are not provided or for crossing practice and then only for not more than 20 minutes;
- for the purposes of warming up and warming down each team shall use only part of the pitch between the edge of a penalty area and the half way line or as otherwise directed by the groundsman;
- all speed and stamina work shall be undertaken off the pitch parallel to the touchline opposite the side to be patrolled by the assistant referee or, in the absence of sufficient space at that location, in that part of the pitch as directed by the groundsman;
- players using the pitch at half time shall give due consideration to any other activity or entertainment taking place on the pitch at the same time;
- the home club may water the pitch provided that it gives reasonable notice to the referee and the other club that it intends to do so and that any such watering is carried out evenly over the entire length and width of the pitch; and
- any warming down after the conclusion of a match shall last for no longer than 15 minutes and for that purpose neither penalty area shall be used.
Admission Charges and Abandoned Matches
- The Home Club in any leg in a Play-Off Match or any leg in a Pyramid Play-Off Match shall, in its absolute discretion, determine admission charges (subject to these being the same for home and away supporters for broadly comparable facilities).
- The Home Club in any leg in a Play-Off Match or any leg in a Pyramid Play-Off Match shall be responsible for all match expenses and shall (subject to Part IV of these Pyramid Play-Off Rules) retain the net receipts in relation to said Play-Off Match. The fees and expenses of the match officials will be the responsibility of the Scottish FA. The
- Scottish FA and / or SPFL shall be entitled to request that the Home Club in any Play-Off Match provides a written statement of gate receipts and expenses incurred.
- In the event of a leg in a Play-Off Match or a leg in a Pyramid Play-Off Match being abandoned the Board of the SPFL shall determine the requirement and/or arrangements for any such leg being replayed or the Board of the SPFL may determine a deemed result of such leg and, said decision of the SPFL Board shall be final and binding and shall not be open to challenge.
- The clubs taking part in a Pyramid Play-Off Competition and each of them agree to centrally pool and market their rights, facilities and properties relating to and concerning, Radio Transmission and Transmission of matches in the relevant Pyramid Play-Off Competition for exclusive exploitation by the SPFL and the Scottish FA.
- The clubs taking part in a Pyramid Play-Off Competition and each of them hereby authorise the SPFL and the Scottish FA to enter into commercial contracts for the commercial exploitation of the matches (or any of them) in the relevant Pyramid Play-Off Competition (the “Pyramid Commercial Contracts”) including but not limited to Pyramid Commercial Contracts in relation to any Radio Transmission, Transmission, sponsorship or advertising of or at the matches (or any of them) in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition.
- The Clubs taking part in a Pyramid Play-Off Competition and each of them shall license and otherwise provide to the SPFL and the Scottish FA the use of such of their other rights, facilities and properties as may be required by the SPFL and the Scottish FA to enable the SPFL and the Scottish FA to enter into and fulfil its/their obligations under and in terms of Pyramid Commercial Contracts entered into or to be entered into by the SPFL and the Scottish FA in relation to the relevant Pyramid Play-Off Competition.
- Except pursuant to a Pyramid Commercial Contract, there shall be no and, each of the clubs shall in respect of a match in a Pyramid Play-Off Competition played at their home ground procure that there shall not be any Radio Transmission and/or Transmission of all or any part of a said match without the prior written approval of the SPFL and the Scottish FA.
- The clubs taking part in a Pyramid Play-Off Competition and each of them shall not by any act or omission infringe any exclusive rights granted by the SPFL or the Scottish FA in a Pyramid Commercial Contract or otherwise cause any breach thereof to occur.
- The SPFL and Scottish FA shall determine in their absolute discretion any costs, expenses, charges or any other sum or amount to be charged and/or off-set against any income generated by Pyramid Commercial Contracts before any distribution in terms of rule V(h).
- The SPFL and Scottish FA shall not be permitted to make a charge or set-off in terms of rule V(f) except in relation to or in respect of any cost, expense, liability or charge incurred or for which either or both may be liable arising out of or related to the Pyramid Play-Off Competition and/or the operation of the Pyramid arrangements generally.
- Any net profit generated by the SPFL and by the Scottish FA pursuant to this Part IV of these Pyramid Play-Off Competition Rules shall be distributed to the Clubs participating in the Pyramid Play-Off Competition on a basis agreed from time to time by the SPFL and Scottish FA.