Ballinamallard United chairman Tom Elliott understands that there is a proposal on the table for consideration by Premiership clubs of a 14 team Premiership next season with no relegation but two sides promoted from the Championship this season.

And he also has been told that proposal has backing among the clubs in the division.

Last week NIFL put forward recommendations to end the season in the Premiership, Championship and Premier Intermediate leagues.

NIFL recommended that the Championship and Premier Intermediate would end immediately with a mathematical formula developed to determine final placing and only one side to be promoted with no relegation/promotion play off as has been the case.

Ballinamallard voted against this recommendation with Elliott stating: “Basically what we said is that while we acknowledge NIFL are in a difficult place and they have to find some resolution, really there was no choice. From our perspective, what we were asked to do in the Championship was just to vote on that one issue which was the season would come to an end and they would find some mathematical formula to complete the points for the season. It was just vote yes or no on that.

“What we felt was that they should have given us a number of choices, and we outlined a few in our response while we also felt that others would have different options as well, so why not let the clubs vote on them.”

Recommendations were also put forward to bring an end to the Premiership but these drew a lot of criticism from a number of clubs with no solution yet to be found.

The NIFL Board met last Friday where it was decided to wait until after yesterday (Wednesday’s) UEFA meeting at which there may come further dates to have clubs nominated for European competitions before making a decision.

Elliott is though led to believe that the proposal of a 14 team Premiership next season is on the table.

“I understand that there is a proposal on the table for Premiership clubs that the league is finished now, they find a system to nominate clubs to Europe and that no team is relegated but that two teams are brought up from the Championship and two teams are brought up from the Premier Intermediate to the Championship. I’m told that is definitely on the table and I’m also told that there are at least nine clubs who would be supportive of that in the Premiership,” he stated.

And he says that the proposal would see a 38 game season maintained.

“I think the proposal is that there would be 14 teams and each team would play each other home and away which would be 26 games and then the league would split in two and the top and bottom would play home and away again which would bring it up to 38 games which is exactly the same as what it is,” he added.

With Ballinamallard currently sitting second in the Championship table it would give them a chance of being that second team promoted although Elliott acknowledges that there is no certainty to that.

“It doesn’t guarantee that we would go up as they would still have to determine the formula that would be used to finish the season. That is something that nobody knows yet.”

He does though feel that a 14 team Premiership would be the best proposal in terms of sporting integrity.

“I think it is accepted that proposal would be the best for sporting integrity because it means that no-one would really lose out. Yes, someone may lose out on the awarding of the European places but that is set in stone and there are only three places, that is set by Europe and NIFL can’t do anything about that, they have to find a mechanism for those three places. But as far as relegation goes it would be totally unfair to relegate teams,” he added.