THE plan for league reconstruction that Ann Budge has drawn up, which Premiership clubs will consider in the first a series of divisional meetings today, has much to commend it.

The wrongs of the decision to declare final league positions for the 2019/20 season on a points per game basis would certainly, in the unlikely event that it is approved, be righted. Neither Hearts nor Partick Thistle would be relegated.

The challenges presented by the coronavirus pandemic and football shutdown in recent months have been considerable. Whatever course of action the SPFL took in the unprecedented circumstances was going to anger somebody. There were always going to be winners and there were always going to be losers.

The Tynecastle and Firhill clubs, though, have been savagely dealt with. Consigning them to the drop during a time of great economic uncertainty when both could easily have stayed up had their final matches gone ahead as scheduled is harsh in the extreme. Rectifying those injustices, then, would be a good thing.

Yet, beyond that it is difficult to see what significant advantages there would be for Scottish football in switching from the 12-10-10-10 set-up that has been in place for the past 20 years to a 14-14-14 or a 14-14-16 structure.

What would actually change? Would the quality of the product on show improve? Would attendances go up and revenues increase? Would potential sponsors rush to have their name associated with it? Would more talented youngsters make the transition to the senior game? Would the decline in standards be halted and then reversed?

It is immaterial given the opposition to the paper in boardrooms far and wide and the level of support required to get it voted through. Just two top flight clubs need to indicate their opposition later for it to founder. It could very well be dead in the water by close of business this evening.

Of course, Budge’s proposal is simply a potential solution to her Hearts' current predicament. It has never purported to be a panacea to all of our game’s many ills.

Making changes which will have tangible long-term benefits for the sport here at a time when officials are focusing on creating bio-secure environments for competitive matches to be played in behind closed doors, suppressing the spread of Covid-19 and keeping clubs afloat is completely unrealistic.

However, Gordon Strachan, who caused an outcry last week with his critical comments to the BBC about the state of Scottish football, is spot on when he suggests that a new approach is required once this crisis has passed. A revolution, not reconstruction, is long overdue.

League One and League Two clubs took great umbrage at Strachan, the former Celtic and Scotland manager who is now technical director at Championship club Dundee, questioning what they contributed. But he didn’t hold back when he talked about the top flight either. He called for a much-needed overhaul across the board.

"I think we should get over this period, see where we all are, how we all come out it,” he said. “Then we say: 'Right, okay, who really wants to go head over heels in being professional and bringing on the game?’”

The implications of the current pandemic are set to be felt for years to come. The worst depression in a century has been forecast by some concerned economists. Companies will go out of business and unemployment will soar. Professional footballers have started to be released. Many more will follow. Full-time clubs will have to go part-time. Some will fold.

But what better time could there be for some out-of-the-box thinking? It was interesting listening to Ian Maxwell, the SFA chief executive, talking about the options currently being examined last week. Loaning Premiership youth players to lower tier clubs in large numbers so they can fulfil their fixtures and stay solvent is a possibility.

That is exactly the sort of approach that is required. The likes of Aberdeen, Celtic, Dundee United, Hamilton, Hibernian and Rangers would reap the rewards of that. The kids would develop far quicker than they would facing their contemporaries. Teams such as Annan, Forfar Athletic and Stranraer would survive, even prosper, as well.

Craig Mulholland, the head of the Rangers youth academy, is eager to see reserve teams introduced to the senior set-up, something which happens in France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain, and is involved in ongoing discussions on that possibility.

It is hard to see that ever getting to go-ahead given the shameless self-interest that has abounded in recent weeks. But it, too, makes sense from both a financial and football perspective. It could breathe life into provincial clubs and generate much-needed interest among the public.

Strachan’s call for Sky Sports, whose exclusive broadcasting deal kicks in next season, should be involved in reconstruction talks is worth considering. They are ploughing £130m into the SPFL’s coffers over the next five years. So why not keep a major stakeholder onside? It is worth considering.

These are worrying times for football as well as society. But in adversity comes opportunity. Improvements can most definitely be made with some radical choices.