GORDON SMITH, the former chief executive of Rangers and the Scottish FA, fears that as many as half of the 42 SPFL clubs could go bust due to the lockdown of Scottish football - unless UEFA or FIFA intervene.

Smith, who served as head of the SFA between 2007 and 2010, believes that the financial burden placed on teams due to the ongoing football hiatus could prove disastrous for sides throughout Scotland's four divisions.

The former Kilmarnock forward pointed out that Scottish clubs rely heavily on gate receipts and that the immediate cessation of income on this front could cause serious issues without intervention from European football's governing body.

"I think there is a fear we could lose half of our clubs," he told the Scottish Sun. "That’s the scary prospect if this situation extends for a lengthy period. If there is no football for the next five or six months then the clubs will clearly suffer.

"Scotland is arguably the most dependent country in Europe for gate income. The TV deals are not anything like they are across Europe and every club is feeling the pinch.

"Drastic measures are already being introduced and there is a real worry we will not have enough teams to fill the leagues next season, whether that is a new set-up or in the current format."

Smith continued to reveal that he is in favour of a reconstruction of the SPFL in order to solve the dilemma of how to play out next season's fixtures, but stressed that it must be a one-off.

"I think three leagues of 14 for a one-off season might be an acceptable solution," he added. "If we need a shortened programme of 26 games then it is not ideal, but it would work. Yet if this situation continues we will have less time to play games and fewer teams.

"Scottish football needs help as the current crisis has ramifications far beyond our national spot. Football is part of the fabric of society in Scotland. The government and UEFA and FIFA should be helping out.

"I don’t think we are talking about the astronomical sums being mentioned down south money but should be made available.

"Most clubs get into financial trouble because they are not running their business properly. This is not the case this time around. This is not a scenario of the clubs’ own making. Clubs should not be punished or allowed to go out of business due to what is happening all over the world.

"The SPFL and the SFA will be trying to help, but if they get a little assistance from UEFA it could make a huge difference to our clubs."