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Clarke set to act after Gera blow

WEST Brom manager Steve Clarke may be forced into the transfer market after midfielder Zoltan Gera was ruled out for the season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.

Clarke was already without Youssouf Mulumbu - on African Nations Cup duty with the Democratic Republic of Congo - and hamstring victim Claudio Yacob, while Graham Dorrans wants to leave the Hawthorns.

Now Gera's absence for a period of between six and nine months might mean Clarke has to go back on his preferred option to keep faith with his current squad.

Gera injured his left knee during Saturday's FA Cup tie with QPR at Loftus Road and scans have revealed the extent of the damage.

Gera is scheduled to undergo surgery to repair his knee next week with the usual rehab time for this injury being six to nine months.

Gera has played a major part in Albion's fine form during the opening half of the season, which has seen them sustain a spot in the top half of the Premier League table.

He has netted four goals and also returned to international action with Hungary.

Scottish plan new structure

The Scottish football authorities will seek to persuade clubs and fans to embrace plans for a 12-12-18 structure after agreeing in principle on a number of significant changes.

The Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League agreed to merge after accepting plans for a pyramid system, extended play-offs and a more equitable distribution of wealth.

The chief executives of the league bodies and Scottish Football Association were keen to stress that agreement on the fundamentals was a significant breakthrough, but many fans remain sceptical about proposals to split the top two tiers into three divisions of eight after 22 games.

The authorities did not rule out changes being implemented by the start of next season.

The SPL clubs have already informally approved the plans while the SFL needs a 75pc majority of its 30 clubs when they vote on plans.

Both leagues hope to convene full meetings before the end of the month.