The Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League agreed in principle on Tuesday 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.
However, calls for a 16-team league, backed by many fans and initially the SFL, were never likely to get off the ground for financial reasons and the argument will now be taken to supporters.
Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said: "Fans have spoken about a 16-team league but one of the underlying points made after that is because they would like to see more games.
"In reality a 16-team competition delivers less games than the proposal we are examining at the moment for 12, 12 and 18.
"So I think there's an educational exercise that we need collectively to go through and we'll be working very closely with Supporters Direct in order to ensure those messages are delivered."
Regan came out with a strong argument in favour of the proposed split.
"It's important to understand how vibrant those 14 games are, particularly for that middle eight," he said.
"The working group set out to achieve improved financial distribution, particularly for those clubs currently in the First Division.
"When you move into those 14 games, what you have is the opportunity for four clubs to be promoted and four clubs to be relegated.
"So every single game is important and we all know what play-offs can do for attendances, for commercial partners, and broadcast partners.
"So we believe that this is really vibrant football and can deliver something new."
SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster added: "What the model ensures is vibrancy and excitement at all stages of the season for clubs at all levels.
"What we have at the moment is a situation where perhaps at the bottom of the SPL and top of SFL1 it can be very difficult when you have one club detached at either end.
"Effectively the middle eight, all 14 games played by those clubs, is a play-off game."
The authorities did not rule out changes being implemented by the start of next season but they appear destined to be opposed by Rangers after the Ibrox club's new director of communications, James Traynor, described them as an "abomination" on the club's official website.
Rangers also hit out at the fact they were not involved in Tuesday's talks at Hampden, which featured about a third of the 42 professional clubs.
The SPL clubs have already informally approved the plans while the SFL needs a 75% majority of its 30 clubs when they vote on plans. Both leagues hope to convene full meetings before the end of the month.