The Scottish football reconstruction negotiations ended with insufficient support for any plan to reconfigure the leagues.
A 15-member panel was created to review the proposals after the SPFL vote to end the season.
But at a meeting of the first division teams – in addition to Dundee United – on Friday, the majority came up against the 12-10-10-10 format change now.
This means that Hearts would face relegation if the SPFL board paid for the season.
A 14-14-14 structure seemed to be the most likely to be successful, since the support of nine of the 12 Premiership clubs was required, in addition to eight in the Championship and 15 in Leagues One and Two.
The current 10 lower level clubs already agreed to support this en masse.
However, speaking on behalf of Premiership clubs, Dave Cormack, president of Aberdeen, said: "The strong feeling of the group is that we must concentrate all our energies on emerging from the crisis we face, due to the pandemic, to return to play. football safely and put fans back on the pitch as soon as possible.
"Although the group sympathized with the difficult situation faced by the demoted teams, he concluded that this is not the right time to consider immediate reconstruction in the midst of a crisis.
"But the group is willing to participate and discuss these discussions when we are done with Covid-19."
& # 39; Undoubted disenchantment & # 39;
The group plans to meet next week to focus on the plan to overcome the pandemic.
The other proposal under consideration would have added Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers to the lower level on a 14-14-16 model.
This required the approval of 11 of the 12 Premiership clubs, 17 in the first division and Championship total, and 32 of the current 42 in all divisions.
"[This development] leaves us and Kelty potentially with the door closed in our face, "said Brora President William Powrie.
"I would think that reconstruction would be part of the solution and not the problem, and I think they missed an opportunity not only for the Premiership, but also for the greater good of Scottish football, ignoring the reconstruction options."
In both plans, the lower side of Hearts would remain in the first step, even if it was canceled. They would be joined by the second Inverness Caledonian thistle, runner-up.
Similarly, Partick Thistle would have escaped the relegation of the championship, Falkirk would have been promoted to the second level and Stranraer would have stayed in the third.
The Scottish Highland Football League described the end of the negotiations as "disappointing and frustrating in equal measure".
"This year, despite difficult circumstances, SPFL has had its first opportunity since the introduction of the Scottish football pyramid to significantly embrace the spirit of the pyramid," he added in a statement.
"It is a matter of great regret that the SPFL has decided to move away from this. All members of the Highland League share the undoubted disenchantment that will be felt by Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts."
|Who is in the SPFL reconstruction group?|
|Premiership: Les Gray (Hamilton Academic), Ann Budge (Hearts), Gordon Scott (St Mirren)|
|Championship: Lachlan Cameron (Ayr Utd), John Nelms (Dundee), Dave MacKinnon (Morton) and Jacqui Low (Partick Thistle)|
|League 1: Paul Hetherington (Airdrie), Gary Deans (Falkirk), Bill Clark (Raith Rovers)|
|Second League: John Sheran (Cove Rangers), Jim Brown (Edinburgh City), Gerry Crawley (Queen's Park)|
|Highland League: Rod Houston Lowland League: George Fraser|