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Lowland League club president resigns over controversial Celtic and Rangers Colts plan

One Lowland League club president resigns over the controversial Celtic and Rangers Colts plan revealed within the last week.

Civil Service Strollers’ president Russell Pryde has decided to stand down from his position at the Lowland League outfit.

The two Glasgow sides will enter their B-teams into Scottish football’s fifth tier after 11 out of 17 clubs in the league voted in favour of the controversial proposal.

Both sides will stump up £25,000 to be divided among all clubs in the league and they will partake for just one season. But Pryde – whose club was one who voted against the idea – resigned in protest, as confirmed this morning on social media.

A Civil Service Strollers statement read: “Russell Pryde has informed the club that he intends to stand down as the president of Civil Service Strollers at the forthcoming club AGM.

“Russell’s resignation included the following statement: It is with great regret that I will be resigning as president of Civil Service Strollers.

“My issue is not with the club, it is with being associated with a decision that agrees that buying rule change is acceptable.

“I remain committed to the club and will offer my support in different ways.”

Glasgow Times were told yesterday how the West, East and South of Scotland Leagues united in condemnation of the plans.

They claimed providing the Hoops and Gers the opportunity would damage ‘sporting integrity’ as it would harm the chances of clubs at that level from deservedly moving up. And they combined to release a scathing statement, before the vote, urging the SLFL to reject the proposition.

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The Scottish Lowland Football League can confirm that member clubs have voted in favour of a proposal allowing Rangers and Celtic ‘B’ teams to take part in next season’s competition – for one season only.

The meeting of clubs was called following discussions between the SLFL Board to consider the proposal.

Work now be undertaken to make the required rule changes to allow this to happen.

League Chairman, George Fraser, said: “With all proposals of this type everyone has an opinion on it, and rightly so.

“The SLFL Board discussed this proposal last week and, as we are a members organisation, it was entirely correct that this was put to the members to vote on.

“As a league we have allowed our clubs to decide based on facts, and not several pieces of misinformation being actively disseminated across many social media platforms.

“Our league is fully committed to the integrity of the pyramid and we have shown this time and time again, so any suggestion we are not is ill-judged and misplaced.

“The majority of our clubs have voted in favour of this proposal, and we need to respect that, therefore we will progress this and have further discussions with all parties in the coming days.

“Since the start of this pandemic the SLFL has operated with a view that no club should be adversely affected by the decisions we make, and we believe that this is the case with this proposal.

“With all the tier 6 leagues opting to go ‘null and void’ this meant there was no champion club put forward to join the SLFL.

“If there was then the champion club would be taking part in the SLFL league next season.”

We have made Rangers and Celtic aware of the outcome of the vote.

Fans reacted after seeing that a Lowland League club president resigns over the controversial Celtic and Rangers Colts plan…

@SparkyMc961: Poor show from the lowland league clubs 👎🏻

@willie1962: Not sure I see too many issues, the top lowland league team will go forward to the play offs, no one will miss out on promotion, the league will gain audience, will improve attendance and coverage. What do they have to lose?

@stu_kel_: “For one season only”. Never forget this.

@BryanWeir1: Just like minimum half of the games had to be played to declare the champion this year. Shambles

@drivingdoc: A lot of people support lower league football as an escape from the whole Celtic/Rangers diatribe. Appaling decision. Especially given that ICT were refused entry for their youth team in the Highland League

@WalterMartyniuk: Can’t see many, if any, positive comments regarding this decision. Hopefully, the clubs that voted for this will be brave enough to post their reasons for in the coming days.

@RossWishart: For one season only, aye right! As if they’re going to reach the end of the season and go “cheers lads, that was fun, cheerio” I can appreciate the possible financial benefit but at what “cost” to the integrity of the game.

@andrew_aird: I really don’t see why all the fuss. Seems a pretty clear statement to me, they had a vote and clubs voted for it. There is no tier 6 champion to promote, nobody gets relegated to make way. Talented young players will get better chance to develop. Looks like progress

@emmaq1983: Integrity when it suits – or until you get a bribe.

@easyJambo1: Lowland League sides who voted this through will have one fewer paying customer next season. Sporting integrity? You’re having a laugh!

@harkie1975: So will the same opportunity be opened to any other colt teams within the catchment area of the league or is it just to the two cheeks? Absolutely shambolic decision. An absolute boot in the baws to clubs in tier 6 knocking their pans in to try to get their licence.

@stevenhislop9: Shambles. Boots in the balls to all the teams that have had to work their way up. Committe and fans spent a lot of time and hard earned money to develop and build their club up to meet standards required. Piss poor from those clubs that voted for this

@DavidHi44310121: Surely if the two Glasgow teams want to develop their young players they could give them first team experience. They’ll learn more about a young boy if he’s playing Hearts away than playing Civil Service Strollers, with all due respect to CSS.

@SandySneddon: “For one season only”? You really thing the Ugly Sisters will just walk away after a season?

@SouthsideSons: Terrible decision to allow clubs to pay to jump the tiers. No sporting integrity.

@mr_omnibus: Good to see there’s a league in this country open to progressive and open relationships instead of all the same old cloak and dagger, backwater stuff from the SPFL and the SFA. Be interesting to see how it plays out.

@ladeside5277: It is not for the SLFL to try &help resolve the ills of the @spfl, the Lowland Leagues duty is to continue to align themselves to the principles set out in the 4 League agreement. Clubs in trying times have invested heavily to attain their licenses in advance of promotion.

@DicksonTelfer: I support a team lower in the leagues to get away from the old firm. This is a dreadful decision, very disappointing.

@_Jack_Wad_: “For one season only”. Can’t wait til we’re a decade down the line and they’re still there. This is a kick in the balls to literally every team below the Lowland League, while the @spfl could easily afford to revamp the development league…

@Kirky_8: Sporting integrity sold for 3k a heed! Shambolic

@knowledgeisall: After decades of fighting for a fair and just pyramid system, which rewarded successful clubs on the pitch with promotion and progression, it’s shelved in a handful of seasons, and back to clubs being bypassed in the boardroom. Shameful.

@KennyNapier2: Massive mistake – the spfl will use this as a reason to avoid promotion via the playoff next year. There is no sporting integrity in a league where b teams are there fir the development of players versus teams who are there to win.

@baseballscot: Shower of charlatans. George Fraser in one of the biggest heel turns in Scottish Football.

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