Rangers and Celtic in talks with Lowland League over Colts teams for NEXT season in what will be a one-off according to reports.
Chiefs at the Old Firm clubs have previously been thwarted in attempts for their development teams to gain SPFL membership.
Now bosses at both clubs have opened talks to put B teams in Scotland’s fifth tier for 2021/22 as they look to develop their young talent.
Apparently, they have the backing of the Lowland League board and the Old Firm Colts wouldn’t be eligible for promotion to League Two.
However entry to the current 17-team set up will depend on clubs voting in favour of the proposal.
An SLFL statement read: “The Scottish Lowland Football League can today confirm that it has entered into discussions to invite Rangers and Celtic ‘B’ teams to enter the league for next season (2021/22) on a one-season basis.
“Having been on the PGB sub group tasked with further developing the well-publicised ‘Scottish Football Innovation’ paper, a project which is still ongoing and may well be implemented for season 22/23, it was absolutely clear to me that there is a major gap in the player pathway which would, if not addressed, impact a generation of our best young talent.
“That is why the Lowland League, as a modern progressive organisation, have identified an opportunity, and are open to embracing positive change which will have massive benefit for our own clubs and league but importantly also for the wider Scottish game.
“Over the last few years the Lowland League has proved to be a well-run professional league and both these clubs feel their teams and players will develop by being part of it, while importantly for us we will be able to generate new revenues and shine a spotlight on the aspirational and ambitious clubs we have within our ranks.
“As always league integrity and the importance of the pyramid will be paramount and this will be unaffected by this plan and this was also a priority for both Rangers and Celtic who fully respect this.
“We will continue to have discussions with various parties over the next week or so and see how they progress.
“Hopefully this will result in an exciting outcome which is a clear demonstration of the Lowland League leading the way in how to modernise our football structures for the benefit of all.”
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Fans reacted after seeing that Rangers and Celtic are in talks with the Lowland League over Colts teams for NEXT season…
@DougieThoughts: Here’s an idea guys. Open up the Lowland League to the feeder leagues below instead of pursuing this – checks statement – “exciting proposal” – Why should the teams at Tier 6 and below have to earn the right when you and your clubs are going to allow two walk in for “one season”?
@allan_todd: An equally worrying development here is that if SLFL get to 20 teams, they could split into 2 divisions of 10, dropping all leagues below down another tier. Rule nothing out in the desire to self protect that is being shown.
@Donaldo9710: I appreciate the intent here but if this is to be given the go ahead shouldn’t they start at Tier 7? What message does this send to @EastScotlandFA and @OfficialWoSFL sides who have set out their own ambitious plans to develop?
@GarySma32095167: Bull shit, promote ambitious teams like Tranent and Musselburgh into the lowland and see them flourish for ‘one season’ aye sure it would be
@BrianMilne80: Can’t believe they are still persisting with this crap
@alncampb: A real kick in the teeth to hard working clubs throughout the pyramid if this is voted through, hopefully the clubs see sense.
@EwenJGF: Get that shite straight in the bin. The pyramid system while not perfect is a means for clubs to progress. To bring in big teams’ “colts” above others in the pyramid is shocking. What merit do they have? Keep them as far away from that level of the game as possible.
@Fraser1874: What about the teams who are working round the clock to try and get into the Lowland League by the traditional means? Will this be to the detriment of them?
@roseouttheashes: George Fraser and anyone else welcoming this idea are a disgrace, spitting on teams like Kelty, Bonnyrigg, Bo’ness who had to work their way into your league,. and the current EOS, SOS, and WOS teams working hard to do the same. Looks like money is clearly doing the talking here
@allan_todd: From the outside, this looks like a plan which will mainly benefit the only 2 clubs in Scotland that don’t need any help.
@rossbatchelor9: Get this so far to fuck.
@glasgowsheep: Absolute joke especially when the path from the East West and South Leagues into the Lowland League is so limited. Clearly Doncaster and the Old Firm couldn’t con the SPFL into allowing this to happen. Shame on the Lowland League if they fall for it.
@stmadoessaint: Very poor, what is the point of the pyramid system? Embarrassing that @OfficialSLFL are even considering this after challenging @spfl over doubts re League 2 play off.
@AlbaGman: WTF is this? What is Fraser and the LL playing at, there’s a Pyramid that they seem to be ignoring.
@Spockle9: FFS can this just stop being discussed? What’s the benefits to the Lowland League for this?
@SAJFraser: Brilliant. The Lowland League is all for sporting integrity. When it suits them.
@nickFTOF: Would happily vote to axe the lowland league from the pyramid for even considering this
@byiers13: How does this “help develop the countries best players”? I’m sorry, if these guys are good enough they would be playing anyway
@Connor_Ryan97: Colt teams can piss off
@chrissydodds_: For a full pyramid, like we were promised, These ‘B’ teams should be put into Tier 7 like every other new applicant. No preferential treatment. Not a fan of this whatsoever
@Garvaldinho: What an awful idea.
@PedzKeenan: Get this in the fucking bin. EVERYTHING in the country in football terms is done to benefit just TWO clubs. The sooner the 2 of them piss off to some tin pot Atlantic league the better
SLFL: “There’s a gap which exists in the player development pathway which needs fixed!”
Scottish fitba twitter: “Ok, how do we fix it?”
SLFL: “Well…we’ll invite colt teams into our league. It’ll only be for one season! That should do it”
Scottish fitba twitter: “…whit?!”
@ashwilsonauthor: It’s not at an early stage, it’s clearly a done deal.
@hthejambo: No no fucking no
@StevenDay_: For f*ck sake. B Teams is not a good option, ever, in any league, in any country.
@con_67: Where’s the benefit in that for any teams involved? Absolutely mental.
@Steve_Hibees: Disgraceful from the Lowland League.