Old Firm colt team move makes a mockery out of pyramid structure

East of Scotland Football League clubs have been roundly condemning the decision to allow Celtic and Rangers B teams into next season’s Lowland League.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 8:30 am
Glenrothes FC co-manager John Martin believes the decision to parachute colts teams into the Lowland League is unfair on clubs in the tiers below

The tier five Lowland League confirmed on Monday that its clubs had voted in favour of a proposal allowing the two sides to take part in the 2021/22 campaign.

But when it came to light over the weekend that talks between the relevant parties were clearly at an advanced stage, the EoSFL, as well as the west and south divisions, released a joint statement, saying they were “disappointed and dismayed” at the proposal.

The EoSFL structure sits below tier five in the pyramid.

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The league bodies say the decision damages the integrity of the game and is fuelled by “self interest” for small financial reward.

Glenrothes FC play within the EoSFL and have ambitions of climbing the ladder themselves, making their way up the divisions through points won on the park.

Club co-manager John Martin told the Gazette: “We’re disappointed.

"We’ve put a lot of time, effort and money into joining this pyramid system and it makes a farce of it if you just bring the old firm in.

"Once you’ve dropped them in, what’s the stop any of the other Premier League teams doing in?

"It’s like we’re being just forgotten about down the bottom and that’s quite disappointing.

"We were sold the dream of having no roof and going as far as you can.

"It makes a mockery of it.”

Lowland League chairman George Fraser said the league remains committed to the pyramid and that the decision to allow the Celtic and Rangers sides into the division would be for one season only.

A meeting of clubs was called following discussions between the SLFL board to consider the proposal and work is now be undertaken to make the required rule changes to allow this to happen.

Mr Fraser added: “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.”