Celtic are in talks about joining Scotland’s Lowland Leagues, along with city rivals Rangers. The move would see the Celtic colts enter the football pyramid on a ‘one season basis’ as the club look to get competitive football for their young stars.
SLFL Board chairperson, George Fraser said to the website that the decision would not adversely affect the current teams and it would only be taken if they decided to vote in favour of the change.
“It is clear from the discussions we have had that both Celtic and Rangers are looking for a league to put their ‘B’ teams into where they can develop as players. Having been on the PGB sub group tasked with further developing the well-publicised ‘Scottish Football Innovation’ paper, a project which is still on-going 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.”
The SLFL said that the move would be beneficial to the whole of the Scottish game, giving players the opportunity to play at a competitive level whilst improving to be the future of the game. A question remains, however, as to whether the clubs will vote in favour of expanding the league to allow both teams in.