Plans for Rangers, Celtic and Hearts to field B teams in the Lowland League are left in disarray after applications are rejected… before Premiership sides issue an all or nothing ultimatum to officials
- Rangers, Celtic and Hearts B teams look unable to compete in Lowland League
- Celtic and Rangers Colts were expected to fill the void in Scotland’s fifth tier
- Hearts wanted to join them before the SLFL ruled only two would be admitted
- The three SPL sides then demanded all three be allowed to play or none at all
Plans for Celtic, Rangers and Hearts to field B teams in an expanded Lowland League next season are on the verge of collapse.
Clubs from Scottish football’s fifth tier recently voted in favour of admitting two guest sides for a second successive season.
Celtic and Rangers Colts were expected to fill the void until Hearts submitted a late application before the deadline.
Celtic and Rangers paid £25,000 to field B teams in last year’s Lowland League tournament
Asked to change their rules to allow all three to enter a 19-team league, Lowland League sides voted against the proposal by a margin of 13 to three – with chairmen expected to decide which two of the three they wanted to admit by June 6.
In an unexpected ultimatum, however, the three Scottish Premiership clubs have now made it clear that the SLFL either allows all three guest teams to play – or risks receiving none at all.
Lowland League officials have now written to members outlining the current state of play.
And Sportsmail understands clubs are expected to revert to a 16-team league – with no guest teams admitted – when they discuss the matter at an AGM this Monday night.
Under last season’s arrangements both Celtic and Rangers paid £25,000 each as an entry payment for participation, with colts team ineligible for promotion.
With both clubs seeing the benefits to their academy players of playing regular competitive football against semi-professional opposition, Lowland League sides were set to ramp up the cost of entry.
Irked by the apparent conditions attached by Celtic, Hearts and Rangers, the expectation is that members will end the guest club experiment on Monday.
Celtic and Rangers looked set to field B teams in the Lowland League before a late Hearts bid
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