Lowland League enters consultation period over Rangers, Celtic and Hearts inclusion

The Lowland League has entered a period of consultation with its member clubs over the inclusion of three “guest” teams for the 2022/23 campaign.

Mathew Anderson battles with Cole McKinnon during a Scottish Lowland League match between Celtic B and Rangers B.
Mathew Anderson battles with Cole McKinnon during a Scottish Lowland League match between Celtic B and Rangers B.

Both Rangers and Celtic entered B teams last year for the first time in the league’s history and a vote was held last month that approved the notion of them being allowed to compete next term.

Hearts have also applied to have a team in the Lowland League and while the trio will not be allowed promotion, it will alter the landscape of the division.

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A statement from the Lowland League read: “The Scottish Lowland Football League board has canvassed the opinions of member clubs over the three guest clubs seeking inclusion in next season’s Lowland League.

“Last month, a majority of 11-4 indicated a preference for the continued involvement of guest clubs, having taken two weeks to weigh up and debate a presentation on the topic.

“A formal application process was subsequently opened, with three clubs confirming their interest and intent in joining the league.

“Cleary, the inclusion of three guest clubs would require the current format of the Lowland League to be altered, so the board has entered into a period of consultation with member clubs to gauge the collective appetite for such a move – while talks with other key stakeholders would, naturally, follow before any conclusion could be reached.

“Whatever the outcome, guest clubs will not be eligible for promotion. Nor will they hamper the ability of clubs to be promoted to or relegated from the Lowland League.”