Lowland League clubs gauge fan reaction ahead of Rangers and Celtic Colts meeting

Lowland League clubs have turned to their supporters for views on a proposal to see Rangers and Celtic Colt teams enter the fifth tier for one season, next term.
Picture Michael Gillen.Picture Michael Gillen.
Picture Michael Gillen.

Bonnyrigg Rose will hold a series of Zoom calls to gauge fan opinion ahead of a meeting of Lowland League clubs. Berwick Rangers have already received fan input responding to the league statement which outlined the discussions on Wednesday night.

The plan would see Rangers and Celtic each place a secondary side in the fifth tier for season 2021-22. As a one-off pilot neither side would be eligible for promotion and would pay £25,000 to enter for the year.

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Pros and cons are now being weighed up across the 17 league clubs ahead of Monday’s ‘declaration of interest’.

Bonnyrigg treasurer Brendan Parkinson will mobilise a series of online conferences with supporters, sponsors and officials.

“We’re a members club, so we’re putting this out to our members to make sure that the decision we make is representative of our fan base. It’s a subject that comes up frequently and we all have individual opinions,” he said.

"We don’t want to read the room wrong by our supporters. We will set out the details and have a grown-up conversation to see how we take it forward.”

Berwick director Dave Buglass added: “As a club we’ve got to look after the best interests of the club long-term, so financial implications will clearly be a consideration – at the same time we respect the views of our fans too and a decision will be made for the longevity of Berwick Rangers.”

Suggestions of Colt teams entering League Two were broached earlier this year. League chairman, George Fraser explained how Lowland League discussions had come about. He said: “It is clear that Celtic and Rangers are looking for a league to put their ‘B’ teams where they can develop as players.

"Having been on the PGB group it was clear that there is a major gap in the player pathway which would, if not addressed, impact a generation of our best young talent. The Lowland League, as a modern progressive organisation, has 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.”

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