Rangers chief blasts governing bodies over 'Colt teams' proposal

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson has criticised the Scottish football authorities for failing to fully submit the Old Firm Colt teams proposal to other clubs.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson. Picture: SNS
Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson. Picture: SNS

Robertson also took aim at the Scottish Professional Football League (SPFL) and Scottish Football Association (SFA) over a lack of innovation in developing youngsters and progressing games in this country.

The Ibrox chief spoke to the club’s media after it was revealed there was an invitation for both Rangers and Celtic to enter under-21 teams in the Lowland League. An eight-minute video was posted on Rangers’ official Twitter account in which Robertson, head of academy Craig Mulholland and sporting director Ross Wilson expressed their desires for entering a ‘B team’ at lower levels.

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An earlier proposal that would have saw both halves of the great Glasgow divide enter youth sides into League Two – with no pathway to rise above League One level – didn’t reach a vote as several clubs indicated they would vote against it.

Robertson, though, has blamed the authorities for refusing to let other clubs fully see the proposal put together by the Ibrox side.

He said: “We’ve been frustrated at the lack of transition pathway for our young players.

"We felt that, with everything that happened because of Covid, let’s make some changes to the game and let’s come out of it on a front foot. Let’s make a change to the game and improve Scottish football’s development.

"We spoke with all but three clubs in the SPFL. Ross and Craig went away and rewrote the paper.

"We’ve had frustration after frustration after frustration with the process since. We went through the PGB [Professional Game Board] where it was approved. It then went through the SPFL, where it was approved by the board. It then went to the SFA board, where things slowed down.

"One of my biggest frustrations is that it still hasn’t gone to the clubs. They still haven’t been presented with that paper. You have to ask the SPFL and the SFA why that is.

“There is no innovation coming out of the authorities. This is coming from us. These kind of things should be being led by the SPFL and the SFA – and we’re just not seeing that.

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“If we want to take our game forward, and the national team forward, we have to see a bit more initiative and innovation coming from the top.”

Wilson welcomed the invitation in the video as he too questioned the governing bodies over the perceived lack of pathway for young players in Scotland.

“We’re really pleased and thankful that George Fraser, the chairman of the Lowland League, has reached out with an invitation to us to potentially consider joining their league. Initially on a one season basis.

“That’s something we’ve looked upon favourably and something we would potentially be interested in, if of course it’s something the members of the Lowland League would like to embrace as well.

“We want to test our players in different scenarios – and that’s something the Lowland League would provide a different test for the young players.

“We believe we’re the only country in Europe not to have a pathway for our 17 to 21-year-olds. That’s unacceptable.”

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