More talks on '˜fifth division' with Celtic, Rangers colt teams

The introduction of a new senior division in the SPFL is unlikely to happen in time for next season as there is nothing more than a concept in place at present.

SPFL League 1 and League 2 clubs held a meeting this week over a plan to bring in “SPFL League 3” which would comprise Colts teams from Rangers and Celtic as well as clubs from the Lowland and Highland League.

While the idea received the go-ahead for further discussion little substance was provided over how the league would work. The practicalities regarding the Colts teams, promotion, relegation and play-offs have still to be agreed and a spokesperson from the SPFL said: “Reports that a fifth 
division could be in place for next season are extremely premature.

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“The idea is still being discussed and the SPFL’s Competition Committee will discuss it again at their next meeting in January.

Premiership clubs' colt teams already play in the Irn-Bru Cup. Picture: Roddy Scott/SNS

“At the moment there is probably only a five per cent chance of a new league being in place for the start of season 2019/20. Issues around Colts teams, whether they could be promoted, how far up they could be promoted, and whether they would have fixed squads of players have not been fully discussed.

“Talks will also be required on whether the pyramid play-offs would continue with the bottom club in League 3 involved – as opposed to League 2.”

The news that a new league is unlikely to be in place for next summer will be potentially disappointing news for Albion Rovers who currently sit at the foot of the SPFL.

Should the Coatbridge side remain there they will need to scrap for their place in League 2 next season against the winners of a play-off between the champions of the Highland and Lowland Leagues.

Should they lose that there will be no reprieve against losing their senior place and joining the Lowland League unless plans for a new league are more rapidly concluded than currently expected.

The spokesperson added: “At this stage the play-offs will take place as normal come the end of the season.”