Brian Rice can't understand why Celtic B Team proposal was rejected

By Euan Davidson

July 15, 2021

Hamilton Academical manager Brian Rice can’t believe SPFL clubs rejected proposals for a Celtic B Team in League Two.

Rice, an often outspoken critic of the Scottish footballing authorities, believes having Celtic and Rangers B teams would help to develop talents for the national team.

Earlier this week, SPFL clubs rejected another proposal to introduce Celtic and Rangers B Teams to an expanded League Two. It’s a running theme; similar proposals were rejected in April [Scotsman]. This time, however, plans didn’t even get into writing, with SPFL clubs profoundly rejecting the idea.

That’s wrong, says Brian Rice. The Accies manager said [Sun]:

“I’m really disappointed. There have got to be pathways for the kids to play football, otherwise we will lose good players.

“They have fallen in love with football, if they don’t get a chance then who knows what happens to them.

“The Old Firm invest a lot of money in kids, and sometimes they just fall out of the game.

“Things like this set us back. You look all over Europe and there are colts teams or second teams playing in proper leagues.

“The youngsters benefit playing competitive football in a league structure.

“Scotland benefits in the long run. So keep pushing. If you give up what message are you sending to the kids?”

Surely, some compromise can be reached on Celtic B Team

Something’s got to give at some point.

Clearly, Celtic and Rangers won’t give up until B Teams are introduced into a professional league set-up.

If not in Scotland, then Celtic will surely look elsewhere. While talks about international leagues have quietened since the explosive ending of the Super League, there’s surely room for something at youth level.

We’re seeing very clear evidence elsewhere that a proper Colts/B Team set-up can benefit national teams. England reached the Euro 2020 final, and have a robust system in place in the form of the Premier League 2.

Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images

Similarly, German and Spanish leagues have the infrastructure to support B or Reserve teams in a professional set-up. It’s nothing new or unusual.

While, yes, there are plenty of arguments against having Celtic and Rangers B Teams in the SPFL, that has to mean that our hierarchy are considering alternative options. If Scottish clubs are unwilling to support such an idea, then it could be prudent to integrate our second sides into a league structure elsewhere.

READ MORE: Callum McGregor is sounding more and more like a Celtic captain