Report: Celtic set for bumper cost to keep B Team in SLFL

By Euan Davidson

March 24, 2022

Celtic are likely to see a hike in the cost of admitting their B Team to the SLFL if Tommy McIntyre’s club want a repeat of the 21-22 season.

The Hoops have enjoyed success at B Team level, with McIntyre’s players training at Lennoxtown, and some new faces bolstering the first-team squad. Owen Moffat, Joey Dawson, Dane Murray, Ben Doak and others have become household names.

With Celtic and Rangers not allowed to seal promotion from the SLFL, and attendances being somewhat boosted by the Bhoys involvement, there’s a case to be made. However, the SLFL has endured some controversy over the introduction of B Teams. Ex-Bonnyrigg Rose boss Robbie Horn resigned in protest last year [Herald].

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According to the Daily Mail, however, there may be a hitch. Celtic and Rangers were admitted to SLFL as a “one-off”, but there’s a vote ahead to discuss the future of B Team involvement in the league. And, the report says, the £25,000 entry fee may see a significant rise.

The report says [Scottish Daily Mail, 24/3, print edition p.83]: “…the price of an agreement to hand the Old Firm colts another year is likely to be a hike in the current £25,000 entry fee.

“The two guest teams were granted admission to the fifth tier of the Scottish football pyramid as a one-off experiment last summer. And the Glasgow pair pitched their case for a second season to clubs at presentations on Monday night.”

67 Hail Hail meets Anthony Ralston and Caitlin Hayes | Celtic Park Special

67 Hail Hail meets Anthony Ralston and Caitlin Hayes | Celtic Park Special
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For Celtic, keeping a B Team in the SLFL has to be a prerogative

Of all the successful measures taken by Celtic this year, the B Team surely ranks highly.

As a midway point between youth football and the first-team, it’s provided an excellent service. Fine, it’s not the professional game, but so many players have exponentially improved for playing in an organised league against experienced players.

Bosun Lawal and Dane Murray, for example, have formed a partnership that could be seen in the first-team, in years to come. The likes of Rocco Vata, Joey Dawson and Owen Moffat have regularly shone. Ben Summers looks a good prospect, as does Adam Brooks, Josh Dede and England U19 goalkeeper Tobi Oluwayemi.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

We’re sure Rangers have players, too.

But let’s be real; there has to be something in it for the SLFL. If that’s more money, so be it. Celtic can afford it. If the alternative is unstructured reserve football, and youth players stagnating, that’d be a greater price to pay.

It’s not just players, either. Darren O’Dea has benefitted from the experience of coaching the Celtic B Team in the SLFL. There’s not just a player development structure, but a coaching one, too. It’s a universally good thing, from a Celtic perspective.

It has to be right for the SLFL, too, though. We’ll see how the vote goes, but this is a big, big deal for Celtic.

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