Non-league clubs in Scotland were apparently “up in arms” over the Celtic/Rangers colts proposal.
The Daily Mail reported last week that Rangers’ Stewart Robertson has been given the green light to draft up fresh proposals. The new plan would involve Celtic and Rangers donating £1million to the lower leagues. There would also need to be rules in place to ensure the integrity of the competitions too.
The report also stated that the SPFL League Two would be beefed up from 10 to 16. This would include two teams from both the Highland and Lowland leagues to come up to League Two also.
But clubs even lower in the non-league were left fuming with a similar idea in the summer. Rob Roy manager Stewart Maxwell’s side compete in the West of Scotland leagues, and he believes there’s no change from non-league clubs regarding their anger at colts jumping ahead of them.
As quoted by the Glasgow Times, Maxwell said: “This very same matter raised its head at the start of the season and had Junior clubs up in arms at the thought of the Old Firm ‘skipping the queue’ because of their financial clout.
“Most clubs openly welcomed their inclusion but only if they were to join the Pyramid at the very bottom tier and make the same steps up the ladder as we all have to do.
“Nothing but nothing has changed in that respect as far as I know and I just hope the powers-that-be do not try to accommodate them with a revamp of the game just 12 months down the line.”
Non-league clubs won’t like it, but Celtic and Rangers colts must be given priority
When clubs and managers argue this point about the colts sides not skipping the queue, they say it’s unfair on everyone else. That it undermines the non-league teams. Even the junior sides are insulted that the Glasgow giants’ best youngsters are able to qualify for League Two without earning it.
But the truth is, it’s a sacrifice they should be willing to make. In truth, not many junior or non-league sides will have the talent the Glasgow teams do in their academies. They deserve to be given a priority spot in League Two if it’s feasible.
It provides some of the country’s best young talent with a chance to develop their game quicker and against better quality. Playing reserve football each week doesn’t do it. They need more than that. We saw against Hibernian on Monday just how much some of these youngsters need to develop in a physical sense.
It’s difficult to know how low down the ladder non-league teams want the colts to go. Do they want Celtic and Rangers’ top youngsters dropping down to the West of Scotland leagues? You can see why they would see that as fair. But League Two gives them a better chance of developing against better players.
It’s not as if the non-league sides will be harmed by this proposal either. Promotion from the Highland and Lowland leagues won’t change for a year. In fact, more teams than ever would be coming up from non-league to take part in the expanded League Two.
Why are people so against this in Scotland? Germany, Spain, and Italy all do this. Goodness knows why it’s seen as a disaster in this country.