Celtic and Rangers are both prepared to invest £1.5m each in order to get their colts teams a spot in League Two, the Scottish Sun reports.
The Daily Mail reported back in early January that both clubs were prepared to offer lower-league clubs as much as £1m. Stewart Robertson was said to be chairing a working group.
However, the idea at the time was met with fierce resistance. Lower-league figures appeared to come out in force in order to shoot down any proposals [Evening Express].
Yet, according to the Sun, it looks as if both sides are prepared to big higher. The report states that the money would be spread out over the course of five years and is being used to try and extend League Two.
But the Sun also believes that there is still stiff opposition to the plans. That’s despite the fact there would be a promotion cap ensuring that the youth sides couldn’t reach the top league.
A massive move for Celtic and Rangers if they can pull off colts plan
This would be absolutely terrific if it could be done. Having a Celtic colts team playing professional football on a weekly basis absolutely reaps plenty of positives for the club.
Firstly, we wouldn’t see the raft of departures that we have done in recent times. Not getting an opportunity at first-team level at Parkhead is a key problem for so many youngsters. Not seeing that pathway to the first-team will have led to plenty of players walking out in the past. Playing regularly in the Scottish lower leagues gives them a higher incentive to stay and develop.
Secondly, it will help develop youngsters further who continue to be too good for youth level but not good enough for Celtic. The likes of Jack Aitchison and Liam Henderson are two prime examples of this. Players who were a cut above youth football, but needed progression before being good enough for the Hoops.
Thirdly, it would allow Celtic to keep most of their promising young stars where they are. It would minimise the need for loan deals elsewhere. We wouldn’t have to send our best young talent out for games. Their development could all be done in the comfort of Lennoxtown.
This just makes sense for the club. It also makes sense for Scottish football as a whole too. Allowing Celtic and Rangers’ academies to shine through will allow better, more talented individuals to come up through the ranks and play for their country.
Hopefully this will prove to be a goer. For now, however, there will undoubtedly be plenty of opposition from clubs who will be keen to protect their league position.