Report: Celtic B Team embroiled in SFA and Lowland League row

By Euan Davidson

September 16, 2021

The SFA, Scottish Lowland League and its constituent clubs are locked in a row over Celtic and Rangers B Teams, according to a report.

In today’s Scottish Daily Mail [16/09/21, print edition p80], reputable Celtic source Stephen McGowan has written that a dramatic conclusion could be reached unless Scottish football’s governing body and the SLFL can reach a compromise.

Celtic and Rangers B Teams were admitted into the Scottish Lowland Football League this season. Thus far, it’s been a success, with young players developing quickly against decent opposition. However, the potential of Celtic or Rangers winning the title has caused a number of problems.

According to McGowan, last year’s SLFL rules don’t recognise Colt teams, and that’s causing an issue. Unless new pyramid play-off rules are submitted quickly, Celtic could be suspended and their results nulled and voided.

This follows from a previous row about boundaries and progression in the Scottish football pyramid. The SFA and SPFL want the SLFL to change their geographic rules for entry into the league. Teams north of the Tay enter the Highland League if relegated from League Two. Suitably, teams south of that point enter the Lowland League.

However, when Brechin wanted to join the Lowland League [Daily Record], it set off a long-standing row that’s affecting Celtic now.

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

“Celtic are a very important team for us” | Real Betis fan Enrique Roldán

If it sounds complicated, it is: Celtic ready themselves for another battle with SFA, SLFL and clubs

So, where are we now?

According to the Scottish Daily Mail, an important SLFL meeting on Monday night, chairman George Fraser stepped down.

With that separate crisis unfolding, vice-chairman Graeme Mullin is being asked to work a compromise by SFA chief Rod Petrie. But with the SPFL refusing to admit Colt teams, the issue of promotion places needs a quick resolution. Clubs are being approached to respond to a questionnaire by close of business tomorrow.

Photo By Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile via Getty Images

Via the Daily Mail, Mullin wrote the following in his questionnaire to SLFL constituent members:

“We are now faced with a major decision on how to gain the Scottish FA approval of the rules that were adopted at the AGM in May 2021. The alternative to this is to refer back to version 15 of our rules, which would regretfully involve the suspension of the guest clubs and the voiding of all associated results to date.

“Based on this information, I ask that all clubs spend the next few days seriously considering the situation with a view to providing a club perspective to the Board and new Chairperson.”

Photo by Ross MacDonald – SNS GroupSNS Group via Getty Images

What does this mean for Celtic and Rangers in essence, then?

Unless the SFA, SLFL and SPFL can quickly work out a resolution, it’s the end of the Celtic B Team for now.

Tommy McIntyre’s team have been impressive thus far, debuting a raft of Academy talents including Adam Brooks, Rocco Vata and Tobi Oluwayemi. Meanwhile, summer additions Bosun Lawal and Liam Shaw have had opportunities in league and cup competitions.

The Bhoys’ B Team currently sit 6th in the SLFL on 20 points. However, they have three games in hand on leaders Bonnyrigg Rose. Therein lies the issue; both Celtic and Rangers are on course for play-off and promotion contention.

Expect more drama tomorow night.

In other news: “It’s not lost on me”; Celtic boss Postecoglou on significance of Seville