Celtic will know on Monday whether their Colt team will be admitted into the Lowland League.
According to the Sun, member clubs will be polled immediately after the weekend. Controversial plans to have Celtic and Rangers youth sides in the SPFL ground to halt, but both sides are hoping the SLFL will be a happier hunting ground.
Both clubs pulled their second sides out of the SPFL Reserve League in 2019 [Herald]. Ever since, Celtic and Rangers have been attempting to establish a B team, similar to the likes of Barcelona B or Real Madrid Castilla. It’s a model seen throughout Europe, that has given a genuinely competitive platform to young players.
However, arguments persist that it cheapens the league that Colt teams participate in. Also, arguments about boosted attendances have been fiercely debated online.
There’s a financial incentive for the SLFL. Celtic and Rangers have offered a combined £50,000 to Lowland League to compete for just one season [Sun]. While the league operators will be happy, it works out to less than £3,000 per side, which is hardly make-or-break cash, even at that level [SLFL].
If Celtic and Rangers Colt teams were to get the go-ahead on Monday’s vote, the status of both clubs would be ratified on the 27th of May, when the Lowland League meets for its AGM.
A familiar rigmarole for Celtic
Already, we’ve argued whether or not any of this is worth the hassle. Celtic have used the loan system to decent affect in the latter portion of the season. Players on the fringes have had decent opportunities. Equally, it might be prudent to invest more in the Reserve and U18 leagues that exist in Scotland.
That said, it’s fair enough that Celtic might want to pursue this. After all, the club have European aspirations, and will be cognisant of how players in Spain and Germany have developed in a B Team. The obvious example, of course, is Lionel Messi.
This feels like it’ll rumble on for a while yet, regardless of Monday’s outcome.