Report: Why 8 clubs decided to grant Celtic Lowland League access next season

By David Walton

June 7, 2022

The Lowland League clubs who voted for Celtic B to partake next season did so in the hope of future abolishment of the promotion playoff tie, according to the Daily Mail.

Celtic, along with Hearts and Rangers, will be allowed to integrate their youngsters into the competition next season. It comes after a re-vote was taken on the subject after assurances made by the SFA over fixture scheduling and plans for a pyramid working group, the Mail reports.

In the original vote that took place recently, as many as 13 clubs rejected the idea of 3 B teams coming into the league. But a 6-team swing has occurred with yesterday’s vote being tied at 8-8 before league chairman Thomas Brown sealed it by accepting their introduction.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

And the Mail has claimed that clubs’ motivation in the matter wasn’t the increased money from the Premiership clubs. Instead, it was the prospect of potentially removing the promotion playoff that’s currently in place for the league winners. This reportedly came from a Lowland club source.

Winners of the Lowland League currently have to face off against the team that finishes top of the Highland League. The victory then faces a two-legged tie against the side that finishes bottom of League Two. However, this is something the Lowland clubs are looking to remove with the new pyramid working group.

It’s said that the league want a speedy review by the working group before vested interests come into play midway through a season. The Mail believes this proposal would receive serious blowback from League Two.

Celtic receive helping hand from Lowland League clubs as youth initiative continues

The Scottish Lowland League, just like last year, have stated that this is a one-year-only plan. Therefore, Celtic’s participation in the competition will likely end after the 2022/23 campaign.

As you would also expect, Celtic, Hearts, and Rangers can’t see their B teams promoted. Should any of those clubs win the league, the highest-ranking member would take their spot.

A more permanent solution, then, will need to come into play for next season. Given there is no reserve league in Scotland anymore, it would be interesting to see if moves are made to bring that back.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But for now, Celtic will look forward to continuing the development of their best young talents in a competitive environment against men. The players’ performances in the competition last season led to several first-team call-ups at various times of the season.

It can’t be ignored that there was plenty of pushback in the vote either. Clearly, with 8 Lowland League clubs voting against, there’s plenty of objection to the B team initiative going much further.

Time will tell whether this is indeed our final year in the competition. That could, for all we know, be dependent on progress made by the working group this season.

In other news, Celtic hero Kyogo brilliantly breaks down his performance vs Brazil