The SFA have released a statement about Ibrox Managing Director Stewart Robertson and the Celtic / Rangers plan to integrate Colt teams into the Scottish lower leagues.
Robertson criticised the Hampden decision-makers for failing to support the idea in an interview with Rangers TV earlier this week, stating: “Let’s go and improve the quality of the players to come out of Scottish football. We had frustration after frustration after frustration. It was approved by the PGB and the SPFL, but it then got to the SFA board and it slowed down.
“We wanted it to be implemented next year, but that paper has still not gone to the clubs. Despite us trying to make it an SFA and an SPFL idea, rather than a Rangers and Celtic idea, it’s still not been given to the clubs. You need to ask the SFA and the SPFL why.”
However, the Scottish FA has now released a furious statement in which they claim consensus was reached during a meeting with Celtic and Rangers last month.
They reckon that there was unanimous agreement to delay communication with other clubs.
President Rod Petrie told The Herald: “The Scottish FA seeks to clarify inaccuracies contained in an interview undertaken by the Rangers Managing Director, Stewart Robertson, on the subject of the proposed introduction of B teams.
“At a virtual meeting on April 9, hosted by Stewart, and including a representative from Celtic FC, the SPFL and Scottish FA, there was general consensus on the call that given the adverse publicity and temperature among clubs, the proposal was unlikely to garner the support of enough clubs to enable the SPFL rule change to progress further.
“It was therefore agreed by both Stewart, on behalf of Rangers, and Celtic’s representative that pausing any detail being distributed to clubs would give the proposals the best chance of success. To repeat, the introduction of B teams as part of the innovation paper would require an SPFL vote, and after a season in which clubs have had to contend with the ongoing impact of COVID-19, a rushed decision would likely end in failure.
“It was unanimously agreed by the group, including Stewart, that the distribution any paper should take place once the 2020/21 season has ended, to give clubs an opportunity to fully consider the potential benefits without the pressures of implications of a season impacted by COVID-19. We are therefore surprised that Stewart is quoted on Rangers TV saying ‘the biggest frustration is that [the] paper has still never gone to the clubs. You’d need to ask Scottish FA and SPFL why’.”
It’s a massive contradiction, clearly.
I wonder where Celtic fit into all this. The Bhoys have been curiously silent on the matter. It’s doubtful they’ll want to wade into a public sparring match between Rangers and the SFA. That’s just smart.
If Celtic have made agreements with the SFA and Rangers not to publicly campaign on the issue, then it’s no surprise we haven’t heard from it on the issue.
However, they’ll likely be as eager as the Ibrox lot to have Colt teams performing at a lower league level.
We’ve heard this week that efforts to include a B team in the Scottish Lowland Football League, as opposed to the SPFL, are progressing. [Sky Sports]
I’m not sure Rangers stirring up trouble with the SFA will solve any of this quicker moving forward. We need some grown-up thinking to get these plans over the line.