Rangers’ ambitious Colts proposal is reportedly back on the table as League Two side Brechin City desperately try to cling to their league place for next season.
According to the Daily Record, Brechin have suggested reconstruction of the bottom tier of the SPFL over two seasons, with Rangers and Celtic Colts admitted to the league from 2022/23.
That would see Brechin retain their league place for next term as Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts and Highland champions Brora Rangers join a 12-team League Two over the summer.
In a lengthy statement, Brechin claim that the current system, which sees the bottom team in League Two (Club 42) play the winners of a playoff between the Lowland and Highland League champions, is “fundamentally unfair.”
With both leagues having been suspended for months as a result of Covid, Brechin want a reprieve for whoever finishes bottom – but for Rangers and Celtic could also stand to benefit.
The Colts proposal has been pushed by both clubs for several years and has again been discussed by clubs as they look at how to improve youth development in Scotland.
Both Rangers and Celtic have a number of young players out on loan at SPFL clubs and the Old Firm have long argued to be allowed to keep that, largely in-house.
“The most pressing complaint is not one of laws or legitimacy, it is about a level playing field for both sides in any play-off, we strongly believe that any Relegation playoff games this season will be fundamentally unfair on Club 42,” Brechin said.
“Club 42 will have been affected by injuries, suspensions, lack of recovery time and fatigue – these are part-time players, and most of these part-time players have full-time jobs which requires enormous amounts of travel to fulfil their footballing and work responsibilities.
“That club will have played 13 league games in a period of 59 days, many of the games having been concentrated into periods of three or four games in seven days.
“The winners of the Highland versus Lowland League playoff will have played two games in the same period and will not be affected to nearly the same extent by any of these issues (injuries, suspensions, lack of recovery time or fatigue).
“We believe that league reconstruction is the fairest outcome for Club 42, the Lowland League and Highland League and it is true that we proposed to the SPFL board and our member clubs that as an alternative to a relegation play-off both Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers be invited to join an expanded SPFL League 2 from next season, so they are not unfairly punished by our position on the legitimacy of the play-offs this season.
“In summary we believe in the play-offs, we believe that any team that plays a full league season and finished bottom of the pyramid should play off against the winner of the Highland or Lowland league team who has also played a full league season under similar conditions. Season 2020/21 is not that season.”