Hearts' B-team bid to join Celtic and Rangers in Lowland League enters period of consultation

Hearts must wait to learn if their application to enter a B team in Scotland's Lowland League will be accepted by the clubs.

By Barry Anderson
Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 5:03 pm
Updated Tuesday, 3rd May 2022, 5:38 pm

League directors are gathering views from across the division after Hearts, Celtic and Rangers all asked to play second-string sides there next season.

The Lowland League constitution allows only a maximum of 18 clubs and, if all three were admitted, that number would need increased to 19.

Celtic B and Rangers B both played at that level this season and Hearts are keen to join rather than wait on a reserve league being resurrected.

The Edinburgh club have submitted an official declaration of their intention and are willing to pay the £40,000 entry fee required. However, their fate now lies with the rest of the Lowland League clubs.

A statement from the league read: "The Scottish Lowland Football League board has canvassed the opinions of member clubs over the three guest clubs seeking inclusion in next season’s Lowland League.

"Last month, a majority of 11-4 indicated a preference for the continued involvement of guest clubs, having taken two weeks to weigh up and debate a presentation on the topic.

"A formal application process was subsequently opened, with three clubs confirming their interest and intent in joining the league.

Hearts have submitted an application to field a B team in next season's Lowland League. (Photo by Mark Scates / SNS Group)

"Cleary, the inclusion of three guest clubs would require the current format of the Lowland League to be altered, so the board has entered into a period of consultation with member clubs to gauge the collective appetite for such a move – while talks with other key stakeholders would, naturally, follow before any conclusion could be reached.

"Whatever the outcome, guest clubs will not be eligible for promotion. Nor will they hamper the ability of clubs to be promoted to or relegated from the Lowland League."

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