Celtic and Rangers colts Lowland League entry voted through for a second season

Rangers and Celtic B teams are set to continue to play in the Lowland League for a second year.

The pilot project, originally planned for one season, became a contentious issue a year ago but was passed by league members for admission. Now, 11 months on, a ‘comfortable majority’ of clubs voted 11-4 in favour of ‘guest clubs’ being admitted to the fifth tier set-up for a second season.

That leaves the door open for the Old Firm pair to return under the same ruling which barred them from promotion or access to the pyramid play-off against the winner of the Highland League.

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Bonnyrigg Rose have already sewn up this year’s Lowland League title and will receive their trophy at New Dundas Park following their match with East Stirlingshire on Saturday. Celtic B are currently second, level on points with East Kilbride FC, with Rangers three points behind in fourth but with a game in hand.

Tony Weston of Rangers and Dane Murray of Celtic have both featured for their respective B teams in the Lowland League this season. (Photo by Craig Brown / SNS Group)

A Lowland League statement said: “A comfortable majority of 11-4 indicated a preference for their involvement, having taken two weeks to weigh up a presentation on the topic.

“While conscious it is, understandably, a divisive and emotive subject, the overriding feeling is their presence has been of benefit in a commercial sense while there are promising early indications of young, emerging Scottish talents benefiting from early exposure to senior football in a competitive environment.

"It is important to note that 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.

“This has been a democratic process, with conversation and debate encouraged before any outcome was established.

“The board of the SLFL, and member clubs, remain committed to making a positive impact within our communities and Scottish football as a whole, and will maintain an open mind to any initiatives that support those aims.”

A year ago when the project was first floated in a vote, the Glasgow pair were accepted into the set-up by 11-5 margin.

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