Lowland League's east sides set to welcome Celtic and Rangers 'B' teams after Lowland League confirmed inclusion
The Lowland League have confirmed the admission of Celtic and Rangers ‘B’ teams into the league next season.
It means the likes of Bonnyrigg Rose, Edinburgh University, Spartans, Civil Service Strollers and Gala Fairydean will welcome the Old Firm’s second string sides to their grounds next season.
The decision was ratified at a league AGM on Thursday night.
The Glasgow duo will be able to field Colts sides in the fifth tier “for one year only” and they won’t be able to earn promotion to League Two.
A majority had previously indicated their support of the proposals, despite objections from some clubs, including Bonnyrigg who consulted fans, board members and other stakeholders.
The inclusion of the ‘B’ teams, it is hoped by clubs, will increase the exposure of the division, while netting each side a reported £3,000.
A statement from the league read: “The Scottish Lowland Football League can confirm that the majority of member clubs have voted in favour of admitting Rangers and Celtic ‘B’ teams into the league next season – for one year only.
“The decision was confirmed at our AGM tonight.
“Earlier this month all member clubs took part in a discussion with representatives from both Celtic and Rangers before an indicative vote.”
Celtic and Rangers will take the Lowland League up to 18 teams following the promotion of Kelty Hearts who defeated Brechin City in the Pyramid Play-off final over two legs.
The new campaign is expected to start as early as July 17.
George Fraser, the league's chair, said: “The member clubs have voted in favour of this proposal that was put to them earlier this month.
“Whilst it wasn’t unanimous the majority of member clubs are in favour of it and ultimately the members made the decision, which is only right in a democracy.
“Our Board will now get to work on moving forward with plans to get the new season started on July 17.”
Bonnyrigg, who have been vocal in their rejection of the plans, revealed that season ticket holders will get into games against Celtic and Rangers for free next campaign.