'I think the league loses its authenticity' - Bo'ness United boss Max Christie against Hearts colts getting entry to Lowland League

Bo'ness United gaffer Max Christie says he is opposed to Heart of Midlothian having a B side figuring alongside his team in a 19-strong Scottish Lowland Football League next season.

By Craig Goldthorp
Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:45 am
Updated Thursday, 23rd June 2022, 10:45 am
Bo'ness United boss Max Christie doesn't agree with the league shake-up (Photo: Alan Murray)
Bo'ness United boss Max Christie doesn't agree with the league shake-up (Photo: Alan Murray)

A vote earlier this summer saw the Scottish Premiership giants’ colts granted entry after league chairman Thomas Brown used his casting vote, meaning that the Jambos will join Celtic B and Rangers B as guest teams for the 2022-23 campaign.

“I’m against Hearts coming in,” Christie said.

“I just think the league loses its authenticity a bit.

“There are progressive clubs in the pyramid who are spending a lot of money to get in.

“I’m sure if you went to the owner of Darvel and said you can pay X amount of pounds to get in the Lowland League, he would write the cheque.

“There are some wealthy teams, and just to be parachuted in goes against the ethos of any competition a wee bit for me.

Linlithgow Rose, Darvel, Auchinleck Talbot, Penicuik Athletic – big, big clubs – have all got licences and they are run by volunteers who are all working hard to raise every pound they can get to get to the Lowland League, and if they win a league, they’ve got to win a play-off and it’s not right. It’s not our job to develop Celtic, Rangers and Hearts players. I think the financial benefit of Hearts coming in to the other clubs is negligible. It’s not life-changing money.”

Christie believes that, instead of Premiership big guns sending their youngsters to play in the Lowland League, there should be a reserve league re-established for them to get involved in.

Looking ahead to next season’s ca, Christie, currently restructuring his squad, is aiming high.

“I think a top-six finish for us would be considered relatively successful,” he said.

“You’ve got Celtic, Rangers and Hearts’ colts, East Kilbride, Spartans, Caley Braves, a good side, Berwick Rangers and Tranent coming in, so it’s a competitive league. I definitely think the league will be a bit more open.

“Cowdenbeath are also coming down, and I think every single player left and they signed an entire new team.

“I think there's been a few departures from East Stirlingshire, so I think it will be the same sort of strength, if not stronger, with a couple of teams with new squads."