Rangers and Celtic Colts entry into Lowland League is unfair on clubs aspiring to reach fifth tier on merit says Bo'ness United manager Max Christie
Bo’ness United gaffer Max Christie has questioned the fairness of Rangers and Celtic Colts teams being able to enter the Lowland League.
The Old Firm giants have each paid £25,000 to access the Lowland League – money to be divvied up among Bo’ness and the other clubs – after a majority of teams (not including Bo’ness) voted for their inclusion.
It means both Old Firm teams can now blood their young players in the fifth tier of Scottish football for one season only but not be eligible for promotion into Scottish League Two.
“Having Rangers and Celtic Colts in will boost the profile of the league and possibly attract a better level of sponsorship,” BU gaffer Christie said. "Those are the big positives. But they have just jumped in.
"I’m sure Linlithgow Rose could have written a cheque for 25 grand and been happy to get into the Lowland League, as would other clubs.
"I’m sure Matthew Wright at Tranent Juniors (whom Christie bossed from 2017 to 2019) would write a cheque for 25 grand and get parachuted into the Lowland League.
"It’s no bother to them, they’ve got money. And there are other clubs that will be feeling they’ve been disregarded.
"It’s not a great amount of money that Rangers and Celtic are putting into the league and there will be other teams who are working incredibly hard to get into the Lowland League – which is ridiculously difficult to get into.
"It needs changed. I can see why clubs in the East of Scotland and West of Scotland Leagues would have a problem with that.
"That’s why we never voted for it, just purely on solidarity with other clubs.
"Getting into a league is meant to be on merit. And to come in with a few quid from two big clubs is against the spirit of it.
"There is a wee whiff of the European Superleague in the dynamic of this, teams like Juventus and Man United saying we’ll just buy our way in.”
Christie also doesn’t think the Old Firm Colts will bow out of the Lowland League after a single season.
"They’ll not be in for one season,” he added. “That’s lip service. "What are they going to do, turn round and say it’s not working and then they can pull out next season?
"I don’t get the logic behind that. Any common sense tells you that’s them in.”