Keep colts out of Scot­tish foot­ball league pyra­mid

Airdrie & Coatbridge Advertiser - - Advertiser @ View - Colin Pater­son, via email

Dear Ed­i­tor May I, through your let­ters page, ad­dress the po­ten­tial is­sue of Colt teams be­ing ad­mit­ted to the Scot­tish foot­ball league pyra­mid.

I at­tended the Air­drieo­ni­ans Sup­port­ers’ Trust open meet­ing last Thurs­day night and this mat­ter was briefly dis­cussed; al­though, it must be pointed out, the foot­ball club clearly has other things on its plate at this mo­ment in time.

Air­drieo­ni­ans di­rec­tor Ann Marie Bal­lan­tyne con­firmed the club had re­sponded to a con­sul­ta­tion with their views on the pro­posal and fin­ished by say­ing that if Celtic and Rangers want this to hap­pen, it will likely hap­pen. The ex­pla­na­tion was that League One and League Two clubs would be out­voted at a meet­ing of the SPFL board.

I would like to clar­ify the sit­u­a­tion. If a for­mal pro­posal comes to pass, it will not be voted on by the board. All 42 SPFL mem­ber clubs will have a vote on whether or not Colt teams are ad­mit­ted to the league pyra­mid.

The con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment sent to SPFL mem­ber clubs this sum­mer clearly states this. It reads: “Any de­ci­sion to in­tro­duce Colt teams to the SPFL pyra­mid would re­quire a Qual­i­fied Res­o­lu­tion to be passed by SPFL mem­ber clubs in gen­eral meet­ing.”

At the bot­tom of page four of this doc­u­ment, it is made clear that for a Qual­i­fied Res­o­lu­tion to be passed, 90 per cent of Pre­mier­ship clubs, 75 per cent of Pre­mier­ship and Cham­pi­onship clubs com­bined and 75 per cent of Pre­mier­ship, Cham­pi­onship, League One and League Two clubs must vote in favour of it.

There­fore, what Celtic and Rangers want is ir­rel­e­vant if the other 40 clubs choose not to sup­port the mo­tion. Whether they do or not is up to them but they will, at least, have the fi­nal say.

I be­lieve strongly that the in­tro­duc­tion of Colt teams to the league pyra­mid would not be a pos­i­tive for Scot­tish foot­ball. As well as de­mean­ing and de­valu­ing our lower leagues – full of proud, his­toric clubs from com­mu­ni­ties with pas­sion­ate fans – young play­ers from Colt teams will not ben­e­fit any more than they are now in gain­ing com­pet­i­tive first-team foot­ball through the loan sys­tem.

In a re­cent Sup­port­ers’ Di­rect Scot­land sur­vey, al­most 75 per cent of 1071 fans were against the in­tro­duc­tion of Colt teams to the league pyra­mid. I en­cour­age all fans to make their views heard by con­tact­ing their club and sup­port­ers’ group.

For it is the clubs, who are the SPFL, who will make the de­ci­sion.

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