Keep colts out of Scottish football league pyramid
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.