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Bonnyrigg Rose ‘aggrieved’ but call for Kelty Hearts to be promoted

Rangers v Dunfermline Athletic – Betfred Cup – Last 16 – Ibrox Stadium
(Image credit: Ian Rutherford)

Bonnyrigg Rose have called for Kelty Hearts to be promoted despite feeling “aggrieved” at the decision to award their rivals the Lowland League title.

Rose were disappointed that they had no prior indication Barry Ferguson’s team were going to be declared champions by the Lowland League board before an announcement on Monday afternoon.

But they have called for the Fife club and Highland League champions Brora Rangers to be admitted to an extended  Scottish Professional Football League as they took a thinly-veiled swipe at bottom club Brechin, whose chairman Ken Ferguson is the League One/League Two club representative on the league board.

The active SPFL resolution, which lies in the hands of Dundee, recommends promotion and relegation amidst the league but not play-offs, meaning the two pyramid league champions would not get the chance to play the bottom club for a place in League Two.

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Rose said in a statement: “The SPFL resolution which currently hangs in the balance proposes that Partick, Stranraer and potentially Hearts are relegated from their respective leagues.

“However the team in bottom place in League 2 strangely gets a reprieve under the current scenario (not so strange when investigations are undertaken as to who the decision makers are on respective boards, but we will leave it to others to speculate about that).

“We hope that both the HL and LL can use this as leverage to continue to lobby for league reconstruction and that as a minimum the declared champions of both are playing league football next season as their exploits this season merit and is the start of a more progressive movement at both ends of our league.

“A quick glance at the current League 2 table will show that the top two sides have been the ones most recently promoted into the league and we would expect both Brora and Kelty to be challenging at the top end of that league next season.”

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The West Lothian club were six points behind Kelty with a game in hand and had a home match against the leaders to look forward to.

“While we understand the current situation and the decision made it doesn’t make it any easier to take,” they said.

“We feel no less aggrieved than the teams in second place in the leagues above us.

“The players, management team, committee and supporters have dedicated a huge amount of time and effort to get us into the position we were in with only six games remaining and we were optimistic, given five of those six games were at home, of achieving a positive outcome.”