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Rangers director Ross Wilson welcomes B-team invitation from Lowland League

Ross Wilson Handout Photo
(Image credit: Kirk O’Rourke)

Rangers have welcomed the Lowland League’s invitation for themselves and Celtic to enter B teams into the competition.

The Scottish Lowland Football League confirmed on Wednesday that it had entered into discussions to involve both Glasgow teams on a one-season basis.

The Ibrox club have been frustrated with the slow process of their proposal to allow themselves and Celtic to put B teams into the lower divisions of the Scottish Professional Football League.

Neither Celtic nor Rangers would be able to get promoted to the SPFL from the Lowland League under the new plans, with the highest-finishing current member being put into the pyramid play-offs.

Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson declared his club were “really pleased and thankful for the Lowland League invitation”.

Wilson told Rangers TV: “That’s something we have looked upon favourably and something that we would potentially be interested in, if of course it was something the members of the Lowland League wanted to embrace as well.

“We want to test our players in different scenarios. Playing in the Lowland League would provide a completely different test for the young players, as well as our best-v-best games programme that we would continue to operate against some of the best teams in Europe.

“We want to aid that transition, we feel Scottish football needs to do something for that, and we are thankful that the Lowland League have stepped forward when maybe others haven’t.”

Managing director Stewart Robertson revealed the club had experienced “frustration after frustration after frustration” from their proposals, which he claims were “slowed down” when they reached the Scottish Football Association board.

Robertson added: “One of my biggest frustrations, and I have spent a year on this project, is that that paper has still never gone to the clubs.

“You would need to ask the SFA and the SPFL why they haven’t actually sent that paper to the clubs.

“There is no innovation coming out of the authorities”

Rangers hope their plan can come into place for the 2022-23 season with a year in the Lowland League helping to convince SPFL clubs of the benefits of B teams.

Wilson said: “This is a concept that is clearly to our benefit and we have been really, really open about that, albeit we have built a plan which included benefits for many other people as well, in our opinion, as well as respecting that other people might have different views that we need to listen to.

“There may be other strategies that other people have in mind that can position player development much further up the agenda here in Scotland.

“However, we haven’t really seen any progress at all on some of the things that we think are to the betterment of Scottish football and player development in particular. Those things are steeped in data and research, not just something we have plucked out of thin air. They are concepts that have worked in other countries.

“The second frustration is that, although our plans haven’t moved forward, we have also not seen any other plans moved forward from anyone else or from the top of the Scottish game.”

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