Celtic’s Continued Problems With Competitive Reserve Football Have Their Roots At Ibrox.

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During the last week, as Celtic were being dragged into an unseemly squabble with the Lowland League, there was much talk about how the problems of Scottish football have partial roots in the absence of a dedicated reserve league. I agree.

Celtic have long lamented this. But the reserve league was killed off in part by the SFA and the SPFL and in part by Ibrox. Once again, a decision that they took and which the governing bodies gave in to, has impacted on the game in a terrible way.

And as per usual, nobody points the finger at them.

The SPFL Development League had been running since 1998 when the Ibrox NewCo announced its intention to withdraw from it in 2017. They did so for various reasons but at the core of it was money. They wanted the ability to enter their youth teams in various lucrative tournaments and they were tired of the running costs.

The SPFL permitted this, although it was clear that it would weaken the whole structure of the setup. The SPFL Development League – which had served football well – was gone within 12 months. That decision, which it allowed, sawed off one of the supporting legs on which the setup was built, as some of us said that it would at the time.

The game was bent to the will of Ibrox, who promptly re-entered a “revised” version the following year; the whole thing was a scam to force through changes that they had wanted, and which the SPFL granted. The game has been paying for it ever since.

Celtic knew that their withdrawal would have a devastating impact, and we have attempted to play a role in various relaunches … none of which has succeeded because there is no commitment to them at the top of the game.

The precedent was set with Ibrox. When one side was allowed to withdraw that doomed the whole enterprise, as other sides would swiftly do the same. Celtic itself has withdrawn from the youth setup since … this was the door the governors opened.

Now clubs, including our own, scramble to find something that works. The responsibility for this should lie with the alleged leaders of the game … that we’re leaning on the Lowland League for permission to join their setup is a disgrace … and one that, as with so many other Scottish football scandals, can be traced to Ibrox’s door.

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  • SSMPM says:

    Scottish football has been run for the differing rangers outfits by a corrupt hun supporting organisation also known as the SFA. If this sectarian country and its organisations finally become objective football may have a chance to bloom again. See those pigs flying …

  • Damian says:

    The Ibrox NewCo (I presume you mean OldCo) gave a 19 year notice on withdrawing from the reserve league? Sorry to be a typo pedant, but I can’t understand the logic of the argument without being clear on the details.

  • Michael McCartney says:

    What on earth are you on about. what has your comments on an industrial dispute got to do with the Scottish development league. “We’re Proddies” what an inane and sectarian comment. I see your handle means come back it should read go away.

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