scotland news

Talks held over Celtic 'B' team to play in SFL

February 23, 2009

Scottish Football League chief executive David Longmuir has confirmed he has spoken to Celtic counterpart Peter Lawwell about the club entering a team in the Third Division.

Reports claimed the two men had met recently at Hampden to discuss the issue and that the 30 SFL clubs would be canvassed for their opinions.

Longmuir confirmed the subject had been broached but was at pains to stress the informal nature of the discussion.

He said: ''We have regular meetings with clubs and we met with Celtic with regards arrangements, tickets and so on for the Old Firm Co-operative Insurance Cup final next month.

''It was not a meeting specifically about them entering a team into the SFL but the subject was broached over coffee when the formal meeting finished.

''But it was not the only thing we spoke about, we talked about a wide range of issues and a raft of other topics.''

The idea of a Celtic 'B' team in the SFL appears more viable after the Scottish Premier League were finally given the green light to try to create an SPL 2 - two and a half years after first proposing it.

Last week a three-man independent arbitration panel set up by the Scottish Football Association decided the SPL had not breached a prior agreement with the SFL over the issue.

The possible loss of 10 teams to the SPL 2 would require a re-jig of the SFL and the presence of one or both of the Old Firm clubs might bring added money and interest.

And with the SPL set to scrap its reserves league next season Celtic - and presumably Rangers - would be looking for somewhere to blood their young players.

However, Longmuir does not see the formation of the SPL 2 as a fait accompli.

''People seem to think that SPL 2 is certain to happen but that is a lot of nonsense,'' he said. ''It was only a legal ruling and the debate has still to take place.

''The SFL is in a better position now than when I took over. There is more positivity going on within the leagues.''