SFL wants Old Firm ‘colt’ teams
If there’s one thing Scottish football needs to address right now, it’s the Colts.
March 13th, 2013
No, not the Indianapolis Colts; they play American Football. In America. A colt team is essentially a reserve side which to all intents and purposes operates separately from its parent club in all but name. This forms the basis of the contingency proposal put forward by SFL chief executive David Longmuir ahead of the big Scottish league restructure; he wants Rangers and Celtic to form colt teams to play in the league’s lowest division, in the (at present) extremely unlikely event that the Old Firm itself breaks away from the Scottish system to try its luck in England or Europe.
The SPL placed a 12-12-18 format on the table for clubs to vote on in a month’s time – you remember, the one with that pointless split from two twelves into three eights halfway through the season – but the latest idea from the SFL top brass, submitted just a day later, has certainly put the cat amongst the pigeons.
“I got it absolutely out of the blue this afternoon when I opened my emails,” said Falkirk chairman Martin Ritchie yesterday.
The SFL has ideas of its own right now. It wants a 12-12-10-10 league, which would – as it happens – require two new clubs. Step forward, Old Firm Bs.
“Celtic and Rangers are our only clubs with global reach and they have said they will explore all cross-border opportunities,” Longmuir said. “Scottish football should be thinking longer term, and putting in place now, a strategy which potentially future-proofs our game to the loss of these global brands.”
Ritchie appeared on national television yesterday along with St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour to display their condemnation of the new idea. Raith Rovers chief Turnbull Hutton has also hit out at the plan, calling it a ‘nonsense’.
Gilmour also suggested on national radio that, if colt teams were to be formed then they should be for everyone, or not at all. For now, the idea appears to be defeated, but with the SPL vote only a month away, you can be sure there’ll be another few issues to clear up yet.