Buckie Thistle ‘stunned and devastated’ after being denied chance of promotion

The SFA announced on Thursday that Buckie Thistle did not meet the criteria after failing to obtain a bronze-level club licence.

Buckie Thistle ‘stunned and devastated’ after being denied chance of promotion SNS Group

Highland League champions Buckie Thistle said they are “stunned and devastated” after they were informed that they are ineligible for promotion to the Scottish Professional Football League.

The team were due to face Lowland League winners East Kilbride on Saturday for the right to play off against the side that finishes bottom of League Two, but that fixture has now been cancelled following a ruling by the Scottish FA that Buckie do not meet licensing requirements.

At a meeting held on Wednesday, the club failed to receive the bronze-level license necessary for all sides playing in next season’s SPFL, meaning the 12-time Highland champions cannot compete in the promotion play-offs.

East Kilbride will instead progress to the two-legged final where they will face either Clyde, who are currently bottom League Two, Stranraer or Bonnyrigg Rose in matches to be played on May 11 and 18.

A statement from Buckie Thistle said: “It goes without saying that everyone at the club is stunned and devastated by the timing of this decision.

“It’s particularly harsh on the players and management, who put so much hard work into winning the Highland League title, that they don’t get the opportunity to go for promotion.”

The club won their division on a dramatic final day thanks to a 1-0 win over Keith that saw them finish above runners-up Brechin City on goal difference.

The SFA said of the decision to deny a licence: “The Scottish FA’s club licensing department has been in regular dialogue with Buckie Thistle since then to notify the club of, and provide ample time to address, issues highlighted in their club licensing report.

“Unfortunately, these issues were not addressed by the club prior to yesterday’s licensing committee decision.”

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