Celtic and Hearts B teams to continue in Lowland League after vote held

The other 16 clubs in the league had a vote on the issue with eight backing the move, seven voting against and one abstaining.

Celtic and Hearts B teams to continue in Lowland League after vote held SNS Group

Celtic and Hearts B teams will continue to play in the Lowland League after clubs voted to keep them in.

The colt sides of the Premiership two will continue to take part in the fifth-tier of Scottish football after a vote was held on the issue on Monday.

The Parkhead and Tynecastle clubs are the only top-flight clubs with B teams in the Lowland League after Rangers pulled their second string out of the competition last year.

Celtic B, who are coached by former Hoops captain Stephen McManus and Darren O’Dea, have been taking part in the division since the 2021/22 campaign and finished third two seasons in a row.

Hearts B joined the league a year later and finished 13th in their maiden season in the division.

Both clubs remain ineligible for promotion into League Two.

The vote to decide if they would be allowed to continue in the league took place at the AGM with eight clubs backing the plans and seven voting against.

One club abstained from voting.

A statement from the Lowland League board said: “The Scottish Lowland Football League can confirm that the majority of our members have voted in favour of continuing with B teams for at least the next two seasons.

“Following a process which began in October, a democratic vote was held in line with our rules at a General Meeting tonight.

“The board would like to thank all our members for their contributions to the discussions in recent weeks.”

Albion Rovers were one of the clubs that voted against the move and they released a statement questioning the “sporting integrity” of allowing the B teams to continue.

It said: “This was a chance for the Lowland League to regain its sporting integrity within the pyramid, ensuring the fifth tier next year and beyond would be made up of clubs who have earned their places on merit and are all competing on a similar field and for the same purpose – to win promotion to the SPFL.

“Instead we and our fellow member clubs are now once again at odds with the majority of our supporters who have no or little interest in watching their club play competitive fixtures against B teams.”

This season the young Hoops are tenth in the league after 17 games with Hearts in third having played three more games.

Players with first team experience such as Rocco Vata have turned out for the B team this season with former Ireland international James McCarthy also making an appearance as he is frozen out of first-team action.

East Kilbride are currently sitting seven points clear of Cumbernauld Colts at the top.

The team that wins the league enters a pyramid play-off for the chance to compete in the fourth-tier and the bottom two sides drop into the sixth-tier.

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