RANGERS and Celtic ‘B’ teams could play in the Lowland League next season.

Officials confirmed this week the Old Firm have been invited to field sides in the division on a one-year basis for the 2021/22 campaign.

But they insist “no current member club would be adversely affected in any way by the proposal” as “league integrity and the importance of the pyramid will be paramount”.

Lowland League chairman George Fraser reckons the move would help develop young players and bring “massive” benefits.

Gala Fairydean Rovers and Vale of Leithen are the Borders clubs who play in the division. Berwick Rangers also feature.

Mr Fraser said: “It is clear from the discussions we have had that both Celtic and Rangers are looking for a league to put their ‘B’ teams into where they can develop as players.

“Having been on the PGB sub group tasked with further developing the well-publicised ‘Scottish Football Innovation’ paper, a project which is still on-going and may well be implemented for season 22/23, it was absolutely clear to me that there is a major gap in the player pathway which would, if not addressed, impact a generation of our best young talent.

“That is why the Lowland League, as a modern progressive organisation, have identified an opportunity, and are open to embracing positive change which will have massive benefit for our own clubs and league but importantly also for the wider Scottish game.

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“Over the last few years the Lowland League has proved to be a well-run professional league and both these clubs feel their teams and players will develop by being part of it, while importantly for us we will be able to generate new revenues and shine a spotlight on the aspirational and ambitious clubs we have within our ranks.”

Mr Fraser says promotion and relegation would be decided as normal, if the proposals are given the green light.

He added: “As always league integrity and the importance of the pyramid will be paramount and this will be unaffected by this plan and this was also a priority for both Rangers and Celtic who fully respect this.

“We will continue to have discussions with various parties over the next week or so and see how they progress.

“Hopefully this will result in an exciting outcome which is a clear demonstration of the Lowland League leading the way in how to modernise our football structures for the benefit of all.”

Current member clubs will be asked to vote on the proposals.