RANGERS and Celtic ‘B’ sides will be allowed to play in the Lowland League next season.

Current member teams voted on the proposal on Monday (May 10), with a “majority of clubs” opting in favour of introducing the Old Firm.

The Glasgow duo would join the division for one season. The Borders teams who compete are Gala Fairydean Rovers and Vale of Leithen.

League officials insisted last week that “no current member club would be adversely affected in any way” as “league integrity and the importance of the pyramid will be paramount”.

In a statement on Monday, George Fraser, the chairman of the Lowland League, said: “With all proposals of this type everyone has an opinion on it, and rightly so.

“The SLFL Board discussed this proposal last week and, as we are a members organisation, it was entirely correct that this was put to the members to vote on.

“As a league we have allowed our clubs to decide based on facts, and not several pieces of misinformation being actively disseminated across many social media platforms.

“Our league is fully committed to the integrity of the pyramid and we have shown this time and time again, so any suggestion we are not is ill-judged and misplaced.

“The majority of our clubs have voted in favour of this proposal, and we need to respect that, therefore we will progress this and have further discussions with all parties in the coming days. Since the start of this pandemic the SLFL has operated with a view that no club should be adversely affected by the decisions we make, and we believe that this is the case with this proposal.

“With all the tier six leagues opting to go ‘null and void’ this meant there was no champion club put forward to join the SLFL.

“If there was, then the champion club would be taking part in the SLFL league next season.”

The league says it has made Rangers and Celtic aware of the outcome of the vote.

Vale of Leithen, who have issued a statement on the result, have confirmed they voted in favour.

Statement from Vale of Leithen

The club's treasurer John Anderson said: “This is a exciting and innovative project which the club is delighted to be part of.

"From the club’s point of view, this provides commercial and financial benefit. For supporters, we will have two very special home games next season when Rangers and Celtic will be bringing Scotland’s most promising young talent to Victoria Park.

"We hope local supporters of both Ranges and Celtic, and beyond, take advantage of the opportunity to come to Victoria Park to witness.

"Structural reform of Scottish football has been talked about for years, and it was great to be able to support this small development, just as we did when we joined the Lowland League at its formation in 2013.

"There is no change to the pyramid system. There is no chance to promotion and relegation to and from the Tier 6 leagues. This is a one season project. Some have said 'why not promote two clubs from the East and West leagues'.

"That was not on the table. The number of teams in the league is restricted by the SFA, who have given permission to a temporary increase of two teams for one season only for this project.

"Increasing the league number was not otherwise on the table. I think that has not been properly understood by those who have criticised the project.”