CELTIC and Rangers B teams are set to remain in the Lowland League next season, but they will still not be permitted to be promoted or relegated.

The pilot scheme which came into effect for this season aimed to develop young Scottish players and potentially benefit the national team further down the line.

Games against Gala Fairydean Rovers and Vale of Leithen have attracted larger than average crowds, boosting the coffers of both teams, and served up hugely entertaining games in the Borders.

In September last year Gala famously beat Rangers 2-1 at Netherdale and in February they were unfortunate to lose 2-1 to Celtic.

The pair are neck and neck at the top end of the table, behind runaway winners Bonnyrigg Rose. Celtic are second with 67-points from 31-games. Rangers are fourth with 64-points from 30-games. 

A statement from the Lowland League read: “The member clubs of the Scottish Lowland Football League tonight voted on the potential inclusion of guest clubs for season 2022/23.

“A comfortable majority of 11-4 indicated a preference for their involvement, having taken two weeks to weigh up a presentation on the topic.

“While conscious it is, understandably, a divisive and emotive subject, the overriding feeling is their presence has been of benefit in a commercial sense while there are promising early indications of young, emerging Scottish talents benefiting from early exposure to senior football in a competitive environment.

Peeblesshire News: Action from Gala Fairydean Rovers v Celtic at Netherdale Action from Gala Fairydean Rovers v Celtic at Netherdale

“It is important to note that guest clubs will not be eligible for promotion. Nor will they hamper the ability of clubs to be promoted to or relegated from the Lowland League.

“This has been a democratic process, with conversation and debate encouraged before any outcome was established.

“The board of the SLFL, and member clubs, remain committed to making a positive impact within our communities and Scottish football as a whole, and will maintain an open mind to any initiatives that support those aims.”