We never even touched on this when it happened so we apologise to readers who are interested in the Rangers B team and the Lowland League update from some weeks ago, but yes, the north of Scotland divisions voted to keep Rangers in this flight rather than it being a one-season thing.
In truth, the ‘temporary’ and ‘trial’ nature the maiden season for the B team at that level was never going to be a solution, it was an insurance terminology in case it went wrong, and the intention was always to make it permanent.
And permanent it now is, as the sides vote to keep Rangers in this division, which has huge implications now for the club, and they’re good ones for once.
The main benefit for this is it allows Rangers’ youth players to compete against adults, albeit a modest level, but still adults, and learn the game at a reasonable pace against men and not peers.
To have a group of 15-year-old kids up against 20-year-old plus ages is ideal for testing them against something a bit higher than a kick about against the kids of a lower league SPFL side or indeed their B team.
They’re up against men and can learn it as a team, rather than a kid going out on loan to aforementioned lower league side and having to integrate with unfamiliar team mates on short-notice.
The other implication though is the biggest one for these lads:
They remain employed at Ibrox. That’s right, instead of being freed in the summer because they didn’t have what it took to make Rangers’ seniors at that moment in time, they remain Rangers players and get a bit of safety in contract by playing for our B team at Lowland level.
It’s a win-win. Rangers keep these kids on, hoping a few of them will impress enough at that level to maybe earn a crack at the seniors, or at the very least letting them develop so they improve enough to maybe have a lower league senior side sign them for a decent amount of cash.
It’s far better for everyone that Rangers spend, say, £50,000 developing a kid into a half-decent player, watching him become decent in the Lowland Leagues while on our payroll then sell him at 17 or 18 to Arbroath for £60,000+. It might only sound like £10K+ but that’s the purpose of our academy – to rear and sell players for some profit, however small.
It’s much better than freeing him, losing all £50,000 and leaving him unhappy and having to find a whole new employer. This just works every which way.
So it’s a good move for the future, and it’s even win-win for the Lowlands too – the improvement in gates since Rangers started playing there is incalculable. From 2022:
That was around 500 which at this level is outstanding.
The Blue Pound is helping these teams so this is very much in their interests to keep the club in their division.
Win-win all round.