Sad decision reached as Rangers withdraw from Lowland League

Sad decision reached as Rangers withdraw from Lowland League
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - APRIL 26: Mark Hill of Celtic vies with Billy Gilmour of Rangers during The Scottish FA Youth Cup Final between Celtic and Rangers at Hampden Park on April 26, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangers’ decision to withdraw from the Lowland League is deeply damaging for that league, given the massive swell of supporters those clubs had enjoyed while Rangers were there.

Why have the club left? Simply because the SFA axed a vote for a new 5th tier Conference League which Rangers had very much wanted, leaving no proper ‘official’ division that would aid the development of younger players 18-21.

See, the Lowland League as it stood was fine, but it wasn’t progressive for bigger teams like Rangers who want to see a properly-governed division which can aid the youth players explicitly, and the SFA were all set on a vote which would see such a thing form in the fifth tier.

But this was pulled because other senior Scottish clubs complained about practicality and cost, making it very divisive.

It’s sad, in truth, and in even more truth, we’re not sure we agree with the club’s decision here nor are we convinced the reasons make sense.

While the fifth tier would have been expansive for the younger players, our youth as it stands was still benefiting from playing senior players in the Lowland League, rather than being released aged 18 because they hadn’t made the grade at Rangers.

It gave these lads an extra chance to develop a bit more, and maybe be picked up by an Arbroath, an Alloa, give them an honest career in football even if they probably weren’t going to make it at Rangers.

By pulling our side out, these lads will now be dumped by the club, and the Lowland League clubs will no longer benefit from the Blue Pound.

We said earlier the Lowland League wasn’t progressive, and that’s true, but it still gave our kids a chance, somewhere to play and have a greater opportunity to have a career in the sport, while we could sell them for a modest cost and make something back on the development expenses.

It’s the basic trading model at that level.

But now these lads are back in our reserves, and every summer a pile of them will be freed instead of playing some football at a reasonable level.

We don’t really think anyone wins as a result of this, in truth.

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