Official Statement regarding the latest update from the Pyramid Working Group
It is with regret that recent talks at the Pyramid Working Group (PWG) ended without any consensus on a way forward for the introduction of a West of Scotland League at Tier 6.
The Scottish Lowland Football League (SLFL) and East of Scotland Football League (EoSFL) are strongly committed to the principle of having a structure in place that allows clubs from all parts of the country to find their level in Scottish football. Both Leagues fully support the expansion of the Pyramid in a constructive and orderly way that allows this to happen.
The current system works well for clubs in the East and South of the Lowland League catchment area however there is an obvious gap in the West of the country, both Leagues feel strongly that a West of Scotland league at tier 6 is therefore required to allow clubs in all grades within that area the opportunity to participate in the Pyramid should they so wish. As a result, we now plan to take the process forward, respecting the interests of all clubs and bodies but ensuring that every club in the Lowland area has opportunity to progress through the Pyramid.
Issued by –
George Fraser (Chairperson,SLFL), and John Greenhorn (Chairperson, EoSFL)
Clydebank and have expressed a desire to play in such a league in the past and today reaffirmed this, they have been joined by Kilwinning Rangers, both openly posting on twitter they want to join a west of scotland league
The beginning of the end for junior football in the west I think after its death in the north and east
Was only a couple years ago the juniors voted overwhelmingly in favour of joining the pyramid
The only junior team to openly talk against it have been Auchinleck who would rather be a big fish in a small pond
It appears that the junior clubs all want the juniors to join the pyramid set up and just move it straight over but after 2 years of negotiations the lowland leagues (lowland, east of Scotland and south of scotland leagues) are all getting frustrated at a lack of progress,
Whitletts victoria have now said they will persue every possible Avenue to join the pyramid even if it means leaving the juniors after 76 years
Good updates Chris but the discussions regarding further changes to the present pyramid system are not just about a possible tier 6 or 7 but adjustments that could be of interest to clubs like ours and I'm sure our board will be keeping a watching brief on any developments. I was always a supporter of a pyramid set up and still am.
However, the present set up puts huge pressure on League One and Two teams to spend money they haven't got on wage bills to keep away from the trap door. Money that could be spent on ground improvements, youth development etc. Also it is unfair for aspirational clubs who want to get into the SPFL and throw money at it on player and coaching costs rather than develop their club as a whole. I am not sure what changes will be proposed but larger leagues outwith the premier or a larger league 2 could be one way of relieving pressure on clubs. Underneath this there could be west, south and east leagues feeding into the Lowland League. Whatever happens we should keep a close eye on it as to how it affects the Rovers.
Following the statement issued on 7 February 2020, numerous informal contacts have been made by Clubs interested in the formation of a new West of Scotland League [WoSFL] at Tier 6 in the Pyramid. This shows clearly that there is an appetite for such an expansion of the Pyramid. The Scottish Lowland Football League [SLFL], in conjunction with the East of Scotland Football League [EoSFL] can now lay out the high level plan to introduce the WoSFL by the start of season 2020/2021.
The next step will be to invite Clubs to register an Expression of Interest to George Fraser, Chairperson of the SLFL by Sunday 1 March, to geo_fraser @hotmail.co.uk. Any expressions of interest must include the contact details of at least one club official. These will be treated in the strictest confidence. Clubs should not contact the newly formed email address relating to WoSFL, this Is not run by either the SLFL or EoSFL. At the same time the Clubs are welcome to ask any questions on how the Pyramid works currently as the informal contacts suggested this would be useful. The sending of the Expression of Interest does not of course commit any Club to any particular course of action, but it would be very helpful if we could gauge as closely as possible the actual level of interest in the WoSFL.
The next again step will be to invite Clubs to complete by Tuesday 31 March 2020 an Application to Join the WoSFL. Once again these will be treated in the strictest confidence. The process surrounding these applications will be announced by Friday 6 March 2020.
This plan is to allow every Club at all grades in the SLFL area the opportunity to progress through the Pyramid. There will of course be issues such as geographical integrity to be considered with the introduction of a third Tier 6 League alongside the EoSFL and SoSFL. This and any other consequences will be addressed in a respectful, constructive and orderly way.
Issued by –
George Fraser [Chairperson SLFL] and John Greenhorn [Chairperson EoSFL]
Looks like this will be in place for the start of the new season
The scheduled meeting last night with Lowland, East of Scotland, South of Scotland and West Region Juniors took place via video conferencing due to current travel and person-to-person restrictions in place.
A great deal of common ground was established.
There was agreement on a potential way forward as follows:
In order to ensure there is a firm record of registration and a database of information for the West of Scotland Football League, the West Junior FA are in agreement that the Lowland League application form should be completed and sent to George Fraser email@example.comTo give Clubs more time to make these applications under current circumstances, the deadline has been extended to Tuesday 7 April. That will be the last date applications will be accepted.Clubs currently members of the Scottish Junior FA are fully entitled to retain membership and, if so, will be eligible to continue to play in The Scottish Junior Cup. The Competition Rules of that Cup will be altered to reflect the need to ensure League Fixtures have priority.There is no limit to the number of teams that will be accepted; With regards to compliance of ground criteria guidelines, the Leagues will work with Clubs with the expectation that necessary steps will be made over time.It was proposed that the new league could be organised on a Conference basis, with final set up dependant on numbers. The Conferences will be for one season only.
There remains much to do to get the West of Scotland Football League up and running.
The parties are aware that the formation of any new league is subject to approval from the Scottish FA and discussions will continue in that regard.
All parties at the meeting last night are committed to continue to work together, to support the creation of the final piece of the Pyramid feeding into the Lowland League.
George Fraser [ Lowland League] John Greenhorn [East of Scotland League] Colin Holden [ South of Scotland League] Gordon Ronney [ West Juniors]