SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster has addressed Celtic and Rangers colts plans as the idea of an expanded League Two is floated.
Celtic and Rangers have tabled £1.5 million each to buy entry for a youth side each in an expanded League Two next season, some lower league clubs already voicing their opposition to such plans that could go to a vote. Doncaster is asking clubs to be open-minded, pondering whether strategic partnerships are the way to go forward.
Doncaster said (Price of Football): “I think there is a development gap in Scotland for players between the ages of 17 or 18 and 21. I think it’s recognised that we don’t have a system in place that enables us to develop players at that age as well as we could. B teams are a proven way of developing young players.
“Many leagues across Europe operate B teams in their lower divisions, including Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Holland. I think it’s 76 per cent of Dutch U-21 players have played in B teams and I think it’s 67 per cent of the Portuguese national team have played B team football.
“B teams are an established way of developing young players and certainly talking to my counterparts in other leagues across Europe, they do say that B teams are a very effective way of developing young players. But it’s not just about B teams, we’re also looking very carefully at the concept of strategic partnerships between clubs.
“We’ve got one in place between Stenhousemuir and Hibernian and it appears to have benefits for both clubs. It’s looking at horses for courses, different ways of developing talent that benefits club but also benefits players.”
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