League could be restructured

Football.
Football.

Representatives from the Highland League will meet tomorrow to discuss the restructuring of the league itself.

The proposal, which came from Keith Football Club’s chairman Sandy Stables could see the Highland League in it’s current form introduce two new teams to bolster the numbers to 20, and then split into a top and bottom division, with one team dropping from the first ‘division’ to the second if they finish last, and the top team of the second division moving up. The ninth placed team of the top division would then go into a play-off with the second, third, and fourth placed teams of the second division to determine which team either remained or moved into the top tier.

The football calendar could also be cut short because of the proposals, with the teams of each division playing each other twice to result in 18 league games. In it’s current format, Highland League teams play 34 games.

With the pyramid scheme in Scottish football coming into effect next year, including play-offs to the SPFL, the Highland League will need to be able to name its champions by April. In previous seasons, the ability to do this has been delayed until as far as May.

Other suggestions previously floated for league reconstruction included a Highland League 2 with junior sides with promotion and relegation opportunities, and playing mid-week games at the start of the season to overcome any postponements at winter due to weather, and thus be able to name a champion sooner.