SFA's Stewart Regan hopeful of establishing 'Lowland League'

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan

Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan says the parent body is ready to create a new feeder system should league restructuring take place.

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And the SFA would feed into that by establishing, below Division Three, a Scottish Lowland Football League.

Its winners and the Highland League champions would enter play-offs.

The format for those, which would also involve the club at the foot of the Third Division, has yet to be agreed.

"We remain hopeful that there can be some change," said Regan. "We've offered our support in lots of different ways, not just operationally but financially as well to try to assist some change.

"We are working hard at the grassroots end of the game to put a consolidated structure in below the Third Division next season with the creation of something called the Scottish Lowland Football League, which will be an amalgam of clubs across the east of Scotland, south of Scotland and those clubs in the Scottish Junior FA that are suitably licensed.

"So we are doing everything we can to get ready for change."

At present, Highland League, East of Scotland League and South of Scotland League clubs are only able to apply for membership of the SFL should extra places become available or a current member goes into liquidation.

Members of the junior set-up are governed by different rules, but top SJFA clubs have been allowed into the preliminary stages of the Scottish Cup in recent seasons.

The new plan would combine between 10 and 16 clubs outside of the Highland League who are interested in entering the new senior set-up.

Meanwhile, the SPL is poised to move to a formal vote on its proposal for new play-offs between the top-flight and Division One, the filtering of extra money from top clubs to the lower leagues and a merged single league body.

, but Regan remains hopeful that a compromise can eventually be reached in time for a new structure to be in place for next season.

"To be fair to all the league clubs and bodies bar the First Division clubs who have expressed their own opinion, the general mood is to deliver a 42-club solution and that's what everyone is working on," said Regan.

"You've got to focus on the principle rather than get hung up on the numbers and the principles we've got to get in place first are a financial distribution to give clubs further down the league a more equitable spread of money, one league body, play-offs, pyramid structure, parachute payments.

"These are the big principles that we're trying to put in place.

"There is enough work already been completed to make one last push towards the start of the new season. So, yes, I think it could be delivered.

"Obviously, as the clock's ticking and we're winding down towards fixtures being announced, it makes it very difficult.

"But, if there's a will, there's a way. Once the decisions are made, there's a lot of work going on behind the scenes that can just be implemented."