Urgent revamp on the agenda at league EGM

Eyemouth United and Berwick Rangers Reserves could both be promoted when the East of Scotland League is revamped for the new season.

An emergency general meeting has been called for next Thursday, June 27, following the loss of nine clubs who have this week been admitted to the new 12-team Lowland League, which will start in August.

It means Coldstream’s promotion to the top flight by virtue of finishing second in the First Division has suddenly been rendered meaningless.

The Streamers are one of just five clubs left in the Premier Division, with 13 left in the First Division, including the new Hibernian reserve team. Spartans have already indicated their intention to enter a reserve team of their own, and other Lowland League clubs may follow suit, but a major overhaul of the two divisions is now needed as a matter of urgency.

The new Lowland League will include Borders clubs Vale of Leithen, Gala Fairydean and Selkirk.

They have been accepted by a Scottish Football Association working group along with Preston Athletic, Spartans, Edinburgh City, Whitehill Welfare, Gretna 2008, Stirling University, Threave Rovers, Dalbeattie Star and East Kilbride to form the new league.

The SFA received 17 formal applications for the new league, which will become the base of Scottish football’s new pyramid system by offering the champions the opportunity to earn promotion to the bottom division of the new Scottish Professional Football League.

There will be no promotion at the end of the forthcoming season, but the champions at the end of the 2014/15 season will play-off with the Highland League champions.

The winners would then advance to another play-off with the club who finish bottom of the Scottish Professional Football League.

The process by which teams would be relegated from or promoted to the new Lowland League has yet to be determined, but it is understood the working party are keen to increase the league from 12 to 16 teams for the start of the 2014/15 season.

Preston Athletic, Spartans and Threave Rovers already hold SFA national club licences. The other successful applicants were deemed as having the necessary infrastructure or commitment to achieving licensing standards within two years.

The process was open to clubs from the junior ranks, but none applied.