Linlithgow Rose boss Brown Ferguson: We can do a Kelty Hearts by reaching League 2 but it'll be incredibly tough
Linlithgow Rose manager Brown Ferguson reckons he and his troops can take inspiration from Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts’ promotion to League 2 by one day making the leap themselves.
But, although Ferguson was delighted for Kelty that they managed to see off Highland League winners Brora Rangers and then League 2 bottom dogs Brechin City in play-off semi-final and final ties to make it into tier four of Scottish football, he thinks the structure of our game makes it incredibly tough for other clubs to follow suit.
“Of course that’s the aim (getting into League 2 with Linlithgow), that’s why I took the job,” Ferguson told the Journal and Gazette. "Because I believe that Linlithgow as a club is capable of doing that.
"They’ve got the history, the fanbase, the infrastructure to go on that journey.
"I think my only obvious concern is just the governance of the whole game. It’s just getting the right opportunities to go and do that is going to be difficult for everybody.
"And what I mean by that is that it’s a complete and utter bottleneck. When I first took the job, if we had won the East of Scotland League we were playing against the South of Scotland winners, but now we’d need to play against the West of Scotland champions to get into the Lowland League.
"Then from the Lowland League you need to play-off against the Highland League champions then beat a team at the bottom of League 2.
"There is just no obvious flow to try and promote teams who want to do well.
"So yes, I firmly believe that the club are capable of doing it – and there will be a handful of clubs if not more in the same chain of thought – but to challenge to go and do that is incredibly difficult.
"Not because we can’t do that or teams aren’t able, but just because of the lack of opportunity for teams who want to be progressive to progress.
"That’s my biggest issue and it goes back to the whole governance structure of the leagues in senior football in Scotland, it’s incredibly poor.”
After we went to press on Thursday, officials were due to vote at a Lowland League AGM on whether to accept Rangers and Celtic Colts teams into their league next season. The majority of Lowland League clubs have already voted for the Old Firm ‘B’ teams’ inclusion.