MX23RW : Friday, August 6 04:51:18| >> :120:22280:22280:

SFA president claims Rangers agreed to delay distribution of innovation paper

SFA president claims Rangers agreed to delay distribution of innovation paper
© Reuters
Rod Petrie declared himself surprised over criticism of the Scottish football authorities from Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson.

Scottish Football Association president Rod Petrie has claimed Rangers agreed themselves to delay the distribution of their innovation paper to fellow league clubs.

Petrie declared himself surprised over criticism of the Scottish football authorities from Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson.

Rangers produced a paper last year advocating that both themselves and Celtic enter B teams into the lower divisions of the Scottish Professional Football League.

Robertson claimed the progress of the plans had been "slowed down" by the SFA board and expressed particular frustration that the proposal had not been shared with their fellow league clubs.

Rangers have now welcomed talks over a potential invitation from the Lowland League for both them and Celtic to submit B teams on a one-season basis next term, with neither being able to gain promotion.

In response, Petrie claimed he wanted to "clarify inaccuracies" from Robertson's comments.

The former Hibernian chairman said: "At a virtual meeting on April 9, hosted by Stewart, and including a representative from Celtic FC, the SPFL and Scottish FA, there was general consensus on the call that given the adverse publicity and temperature among clubs, the proposal was unlikely to garner the support of enough clubs to enable the SPFL rule change to progress further.

"It was therefore agreed by both Stewart, on behalf of Rangers, and Celtic's representative that pausing any detail being distributed to clubs would give the proposals the best chance of success.

"To repeat, the introduction of B teams as part of the innovation paper would require an SPFL vote, and after a season in which clubs have had to contend with the ongoing impact of Covid-19, a rushed decision would likely end in failure.

"It was unanimously agreed by the group, including Stewart, that the distribution any paper should take place once the 2020/21 season has ended, to give clubs an opportunity to fully consider the potential benefits without the pressures of implications of a season impacted by Covid-19.

"We are therefore surprised that Stewart is quoted on Rangers TV saying 'the biggest frustration is that (the) paper has still never gone to the clubs. You'd need to ask the Scottish FA and SPFL why'.

"This agreement also came with the additional recommendation that any discussion on improving elite talent development would require the support of all SPFL members, not least those clubs in the lower leagues who would require to accommodate any B teams."

Petrie added that the SFA had worked with clubs to establish the optimum model for elite talent development.

"This has included removal of the reserve league, creation of an under-20 league, creation of an under-21 league and then re-establishment of a reserve league, which was cancelled at the request of the clubs due to the challenges faced by Covid-19," he added.

Petrie added that Rangers had been "heavily involved" in the SPFL Competitions Working Group that had discussed and amended the pathway in recent years.

"In summary, the Scottish FA believes the innovation paper to have many benefits beyond the 'headline' area of B teams or colt teams," Petrie said.

"The governing body will lead, support or facilitate any innovations that improves the game in consultation with its members but to achieve success requires mutual respect, a common purpose and, ultimately, consensus."

Lowland League clubs will meet on Monday to discuss the idea of admitting Rangers and Celtic second teams.

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Today's Olympic highlights header

Friday's key events


HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

BEACH VOLLEYBALL
· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

BOXING
· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

DIVING
· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

CYCLING
· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

FOOTBALL
· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
Todays Game Header Right
Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1RangersRangers11003033
2Aberdeen11002023
3Hibernian11003213
4Hearts11002113
5Dundee10102201
6St Mirren10102201
7Ross County10100001
8St Johnstone10100001
9Motherwell100123-10
10Celtic100112-10
11Dundee UnitedDundee Utd100102-20
12Livingston100103-30

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