McLeish backs major new plans involving Rangers and Celtic amid BBC update

Alex McLeish has backed plans to introduce Rangers and Celtic youth sides into the Scottish Football League.

The former Scotland manager, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, suggested the initiative would boost not only the Glasgow giants but Scottish football as a whole.

As reported by BBC Sport, plans to introduce Rangers and Celtic B teams into League Two are set to be finalised by a vote among SPFL clubs.

The proposal would see the fourth tier of Scottish football expanded from 10 to 16 teams.

However, only players 21 and under would be allowed to turn out for the Rangers and Celtic colt sides.

In addition, neither team could be promoted above League One.

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McLeish insisted young talents need experience of playing against experienced opponents and suggested the plans would benefit football across Scotland.

McLeish told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “I know it’s not a case of, ‘let’s do it for Rangers and Celtic’. It’s a case for the Scottish game as a whole.

“Back in my reserve days, I was playing with players who were not in the first-team at the time. However, they were older than me, they were very experienced – Jocky Scott, what a player he was in his day.

“I had great lessons playing with and against guys like that. The best way to learn is to play against experienced players, good players, to make you better.

“That was back in the day and of course it’s different now. I feel it’s a decent idea, a good idea to go to the lower divisions to help players.

To play against senior players, to improve and become men very early because a lot of them at a young age are really good.

“When they get to 20, 21 then they very rarely come into the first team. This is why there’s talk of going on loan. The point is to get these players to a standard that can play at a high level.” 

In other news, McLeish has been left gutted for Celtic amid transfer reveal.