KELTY HEARTS are looking into the possibility of leaving junior football in favour of the senior game’s pyramid system.
Last week reports emerged that the club, currently top of the East Super League, were considering quitting the current set-up along with Bo’ness United to match their ambitions, which include featuring regularly in the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Although the winners of the Scottish Junior Cup and the champions of each region are granted a place in the senior tournament, other junior clubs do not take part as they are not licensed with the SFA – with the exception of Linlithgow Rose.
Teams that wish to become licensed under the SFA have to commit to the pyramid structure under new guidelines, which means joining either the East of Scotland or the Lowland League, one division below SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) League Two.
Kelty feel the move could benefit their future plans while proposals from the Scottish Junior Football Association to reduce the number of Super League teams by two could also influence their decision.
Club treasurer George McTrusty told Press Sport: “There is talk about reducing our league by two teams, who would be relocated to other leagues. That would mean two less home games and less cash; the league is tight enough just now without losing another two games.
“The other motivation is the Scottish Cup and the pyramid system. If we win the Super League, which we have done, then where do we go from here? It’s a glass ceiling; we’re in the Scottish Cup for one year but that’s it.
“We’ve also got a lot of youth teams but we get little funding. We get pennies from the juniors but teams in the pyramid get thousands from the SFA. We are ambitious but the juniors are just affiliated to the SFA; we’re not members. I believe Bo’ness may be going ahead and if we, Bo’ness, Linlithgow and maybe even Bonnyrigg were to go, I think it’d destroy the Super League.”
A club statement added: “It is no secret that Kelty Hearts JFC have been working towards an SFA licence in the hope that when the inevitable change comes to junior football that we, as a club, are ready and prepared no matter the outcome. As a committee and custodians of the club, we wouldn’t be doing our duty to the club or the community of Kelty if we didn’t look to improve in all areas, and an SFA licence is the ultimate achievement as it recognises that a club is run correctly and that the facilities are of a high standard for the paying public.
“We’re exploring all the opportunities available to the club and we will take our time investigating what is best for everyone associated with Kelty Hearts and the local community but in the meantime the focus of everyone at New Central Park is on our remaining fixtures of the 2016/17 season.”
Kelty appealed for the fans to back them as they bid to regain the East Super League title and compete in the latter stages of the East of Scotland and the Fife and Lothians cups.
The club added: “We will update fans and the community at the end of the season on the latest developments.”