KELTY HEARTS have made a plea to SPFL clubs to "take some time to think of the pyramid" when they discuss further reconstruction proposals next week.

After initial talks over a league shake-up collapsed earlier this month after it failed to receive the backing of Premiership sides, a fresh plan has been put forward by Heart of Midlothian chairwoman, Ann Budge.

After the Championship, League One and League Two seasons were ended in April, the pyramid play-offs were scrapped, while it was agreed to explore the possibility of league reconstruction.

Kelty, delcared winners of the Lowland League, and their Highland counterparts Brora had hoped they would be included in any change in the structure,having been denied the chance of taking part in the pyramid play-offs.

Under normal circumstances, the two teams would have gone head-to-head over two matches, with the winners going on to face League Two's bottom club - in this instance, Brechin City - to determine which would be in the SPFL next season.

However new proposals, which are thought to focus on three leagues of 14, have been put forward for discussion by Budge, whose team, currently, face dropping into the Championship after finishing bottom of the top flight.

If reconstruction was approved in such a way, however, Kelty and Brora would still be denied the opportunity to make the step-up and, in a statement released today (Thursday), they said: "With the latest set of SPFL reconstruction proposals now tabled by Heart of Midlothian and Ann Budge, with the SPFL looking on, there will be another vote taken on the make-up of the SPFL divisions for season 2020/21.

"We are under no illusion, however, that the real fight on all our hands is defeating this virus to stop any more deaths, and getting football players at all age groups and levels back on the pitch, and fans back in the grounds, safely.

"In true Scottish football club spirit we are used to the fight, being the underdog and, at times, finding a way to succeed.

"We have done it for most of our 45 years from when we were formed as a Fife amateur club in 1975, representing a hard up but proud mining community.

"We progressed to the juniors in 1980, to then have the foresight and respect to bravely buy into the SFA pyramid system in 2017, being the first junior club to make the move which blazed a bit of a trail. You could say we have worked so hard against the odds to work our way from the very bottom.

"We have come from humble beginnings, working our way up with our destiny in our own hands, it is now in the hands of others and we face our biggest fight yet.

"Our players, management, supporters, 250 kids in our community club and our town, who we work with so much, do not have any influence at all in our immediate future, which is tough to take.

"All we can ask is for the SPFL and the clubs to take some time to think of the pyramid and take into consideration that both the Highland and Lowland League are the only two divisions in the Scottish pyramid where clubs, who have worked so hard to be at the top of their league for the majority of the season after 85 per cent of their league games, don't get any kind of chance to progress.

"Every other club at the top of their division before Covid are being rewarded for their efforts throughout the pyramid system other than these two leagues.

"We hope a positive decision can be made through these talks, or any future proposals, that will see Hearts, Partick and Stranrear rightly saved from any more damage than Covid-19 has already caused, and that Brora and Kelty can at least be given the time and respect on how Covid-19 has cruelly taken away our chance of progression."

Meanwhile, the club have also confirmed that all of its squad that finished the Lowland League campaign remain contracted to the club.

Kelty, who will launch their new kit tomorrow, also added that season tickets, for the time being, will not be put on sale due to the ongoing uncertainty over when football may return.

The club also stated: "The manager, Barry Ferguson, has all of the players who finished the season still contracted to the club. Chris Humphrey’s contract runs out at the end of this month but we have agreed to extend for a few months.

"With our squad in place, this will give us a solid base on our return to the pitch, which is a big positive.

"We don’t feel it’s right to be selling season tickets when we don’t know when football shall return.

"We know people want to support us through this tough time, and we could be doing with the financial help, but while things are still very uncertain in terms of starting again and supporters being allowed in stadiums, then we strongly feel selling season tickets at this time isn’t the right thing to do."