Author: Media Team

Member clubs canvassed on guest club applicants

The Scottish Lowland Football League board has canvassed the opinions of member clubs over the three guest clubs seeking inclusion in next season’s Lowland League. 

Last month, a majority of 11-4 indicated a preference for the continued involvement of guest clubs, having taken two weeks to weigh up and debate a presentation on the topic.

A formal application process was subsequently opened, with three clubs confirming their interest and intent in joining the league.

Cleary, the inclusion of three guest clubs would require the current format of the Lowland League to be altered, so the board has entered into a period of consultation with member clubs to gauge the collective appetite for such a move – while talks with other key stakeholders would, naturally, follow before any conclusion could be reached.

Whatever the outcome, guest clubs will not be eligible for promotion. Nor will they hamper the ability of clubs to be promoted to or relegated from the Lowland League.

 

Scottish Lowland Football League enters new partnership with FC United To Prevent Suicide

The Scottish Lowland Football League is delighted to announce an exciting new partnership with FC United To Prevent Suicide (FC United).

The move will see the naming rights of our League Cup competition gifted to a movement that is made up of people from all across Scotland, who are united in a shared belief that each and every one of us has a role to play in preventing suicide. The trophy will now be named The FC United To Prevent Suicide Lowland League Cup.

Since its inception, the FC United campaign has generated widespread support throughout the Scottish football community and further afield – backed by high-profile ambassadors and filmed conversations with those with direct experience of suicide and loss in their lives.

Our own Chris Ewing – chairman of Caledonian Braves and Lowland League board member – was courageous enough to contribute a first-person written piece on his own mental health struggles over the years.

It’s hoped that the Lowland League’s backing can further strengthen a campaign that has made a real impact and will continue to do so.

Lowland League chairman Thomas Brown said: “When we say we want to make an impact in our community, it’s not just a case of throwing around a cliché.

“We are focused on doing whatever we can to help the FC United To Prevent Suicide campaign, and the gifting of naming rights for the League Cup is a statement of intent.

“Since the campaign’s launch we have been in talks with those behind it, as it’s a cause I think we can all get behind and relate to. We wanted to support in any way we can, and this is the first step in that process.

“On a personal level, I read the account of Chris Ewing’s mental health journey for FC United and was inspired by his honesty and determination to help others.

“Whatever they need from us, we are here to assist and there will be more to come in the weeks ahead leading up to the Cup Final.”

In 2020, the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (NSPLG) launched the United To Prevent Suicide social movement with the goal of making Scotland the most supportive country on earth. Its aim was to break the stigma around the word ‘suicide’ and get people across the country to pledge their support.

Although an initial success, young men in particular were not engaging.

FC United was created, in part, to target a demographic deemed to be most at risk – harnessing the power of football to spread the simple, important message that we need to Talk, Listen and Save Lives.

Kirstie Cusick, Social Movement Development Manager at United To Prevent Suicide, added: “We welcome the gesture from the board at the Lowland League to offer the naming rights to their League Cup, and additional support beyond that.

“They were quick to offer their support to the campaign from the off, and we’re excited to develop that partnership.”

Application process for Guest Clubs

We are delighted to announce that clubs who wish to be considered to be a Guest Club for season 2022/23 can now submit an expression of interest form. 

Following a recent vote of member clubs the League has vacancies for Guest Clubs for next season. 

Any club from the SPFL who is interested in being part of the League should email secretary@slfl.co.uk to receive the criteria, league rules and an expression of interest form.

A further announcement about the inclusion of Guest Clubs for next season will be made in due course. 

 

Votes cast on guest club participation

The member clubs of the Scottish Lowland Football League tonight voted on the potential inclusion of guest clubs for season 2022/23. 

A comfortable majority of 11-4 indicated a preference for their involvement, having taken two weeks to weigh up a presentation on the topic.

While conscious it is, understandably, a divisive and emotive subject, the overriding feeling is their presence has been of benefit in a commercial sense while there are promising early indications of young, emerging Scottish talents benefiting from early exposure to senior football in a competitive environment.

It is important to note that guest clubs will not be eligible for promotion. Nor will they hamper the ability of clubs to be promoted to or relegated from the Lowland League.

This has been a democratic process, with conversation and debate encouraged before any outcome was established.

The board of the SLFL, and member clubs, remain committed to making a positive impact within our communities and Scottish football as a whole, and will maintain an open mind to any initiatives that support those aims.

Clarke ePOS announced as SLFL title sponsor

The board of the Scottish Lowland Football League is delighted to welcome Clarke ePOS as the Lowland League’s Official Naming Partner. 

The deal, which kicks in immediately, will run until the end of season 2022/23 and will see the competition rebranded as the Clarke ePOS Scottish Lowland Football League.

Hugh Clarke with Thomas Brown and Graeme Mullin.

Clarke ePOS (UK) Ltd is a merchant services provider specialising in debit/credit card readers and ePOS tills.

This sponsorship package represents the largest commercial partnership secured since the inception of the Lowland League in 2013, representing another key milestone.

The Lowland League’s chairperson, Thomas Brown, said: “We are delighted to have Clarke ePOS on board with us as the title sponsor of the newly-named Clarke ePOS Scottish Lowland Football League.

“The last few years have been difficult on so many levels. Our member clubs have been impacted.

“This investment will really benefit them, and we look forward to working closely with Hugh Clarke and the team at Clarke ePOS as we continue to develop our relationship.”

The Lowland League’s vice-chairperson, Graeme Mullin, continued: “We’re thrilled to partner with Clarke ePOS.

“They are an aspirational, innovative business who have already demonstrated their commitment to Scottish football through a number of tie-ups with various clubs and ventures.

“Like everyone else, those involved in football at any level have had to learn to adapt to new ways of doing things.

“That includes incorporating more digital solutions and we anticipate this partnership with Clarke ePOS will be beneficial for all parties.”

Hugh Clarke

Hugh Clarke, Clarke ePOS chief executive, added: “Our support for Scottish football is nothing new, but we are really pleased to have come to an agreement with the Lowland League.

“It’s easy to see there is real ambition within the clubs to push on – not just individually, but as a collective body – and we are proud to be associated with them.

“There is an authenticity and a passion for the game at this level. We’ll help in any way we can.”

Bonnyrigg Rose are declared SLFL Champions

The Scottish Football Lowland League board would like to congratulate Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic after they secured the league title with their win over Cumbernauld Colts earlier tonight.

Robbie Horn’s side have enjoyed an impressive campaign and will go into the Pyramid Play-off with no shortage of confidence.

Lowland League chairman Thomas Brown paid tribute to their efforts and said: “On behalf of the Lowland League board, I’d like to pass on my congratulations to Robbie Horn, his players and everyone involved with Bonnyrigg Rose Athletic.

“They’ve been consistently good all season and are a great advert for the game at this level.

“It was a pleasure to be at New Dundas Park to see them get over the line first-hand, and it was a reminder of why we’re all so passionate about the game that we love – especially after two difficult years when so much has been disrupted.

“We’re all now looking forward to seeing how The Rose fare in the play-offs, and we wish them well for what are bound to be two keenly-contested games when the time comes.”

Scottish Lowland League clubs vote to return to five substitutes

Scottish Lowland League clubs have voted to return to using five substitutes and this has been approved by the SFA.

The change will take effect in time for this weekend’s games.

The use of five substitutes is already in place in other leagues within the pyramid.

A SLFL spokesperson said: “FIFA has allowed each league to determine its own rules regarding substitutes since the Covid-19 pandemic began.”