Brora Rangers ace Martin Maclean fears axing of Pyramid Play-off

Martin Maclean has admitted he fears that the ongoing delays and uncertainty over the scheduled Pyramid Play-off matches and with it a chance to play for promotion to League Two mean the ties won’t be approved.

Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 10:12 am
Updated Wednesday, 28th April 2021, 10:13 am
Brora Rangers ace Martin Maclean

The Brora Rangers midfielder should have already played the first leg alongside his team-mates, who were declared Highland League champions against Lowland League title winners Kelty Hearts but the game has yet to be confirmed.

The same two sides also won their respective leagues last season but the SPFL postponed the play-offs due to the Covid-19 pandemic - and at press time the SPFL had yet to sanction this campaign's pyramid play-offs which would see either Brora or Kelty face Brechin City as the side finishing bottom of League 2 over two legs.

And Lewis lad Maclean admits the uncertainty is frustrating with both Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts in limbo and he has lost faith that the sides will have a chance to play for promotion.

“We still haven't heard anything and I'm not very confident it will happen,” Maclean told the Gazette.

“If it was going to happen we would have had word by now. The saying is usually no news is good news but in this case I don't think it is.”

Brora chairman William Powrie this week revealed that the club have been told they do meet ‘the necessary due diligence and ground criteria’ to join the SPFL and he is confident that they will receive confirmation of dates for the ties.

But until the SPFL announce their decision the games between Brora and Kelty remain on ice.

“They looked into the club and maybe being cynical looking for a reason to deny us or Kelty the chance to go up and we are still waiting,” explained Maclean.

“The game was meant to go ahead last Saturday and yet we are still waiting for a decision.

“We are continuing to train without knowing if there is a game or not to prepare for and to stay focussed. The club is still paying a lot of money for weekly covid testing.”

Brechin, who have struggled in recent seasons and won just 17 matches from their last 152 matches and taken just 62 points from a possible 152, have objected to the proposed pyramid play-off.

Brechin chairman Ken Ferguson has put forward an alternative suggestion of promoting both sides into League Two in an enlarged league instead of having a play-off.

Both Brora and Kelty are continuing to foot the bill for weekly Covid testing in the hope the games get the green light and Maclean is desperate for the Cattachs to get their chance to fight for promotion.

He added: “Brechin have proposed a league reconstruction but we haven't heard anything official and so much is going on we aren't hearing about. Brechin are trying to preserve their own position in the league.

“In terms of fairness there is no point in having a pyramid if the pathway to promotion is closed off. Obviously this is the complete opposite end of the football scale to the European Super League but the fact they had no promotion or relegation in there was a big issue and our league is almost the same.

“The fact we only played three league games before we were awarded the title wasn’t ideal but legally it had to be done I think to allow the play-offs to take place.”