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14 minutes ago, Cyclizine said:


This. The BoD chairman has come out saying they've no interest in joining the HFL. No other NRJFA sides are interested. The HFL has a contingency plan to split if there's more than 20 teams. Golspie are the only other licenced team, the chances of them ever wishing to join the HFL are slim to negligible.

Yes, the Highland/Lowland split is inequitable, but it is a chicken and egg situation - there's not the number of licenced teams in the Lowland region at the moment. Realistically, there should be four regional divisions for an equal split by population anyway.

It's not about licenced teams at this stage though. Just get the leagues linked up and when they're licenced they will qualify to climb through them.  It's not caused LTHV any problems to be part of the pyramid as an unlicensed club and as winners of the EoS league they qualify for the Scottish Cup. 

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It's not about licenced teams at this stage though. Just get the leagues linked up and when they're licenced they will qualify to climb through them.  It's not caused LTHV any problems to be part of the pyramid as an unlicensed club and as winners of the EoS league they qualify for the Scottish Cup. 

I agree there should be a North feeder, however there simply aren't the interested clubs at the moment, it's a similar situation to the West: until clubs come out for it, the status quo will prevail.

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3 hours ago, Isabel Goudie said:

OK, let's concede there is technically a way to get into the pyramid in the west, let's ignore the fact that top junior clubs in that area consider both moving to the SOS and yes the LL as regressive, let's all agree with the pro pyrimiders and kid on its great, WHAT ABOUT THE NORTH?

Technically?  For the likes of yourselves, Cumnock and Glenafton to join the South of Scotland it would be jumping on the A76 for an hour every other week for a year then the promised land of the Lowland league would open up to you.  Also by that time I'd guess Kelty, Cowdenbeath, East Stirling, Spartans, Clyde and you never know Bonnyrigg or Bo'ness United might all be waiting for you.

Sure Bonnyton Thistle a boys club from Kilmarnock are topping the South of Scotland at the moment.  Added to that if it is so piss easy a league run a Junior and South of Scotland team simultaneously.  The ground will get the license, transfer players over in January if struggling in the SoS and to get ready for the promotion play off then you can the best of both worlds.  

For Cumnock you think this would be a no brainer that they have a 3G pitch and floodlights.

WHAT ABOUT THE NORTH?

Well it has all been said, Banks O'Dee would be a good addition and it would be pragmatic for teams like Fort William and other weaker teams in the West to drop to the NCL if required and the top North Junior league for weaker Highland league teams in the East.  Though saying that every size able village and town east of Inverness has a Highland league team or higher so there isn't much need or desire for a huge shake up.    

Edited by Unknown Fan

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On 02/02/2018 at 15:45, Isabel Goudie said:
On 02/02/2018 at 18:00, Cyclizine said:


This. The BoD chairman has come out saying they've no interest in joining the HFL. No other NRJFA sides are interested. The HFL has a contingency plan to split if there's more than 20 teams. Golspie are the only other licenced team, the chances of them ever wishing to join the HFL are slim to negligible.

Yes, the Highland/Lowland split is inequitable, but it is a chicken and egg situation - there's not the number of licenced teams in the Lowland region at the moment. Realistically, there should be four regional divisions for an equal split by population anyway.

Tell me how Junior clubs in the North can get in? 

Hello to Isabel Goudie. A reply from me at last

First the 'good' news for you :   yes the North is a closed shop, as there isn't any opportunity for the 2 licensed clubs Banks O'Dee (Juniors) and Golspie Sutherland (NCL). The Highland League has 18 clubs and it  cannot take any additional clubs.  Also Golspie has never sought Highland League  membership, being content to remain in a competitive but small (senior) North Caledonian League, which the SFA doesn't recognise as a feeder league..

Now the 'not so good' news for you :   I am not aware that any of the west of Scotland junior clubs have challenged the SJFA by instructuring it to open negotiations with the SFA regarding (say) incorporating the West Super League to become a pyramid feeder league at ANY level. There is a false impression that the reason for this lack of challenge to the SJFA is that West Clubs consider themselves superior to the Lowland League and don't wish to degrade themselves. This is complete nonsense  because few if any of the west clubs seek promotion to the SPFL (Talbot is a possible exception, like Clydebank), and there is no point in joining a pyramid (even at level 5) if junior clubs want to stay where they are. No pyramid league can operate unless promotion to  level 5 to the SPFL is compulsory. So if Talbot wants to progress, the only route is the existing pyramid - not perfect, but improving year on year.e 

Meanwhile the SJFA sits on its hands, comfortable in the knowledge that its existence is not being seriously challenged by any mass exodus of its top west clubs.. 

Finally the 'other' news :  Glasgow Uni has remained amateur, and has a very long standing continuous SFA Membership. If a West feeder league is ever created (?) it may well join.

 

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On 02/02/2018 at 17:53, Goalie Hamish said:

They apply to the Highland League. No Junior club has done that yet.

"No junior club has done that yet" - rubbish.

Of the current Highland League members,  ex- junior clubs Cove Rangers, Inverurie, Formartine, Strathspey & Turriff  all applied to, and were elected  to the HFLduring the last 20 years. Banks O' Dee applied, but were not elected. (The other newer clubs, Wick Academy and Fort William were elected from the NCL.

Also, it was surprising to read that Banks chairman is apparently not  interested in joining the HFL. Let's see if this viewpoint holds true if Cove win the SPFL promotion play-offs this year, leaving one vacancy in the Highland ! Incidentally, don't rule out Aberdeen Uni applying for a licence in the next few years. They were full SFA members in the 60's & 70's, and would welcome the opportunity to play in the Scottish Cup. They couldn't be forced to join a north pyramid, because there isn't one !

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On 2/2/2018 at 18:47, Unknown Fan said:

Technically?  For the likes of yourselves, Cumnock and Glenafton to join the South of Scotland it would be jumping on the A76 for an hour every other week for a year then the promised land of the Lowland league would open up to you.  Also by that time I'd guess Kelty, Cowdenbeath, East Stirling, Spartans, Clyde and you never know Bonnyrigg or Bo'ness United might all be waiting for you.

Sure Bonnyton Thistle a boys club from Kilmarnock are topping the South of Scotland at the moment.  Added to that if it is so piss easy a league run a Junior and South of Scotland team simultaneously.  The ground will get the license, transfer players over in January if struggling in the SoS and to get ready for the promotion play off then you can the best of both worlds.  

For Cumnock you think this would be a no brainer that they have a 3G pitch and floodlights.

WHAT ABOUT THE NORTH?

Well it has all been said, Banks O'Dee would be a good addition and it would be pragmatic for teams like Fort William and other weaker teams in the West to drop to the NCL if required and the top North Junior league for weaker Highland league teams in the East.  Though saying that every size able village and town east of Inverness has a Highland league team or higher so there isn't much need or desire for a huge shake up.    

The standard in the SOS is more on a par with Ayrshire Amatuer than top league Junior.  It is not going to happen. Isobel Goudie has said over and over again that the SOS is just not  a pathway for Ayrshire Juniors he is 100% correct on this.

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48 minutes ago, Robert James said:

Hello to Isabel Goudie. A reply from me at last

First the 'good' news for you :   yes the North is a closed shop, as there isn't any opportunity for the 2 licensed clubs Banks O'Dee (Juniors) and Golspie Sutherland (NCL). The Highland League has 18 clubs and it  cannot take any additional clubs.  Also Golspie has never sought Highland League  membership, being content to remain in a competitive but small (senior) North Caledonian League, which the SFA doesn't recognise as a feeder league..

Now the 'not so good' news for you :   I am not aware that any of the west of Scotland junior clubs have challenged the SJFA by instructuring it to open negotiations with the SFA regarding (say) incorporating the West Super League to become a pyramid feeder league at ANY level. There is a false impression that the reason for this lack of challenge to the SJFA is that West Clubs consider themselves superior to the Lowland League and don't wish to degrade themselves. This is complete nonsense  because few if any of the west clubs seek promotion to the SPFL (Talbot is a possible exception, like Clydebank), and there is no point in joining a pyramid (even at level 5) if junior clubs want to stay where they are. No pyramid league can operate unless promotion to  level 5 to the SPFL is compulsory. So if Talbot wants to progress, the only route is the existing pyramid - not perfect, but improving year on year.e 

Meanwhile the SJFA sits on its hands, comfortable in the knowledge that its existence is not being seriously challenged by any mass exodus of its top west clubs.. 

Finally the 'other' news :  Glasgow Uni has remained amateur, and has a very long standing continuous SFA Membership. If a West feeder league is ever created (?) it may well join.

 

RJ, thank you for your reasoned response, nice to debate without stooping to vitriol or insults, very dignified. You seem to be in the know sir, in order to further stabilize your credibility can you inform us how you have access to such in depth knowledge?

It is good that you can verify that the what we have operating under the auspices of a pyramid system is indeed a closed shop in areas of the country, therefore by definition is not a pyramid. I shall expect a deluge of apologies from some contributors on this thread.

I assume that your research is sound based on fact and is not conjecture. Whether there is arrogance involved or not, expecting a big club from the top West division to Join the SOS league in order to get to the LL is utterly unrealistic, Clydebank aside, it is never going to happen. Clydebank have been yearning for a seat at the top table ever since their sad demise in the Seniors, this I suspect has a large bearing on that particular club's philosophy on this.

I think you are right, the SJFA don't see a mass exodus and therefore are quite happy. But surely the SFA are guilty of box ticking in the extreme. We won't have a decent pyramid until some sort of process is in place where clubs can actually find their true level. As is the problem from the top, self interest prevails throughout!

Edited by Isabel Goudie

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38 minutes ago, Robert James said:

"No junior club has done that yet" - rubbish.

Of the current Highland League members,  ex- junior clubs Cove Rangers, Inverurie, Formartine, Strathspey & Turriff  all applied to, and were elected  to the HFLduring the last 20 years. Banks O' Dee applied, but were not elected. (The other newer clubs, Wick Academy and Fort William were elected from the NCL.

It sounds as though it may be a surprise to you that the Pyramid was not in existence when those clubs applied to the HFL. Since it was introduced, no club has applied to the HFL (therefore not rubbish), Banks O'Dee are the only Licenced club in the North Juniors and are not interested.

So back to the point, nobody can say the HFL is a closed shop as nobody has tested it since the Pyramids introduction.

Edited by Goalie Hamish

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17 minutes ago, Isabel Goudie said:

RJ, thank you for your reasoned response, nice to debate without stooping to vitriol or insults, very dignified. You seem to be in the know sir, in order to further stabilize your credibility can you inform us how you have access to such in depth knowledge?

It is good that you can verify that the what we have operating under the auspices of a pyramid system is indeed a closed shop in areas of the country, therefore by definition is not a pyramid. I shall expect a deluge of apologies from some contributors on this thread.

I assume that your research is sound based on fact and is not conjecture. Whether there is arrogance involved or not, expecting a big club from the top West division to Join the SOS league in order to get to the LL is utterly unrealistic, Clydebank aside, it is never going to happen. Clydebank have been yearning for a seat at the top table ever since their sad demise in the Seniors, this I suspect has a large bearing on that particular club's philosophy on this.

I think you are right, the SJFA don't see a mass exodus and therefore are quite happy. But surely the SFA are guilty of box ticking in the extreme. We won't have a decent pyramid until some sort of process is in place where clubs can actually find their true level. As is the problem from the top, self interest prevails throughout!

I don't do vitriol.

My contribution (such as it is) is factual, unless I state otherwise, eg "allegedly", "apparently", etc, and was originally based on 50 years of following Scottish Highland League & North Caledonian League football, and other non-league clubs (formerly) in SFA membership (eg Aberdeen Uni, Whithorn, Vale of Atholl, Glasgow Corporation Transport, etc) .  Perhaps an historian, with an anorak or two.

The Lowland League's creation, and the pyramid, has broadened my interest considerably, and is in my view, a major challenge, albeit beneficial to Scottish football.  Intriguing, but often unnecessarily unpleasant  is the vitriol between 'junior' and ,senior, pie shoppers, although the issues and problems are real enough, and football is nothing if it isn't about passion. .

My query about Talbot was that in the unlikely event that a WoS   league was created at tier 5 (equivalent to the LL and HFL with SPFL promotion play-offs), would the club join it, or ('apparently' like most other junior clubs), does it not aspire to Scottish League membership ?   

This morning I was accessing the website of Third Lanark AFC, already having success at adult and junior levels. Its website  www.thirdlanarkafccommunityclub.co.uk   contains a very clear statement about its current situation and longer term aspirations (in the senior ranks).  Worth a look.

 

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10 minutes ago, Robert James said:

I don't do vitriol.

My contribution (such as it is) is factual, unless I state otherwise, eg "allegedly", "apparently", etc, and was originally based on 50 years of following Scottish Highland League & North Caledonian League football, and other non-league clubs (formerly) in SFA membership (eg Aberdeen Uni, Whithorn, Vale of Atholl, Glasgow Corporation Transport, etc) .  Perhaps an historian, with an anorak or two.

The Lowland League's creation, and the pyramid, has broadened my interest considerably, and is in my view, a major challenge, albeit beneficial to Scottish football.  Intriguing, but often unnecessarily unpleasant  is the vitriol between 'junior' and ,senior, pie shoppers, although the issues and problems are real enough, and football is nothing if it isn't about passion. .

My query about Talbot was that in the unlikely event that a WoS   league was created at tier 5 (equivalent to the LL and HFL with SPFL promotion play-offs), would the club join it, or ('apparently' like most other junior clubs), does it not aspire to Scottish League membership ?   

This morning I was accessing the website of Third Lanark AFC, already having success at adult and junior levels. Its website  www.thirdlanarkafccommunityclub.co.uk   contains a very clear statement about its current situation and longer term aspirations (in the senior ranks).  Worth a look.

 

I think it safe to say that Talbot have no yearning to play in the senior ranks. They are the quintessential Junior club who have thrived in that grade. They are the epitome model of how to run a part time club and have managed to maintain a very healthy support from a very limited catchment area. They have continually invested in their infrastructure and ground while maintaining a challenge for decades at the top of Junior Football. Having said all that, I would be astonished if they weren't interested in moving forward into some better structure as they are nothing if not resourceful and are no strangers to evolution. However they, like a number of big Junior clubs, don't get all misty eyed at the prospect of entry to senior football. This seems to be contentious with some in the non league ranks and is mistaken for arrogance and lack of ambition. I would suggest that going by their record and progress they come from a platform of much common sense.

 

As has been pointed out though, I am no mouthpiece for Talbot, just a mouthpiece. :2cool

 

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It sounds as though it may be a surprise to you that the Pyramid was not in existence when those clubs applied to the HFL. Since it was introduced, no club has applied to the HFL (therefore not rubbish), Banks O'Dee are the only Licenced club in the North Juniors and are not interested.
So back to the point, nobody can say the HFL is a closed shop as nobody has tested it since the Pyramids introduction.

Exactly this. The HFL already has a plan that once they exceed 20 clubs they will split, this was announced a couple of years ago. Since then, no-one has been relegated and no-one has applied. It's not a closed shop!

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48 minutes ago, Isabel Goudie said:

I think it safe to say that Talbot have no yearning to play in the senior ranks. They are the quintessential Junior club who have thrived in that grade. They are the epitome model of how to run a part time club and have managed to maintain a very healthy support from a very limited catchment area. They have continually invested in their infrastructure and ground while maintaining a challenge for decades at the top of Junior Football. Having said all that, I would be astonished if they weren't interested in moving forward into some better structure as they are nothing if not resourceful and are no strangers to evolution. However they, like a number of big Junior clubs, don't get all misty eyed at the prospect of entry to senior football. This seems to be contentious with some in the non league ranks and is mistaken for arrogance and lack of ambition. I would suggest that going by their record and progress they come from a platform of much common sense.

 

As has been pointed out though, I am no mouthpiece for Talbot, just a mouthpiece. :2cool

 

Totally agree with this - Linlithgow are in a slightly differing position due to location.  Unfortunately the SJFA are killing junior football,  for all the Scottish Cups won you won't have made a penny for what is basically a financially redundant competition.

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On 2/2/2018 at 18:47, Unknown Fan said:

Technically?  For the likes of yourselves, Cumnock and Glenafton to join the South of Scotland it would be jumping on the A76 for an hour every other week for a year then the promised land of the Lowland league would open up to you.  Also by that time I'd guess Kelty, Cowdenbeath, East Stirling, Spartans, Clyde and you never know Bonnyrigg or Bo'ness United might all be waiting for you.

Sure Bonnyton Thistle a boys club from Kilmarnock are topping the South of Scotland at the moment.  Added to that if it is so piss easy a league run a Junior and South of Scotland team simultaneously.  The ground will get the license, transfer players over in January if struggling in the SoS and to get ready for the promotion play off then you can the best of both worlds.  

For Cumnock you think this would be a no brainer that they have a 3G pitch and floodlights.

WHAT ABOUT THE NORTH?

Well it has all been said, Banks O'Dee would be a good addition and it would be pragmatic for teams like Fort William and other weaker teams in the West to drop to the NCL if required and the top North Junior league for weaker Highland league teams in the East.  Though saying that every size able village and town east of Inverness has a Highland league team or higher so there isn't much need or desire for a huge shake up.    

3 hours ago, tell_me_more said:

The standard in the SOS is more on a par with Ayrshire Amatuer than top league Junior.  It is not going to happen. Isobel Goudie has said over and over again that the SOS is just not  a pathway for Ayrshire Juniors he is 100% correct on this.

Well as I pointed out above from the teams around Cumnock geographically South of Scotland is handier.  From there getting to Dumfries is as handy as Glasgow, also if it is on a par with Ayrshire Amateur, then anyone of them could put their U20's or reserve team into for the purpose of getting a Club Licence, as this is what this thread's about. 

For Junior teams in the East it is straight forward join the East of Scotland and take it from there.  We'll know by end of March if any other Junior teams are going to join, Bo'ness United possibly?  Dalkeith are all but ready to join.

For teams in the west not so, so at the moment South of Scotland it is, Edusport and Bonnyton are taking advantage of the open door policy to the pyramid, licensing, Scottish Cup entry and what will be a very competitive Lowland League that will become an ever increasingly appealing in the coming years to West Superleague (Premier 2018-19) clubs. 

In a few years the latter rounds of the Scottish Junior and New Coin Cup might be much the same.  

Though there is talk that Clydebank are going to a members vote on joining the East of Scotland, so working to a March deadline on that. 

...and as I've stated in another thread;

Would be good if a West of Scotland league would be added to the 6th tier along side the South of Scotland and the East of Scotland.  Every Champion gets promoted, bottom 3 from Lowland relegated.  

With the strength of the West with all the Junior clubs that could be part of it in time you would think it would be common sense to make the South of Scotland a feeder to that at a Tier 7, with the Junior west region area being the other feeder in the North west.  

Before you dig the nails in it is clear only a few South of Scotland clubs have any interest in playing Lowland League so a West version of it would make it slightly more appealing to a few.

Saying all of that I hope the Champions of the SLFL or SHFL get promoted though would be disappointed if Dalbeattie get relegated.   It's important that at least one team west of the River Annan to be representing the area at that level for the development of players and the option of being able to play at that standard.

Edited by Unknown Fan

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4 hours ago, Unknown Fan said:

Well as I pointed out above from the teams around Cumnock geographically South of Scotland is handier.  From there getting to Dumfries is as handy as Glasgow, also if it is on a par with Ayrshire Amateur, then anyone of them could put their U20's or reserve team into for the purpose of getting a Club Licence, as this is what this thread's about. 

Aye right round to Stranraer and the Solway coast to play teams with poor supports and next to zero travelling support and probably end up the season plus 100 goal difference. Doesn't make much sense does it? Try selling that to your supporters when you are currently playing in a competitive reasonably well supported league.
Only one option for the WOS teams , West Superleague Premier becomes the feeder league.

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7 minutes ago, tell_me_more said:

Aye right round to Stranraer and the Solway coast to play teams with poor supports and next to zero travelling support and probably end up the season plus 100 goal difference. Doesn't make much sense does it? Try selling that to your supporters when you are currently playing in a competitive reasonably well supported league.
Only one option for the WOS teams , West Superleague Premier becomes the feeder league.

I made a foray into the South of Scotland League on Saturday there - I'd been down to the Hurlford game and left it a bit early to catch the bus back to Killie. Once I was there I remembered Bonnyton were at home in a 3 o'clock kickoff, so I went up to check a bit of that out.

It's a neat enough newbuild 3G ground less than 10 minutes walk away from the bus station with little in the way of spectator facilities except a pitchside barrier - they're currently top and were playing Lochmaben - formerly Crichton - who are sitting mid-table.

I reckon there were maybe twelve spectators there - even including club officials there were still more people on the park than around it. Standard-wise, not great, not terrible...I reckon Bonnyton would give teams from the lower half of the Central First and the ADL a game, but top tier sides would murder them on a weekly basis.

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8 hours ago, Isabel Goudie said:

I think it safe to say that Talbot have no yearning to play in the senior ranks. They are the quintessential Junior club who have thrived in that grade. They are the epitome model of how to run a part time club and have managed to maintain a very healthy support from a very limited catchment area. They have continually invested in their infrastructure and ground while maintaining a challenge for decades at the top of Junior Football. Having said all that, I would be astonished if they weren't interested in moving forward into some better structure as they are nothing if not resourceful and are no strangers to evolution. However they, like a number of big Junior clubs, don't get all misty eyed at the prospect of entry to senior football. This seems to be contentious with some in the non league ranks and is mistaken for arrogance and lack of ambition. I would suggest that going by their record and progress they come from a platform of much common sense.

 

As has been pointed out though, I am no mouthpiece for Talbot, just a mouthpiece. :2cool

 

I agree entirely with your view that few if any West Junior clubs have little or no desire to join the SPFL.  So I can't see how  "moving forward into some better structure" can be achieved.  Clubs like Spartans, East Kilbride, Cumbernauld Colts, East Stirlingshire, BSG, Gala Fairydean, etc, wouldn't countenance joining a structure which doesn't have SPFL promotion. And a WoS 'feeder' can only work if promotion for playoff winners is compulsory, which it seems West clubs won't accept whatever  "better structure" is put in place.  So any on-going debate about the formation of a WoS feeder into the pyramid  (even if it was via  a new Lowland West feeder league), is sadly pointless.   

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10 hours ago, Goalie Hamish said:

It sounds as though it may be a surprise to you that the Pyramid was not in existence when those clubs applied to the HFL. Since it was introduced, no club has applied to the HFL (therefore not rubbish), Banks O'Dee are the only Licenced club in the North Juniors and are not interested.

So back to the point, nobody can say the HFL is a closed shop as nobody has tested it since the Pyramids introduction.

Yes your post is accurate stating that no North junior club has applied to join the HFL since the pyramid was formed. I guess everyone who reads these posts knows that !

Here are some important points which you may have missed :

1. there is no pyramid in the North, so you can't apply join it (it is currently a closed shop)> Licensing is time consuming and expensive, and pointless at present

2. the Highland League has had  "no vacancies" since the pyramid was formed, so there has been no point in any club applying to join it 

3. the SFA has imposed a maximum number of HFL member clubs (primarily to avoid a fixture pile up at the season's end, thereby causing potential delays and uncertainty around the HFL/SLL and Winner/bottom SPFL club  play-offs). The SFA wanted the limit at 16 clubs but the HFL rejected this, and the SFA backed down

4.  five North junior clubs have left the Juniors and joined the senior HFL since 1985, filling vacancies  which the HFL created. This drift from junior status to seniors has not been mirrored in the West or East Regions (until Kelty) 

5. had the HFL decided to form 2 divisions of 10  a couple of years ago, how do you know there would have been no applications from Junior clubs  to fill 1 or 2 of the vacancies ? I don't.

6. Banks O'Dee also applied  (in 2009) to leave the juniors and join the HFL, but were the unsuccessful club and not elected.  The club was allegedly livid at its rejection ! We will see if the Chairman of Banks O' Dee's current view  (as reported) that the club doesn't wish to join the HFL, holds firm, if an HFL vacancy is created by Cove Rangers gaining promotion this season to the SPFL. You may of course be right on this point. Interesting though !

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Say there were a West of Scotland league formed at tier 6, which clubs would be interested?

  • Glasgow Uni (licensed)
  • Girvan (licensed)
  • Clydebank
  • Third Lanark
  • Strathclyde Uni?

Who else?

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Yes your post is accurate stating that no North junior club has applied to join the HFL since the pyramid was formed. I guess everyone who reads these posts knows that !
Here are some important points which you may have missed :
1. there is no pyramid in the North, so you can't apply join it (it is currently a closed shop)> Licensing is time consuming and expensive, and pointless at present
2. the Highland League has had  "no vacancies" since the pyramid was formed, so there has been no point in any club applying to join it 
3. the SFA has imposed a maximum number of HFL member clubs (primarily to avoid a fixture pile up at the season's end, thereby causing potential delays and uncertainty around the HFL/SLL and Winner/bottom SPFL club  play-offs). The SFA wanted the limit at 16 clubs but the HFL rejected this, and the SFA backed down
4.  five North junior clubs have left the Juniors and joined the senior HFL since 1985, filling vacancies  which the HFL created. This drift from junior status to seniors has not been mirrored in the West or East Regions (until Kelty) 
5. had the HFL decided to form 2 divisions of 10  a couple of years ago, how do you know there would have been no applications from Junior clubs  to fill 1 or 2 of the vacancies ? I don't.
6. Banks O'Dee also applied  (in 2009) to leave the juniors and join the HFL, but were the unsuccessful club and not elected.  The club was allegedly livid at its rejection ! We will see if the Chairman of Banks O' Dee's current view  (as reported) that the club doesn't wish to join the HFL, holds firm, if an HFL vacancy is created by Cove Rangers gaining promotion this season to the SPFL. You may of course be right on this point. Interesting though !

Will you stop persisting in this myth that the HFL is a closed shop - yes, there is no direct relation or promotion to the league, but it is patently possible to join it by application and there is a plan for what happens if numbers exceed 20.

Anything else is speculation, nobody has applied to join, saying that it's the league must offer invites is simply not true. This statement that the SFA have decreed no more than 18 tabs is just wrong.

Clubs moved from the HFL to the national leagues because of the historical imbalance in the geography, before 1993 the only league team in the historical HFL footprint was Aberdeen!

BoD may have been 'livid', but they still have not attempted to join and given their chairman has ruled out out, why would you argue otherwise?

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