Neil McCann: Ex-Rangers winger says dismissing B-team plans 'missed opportunity'

Rangers and Celtic youth
Rangers and Celtic B teams would be in the third tier as part of the proposal

Dismissing plans to have B teams in Scotland's lower leagues would represent a missed opportunity, according to Neil McCann.

Rangers' league reconstruction proposal, should it be approved, would see they and Celtic field colt teams in the bottom tier of a 14-14-18 format.

Former Ibrox winger McCann says the plan could benefit both lower league sides and young players.

"There are not many downsides for me," he told BBC Scotland.

"There would be players getting more exposure to real football, and I think that would help us in the long run. We need to be giving kids the opportunity to play against men," McCann added.

"The classic example is [Liverpool and Scotland defender] Andy Robertson, who left Celtic but is now captain of our country. He's captain because he got real football at a good level, and afterwards a brave manager took him to Dundee United - then he went on to flourish.

"It would also bring finance into the lower leagues. If we don't take this opportunity to sit down and chew these things over, and not just discard them out of hand, then we will miss a wonderful opportunity out of what has been a devastating Covid-19 impact on our game."

Under Rangers' proposal, Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer would be spared relegation, while Brora Rangers and Kelty Hearts would enter the senior set-up.

McCann, who also played for Hearts and Scotland, believes this would be another positive outcome should the plan be implemented.

"It's addressing this unfairness for Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer," he said. "I have a real problem with teams like that not being able to save themselves from relegation.

"There has been an argument that Hearts should just take their medicine. But people could argue Daniel [Stendel] could have had the chance to get his side one position up, which would have saved them ultimately.

"I think the lack of sporting chance for Hearts in particular to get themselves out of trouble is not right."

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