Clubs decide to stick to the status quo and reject three-league structure

There will be no change to the senior football league structure this season, after clubs opted against a new three-division system.

Shetland Football Association (SFA) had proposed to split the reserve league in two – with one-club teams such as Bressay and Banks in one league, and the reserve teams of premier league clubs such as Celtic and Spurs in another.

There would have been automatic promotion and relegation between the premier league and first division from the 2026 season, if approved.

But members opted instead to keep the leagues as they are for the 2024 season.

Currently there are seven teams in the premier league, and 12 in the reserve league.

SFA president George Smith said he thought the first division only having five teams this season – Bressay, Banks, Delting, North Isles and Wastside Rebels – had put some people off the change.

“I think there’s a recognition there needs to be a bit of a shake-up,” he said.

“What probably swung it for some was there was only going to be five teams in the division.

“It’s about finding ways to get more teams in the league.”

He said last night’s SFA meeting, where the proposal was discussed, was probably the best attended since he had taken over as president in December 2021.

Smith added that showed there was “clearly an interest” in it.


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