Scotland’s longest serving manager Jim McInally has expressed his sympathy for Brora Rangers’ plight after the Highland League champions saw the door close on their promotion hopes.
It seems highly unlikely the Cattachs and Lowland League winners Kelty Hearts will be in the SPFL next season after clubs rejected permanent reconstruction to a 14-10-10-10 set-up.
Only 16 of the 42 SPFL sides indicated they would support such a plan which means Hearts, Partick Thistle and Stranraer are relegated.
Inverness Caley Thistle, Falkirk and Edinburgh – who were second in the Championship, League One and League Two – won’t be promoted.
Peterhead manager McInally has sympathy with all those sides while Brora and Kelty are also in his thoughts.
The Blue Toon boss said: “It can’t be forgotten that Brora and Kelty have had the door shut on them and it’s not fair on them either.
“I’ve said before that there needed be some provision to involve them and 14-10-10-10 did that.
“It doesn’t sit well with me that they’ve won their leagues and haven’t had the chance to get promoted.
“For the teams that are getting relegated I feel sorry for them as well.
“It was 16 clubs that said they would support it so some of those people that have been talking about sporting integrity might as well stop because there’s obviously none in Scottish football.
“I don’t think any team should have suffered and there was a chance to do the right thing and I think some clubs have neglected their duties by not supporting this.”
With reconstruction talks starting in April after the 2019-20 season was declared over McInally believes 14-10-10-10 should have been the first proposal discussed rather than it being brought forward at this stage when Premiership clubs have already returned to training for an August 1 restart.
He added: “I don’t think it’s helped that it took so long to bring 14-10-10-10 to the table.
“I felt it was a way to reconstruct without harming anybody and that it should have been the first suggestion on the table.”