Bonnyrigg Rose remain silent on Junior football exit rumours

New Dundas Park gates (picture: Scott Louden)
New Dundas Park gates (picture: Scott Louden)

Bonnyrigg Rose could be the latest club to leave the Junior football set up after its committee voted overwhelmingly in favour of pursuing a change ‘in respect of the club’s future direction’ according to reports.

At a special general meeting held last week 82 per cent voted for change, two per cent were against and 16 per cent abstained.

The club was remaining tight-lipped about the nature of proposals when contacted by the Advertiser, but speculation suggests discussions were held over whether to explore the possibility of joining the senior football pyramid.

Rose have until Saturday to make their application for the 2018-19 season known to the East of Scotland League.

A statement on the club’s website said: “A special general meeting was held on proposals made by the committee in respect of the club’s future direction.

“The meeting was well attended and there was a Q&A session after the proposals were made and all questions asked, which were valid, as with any periods of change there is uncertainty, were answered to the best of the committee’s ability.

“We will take the mandate given to us by our members to set the wheels in motion in order to make the recommended proposal a reality over the course of the next few months."

Midlothian club Dalkeith Thistle have already expressed an interest in joining the league and Arniston Rangers are to hold talks with members tonight at Newbyres Park over the future direction of their club. Easthouses Lily have also reportedly signalled their intent to leave the Juniors.

Any decision to leave the set up may well be taken out of their hands in any event. The Scottish Junior Football Association (SJFA) and SFA have been in talks since last April about the possibility of Junior clubs joining the pyramid.

The SJFA polled their clubs two months ago in a bid to gauge the appetite to join the pyramid. The vote was almost 2:1 in favour of joining, with 99 clubs saying they should join and 55 objecting to the idea.

Now, the SJFA has written to the Board of the SFA advising them of the results and requesting them to agree in principle – subject to the outcome of an EGM on the matter – to the Juniors joining the system.

The secretary of the SJFA, Tom Johnston, said: “It is early days yet. It is difficult to say what impact this might have on Junior football. It could mean over a period of time the loss of some clubs but it is seen by others as progression.”