East of Scotland promotion hopefuls Bonnyrigg Rose face a race against the clock to land an SFA licence – as they won’t be able to enter the Lowland League without one.
The Rose are top of Conference B and should they win the league and then the round robin stage to become overall East of Scotland League champions, then they would face the South of Scotland winners for a place in the Lowland League next season.
However, to do this they must have an SFA entry level licence before the March 31 deadline, which they are currently in the process of attaining.
The club hope to find out between now and the deadline whether their application for a licence has been successful – which they need to have in place if they want to become members of the Scottish FA.
Six clubs from the East of Scotland league – Burntisland Shipyard, Coldstream, Hawick Royal Albert, Linlithgow Rose, Lothian Thistle Hutchison Vale and Preston Athletic have already attained a club licensing award status.
According to latest SFA licensing records other Midlothian clubs Penicuik Athletic, Newtongrange Star, Dalkeith Thistle, Easthouses Lily and Arniston Rangers do not have one in place at present either.
The licence is a set of quality standards, which clubs have to meet across different categories including ground, first team structures, youth team structures and legal, administration and finance.
The licence would allow them to enhance facilities, open up third party funding channels, receive an annual member’s payment and entry into the preliminary round of the Scottish Cup.
A statement on the Rose’s website said: “The club can confirm that it has applied for membership of the Scottish Football Association. We need to have a licence in place by March 31 which is the deadline set by the Lowland League in order to gain promotion.
“Membership will only be granted once SFA entry level license status has been attained. We are among several other clubs competing in the EoS leagues trying to meet that deadline.
“Our feeling is that if the players can achieve the above scenario based on footballing merit, we should be able to reward them by making them eligible for promotion.
“This is something that we have worked on for several years ... and it is a tribute to our supporters, sponsors, playing squads, management teams and committee that we are in a position to apply as you have all collectively got us here.”
“We need to follow due process, but we will hopefully know our fate one way or another before the March 31 deadline.”