On Monday the Press and Journal broke the story of a plan to split the Highland League into two divisions:
”Highland League restructuring is on the agenda for the start of next season with plans for a competition which would see two new clubs being invited to join the other 18 teams into a two-division contest with promotion and relegation. The proposals from Keith president Sandy Stables are intended to get clubs ready for the play-offs involving Lowland League clubs which could lead to entry to League 2 of the Scottish Professional Football League at the end of next season.”
This shock announcement came as a bolt out of the blue for fans. They quickly took to the social media to denounce the idea. Nowhere was the displeasure more apparent than on the County Fans "We Believe!" site where there was a unanimous feeling expressed that the Highland League is a exciting football product that is bringing the fans back to the grass routes: for example, at the Christmas derby game with Forres at Station Park the Gurn understands there were 550 paying customers at the gate, also to be added to that are the children that get in free with an adult taking the crowd well above 600. Last night, at the Nairn Fans monthly fundraising meeting there was another unanimous denunciation of Sandy Stable's plans and the well attended gathering strongly communicated their feelings to NCFC Chairman Peter MacKintosh and Director of Football Peter Jnr who were observing the meeting and were keen to hear the fans views on the controversial proposal.
On another fans Facebook page “Scottish Highland Football League”, one County Fan wrote:
”I am sorry but this proposal just beggars belief. I sincerely hope on Thursday night the league representatives treat this with the utter contempt it deserves and ditch it as far out the North Sea as they can. As a football fan of the Highland League I find it insulting even that such a proposal should even be allowed to go a league meeting without clubs first having the opportunity to discuss this very important issue with their fans. This will KILL the Highland League - nine home games and that's your lot! Plus a contrived cup competition just to try and make the economics stack up.” More here.