Robbie Horn insists Celtic and Rangers should have been forced to start at the bottom of Scottish football’s pyramid with their Colts teams rather than be admitted to the Lowland League.

The former Hearts, Forfar and Berwick Rangers defender is the manager of Bonnyrigg Rose, one of the clubs to have come down against the proposal in Monday night’s indicative vote on the matter.

If, as now expected, the plans are ratified at the Lowland League’s AGM later this month, the Old Firm B teams will pay £25,000 each to play in the division next season, but only for one year and without the prospect of promotion to the SPFL via the play-off route currently being undertaken by Kelty Hearts.

The issue has proved controversial with supporters of Lowland League teams and clubs in the East, South and West of Scotland Leagues who have railed against Glasgow’s big two being able to go straight into the fifth-tier set-up.

Horn agrees, especially after the former junior team took the conventional route to the Lowland League via promotion from the East of Scotland League a tier below.

He said: “It doesn’t sit right with me when we’ve got a pyramid system and we’ve come through that pyramid system at Bonnyrigg. I know people are saying it doesn’t really impact because there’s no promotion or relegation but that in itself takes away from the league.

"I would much rather they had come into the pyramid system and they competed for promotion and relegation. Surely that’s better for the players at Rangers and Celtic at the same time.

“If they had gone in at the right level of the pyramid then they could have done that and they could find themselves in the Lowland League.

“I get why they’re trying to join, but I think they should be starting at the bottom and working their way up. If you look at social media, it seems that is what most people have said.

“I don’t think anyone’s trying to do anything wrong, they just think that’s the best way to develop the league. But in my eyes and a lot of people’s eyes they should have started at the bottom.

“I can totally see the argument of the clubs in the leagues below and, to be fair, we’ve had a lot of support from these teams when we were going into the Lowland League.

“They’ve supported us in the past and we should support them. The East, West and South of Scotland clubs supported Kelty with regards the play-off and stressed the sporting integrity argument.

“We should all be in it together. We’re all part of this pyramid system.”

With 11 clubs voting in favour on Monday night and five against, with Kelty Hearts abstaining as they canvass supporters’ opinions, the expectation is the short-term project will be given the green light.

Horn added: “At the same time, you look forward to playing against Rangers and Celtic. It’s something different, it’s a challenge for the players, but jumping in by paying money up front doesn’t sit right with me.

“Who’s to say other teams might not want to follow suit. Where do you stop with it?”

Civil Service Strollers were another club to say ‘no’ and their president, Russell Pryde, has tendered his resignation over the issue. He has informed the Edinburgh club he will step down at their AGM in protest.

A Civil Service Strollers statement read: "Russell Pryde has informed the club that he intends to stand down as the president of Civil Service Strollers at the forthcoming club AGM.

"Russell's resignation included the following statement: 'It is with great regret that I will be resigning as president of Civil Service Strollers.

"My issue is not with the club, it is with being associated with a decision that agrees that buying rule change is acceptable.
"I remain committed to the club and will offer my support in different ways'."