I must admit a degree of sympathy with Scottish football’s Pyramid Working Group.

If there’s an angle from which to position all the conflicting interests involved in league reconstruction that leaves no noses out of joint, I can’t see it. Anyone who can negotiate a solution that leaves everyone satisfied might just find themselves in line for the next Nobel Peace Prize.

Last week, the Scottish FA invited a range of stakeholders – including from the SPFL, League Two, the Lowland and Highland Leagues, plus the West, South, East, SJFA and North Caledonian League – to Hampden to discuss options for change.

These comprised of three proposals. The first would be the creation of an SPFL League 3 at tier 5, which would include sides from the Highland and Lowland Leagues, plus a number of Premiership B teams. The second is the expansion of League Two to 16 clubs, of which the six new entrants would be again comprised of B teams and sides from the Highland and Lowland Leagues. The third involves taking the same participants and creating a ‘Conference’ beneath League Two, but with B teams not allowed to go beyond League One.

If you’ve managed to miss the social media backlash, I’ll allow you a moment to guess which one of these three proved the most controversial. If you picked option three: congratulations! If not, then the reason the Conference proposal has angered stakeholders in tier 6 and below was summed up by Darvel manager Michael Kennedy. Speaking to the Daily Record, he pointed out that positioning an new league underneath League Two effectively ‘relegates’ the 200-plus clubs below into a lower tier.

There was also alarm that the Conference being established as a separate company would bypass the usual requirement for 75 per cent backing from SPFL clubs. It’s a detail that stings for clubs in the West, East and South of Scotland Leagues who already feel their path into the pyramid is blocked.

Why? Because the winners of these leagues are not automatically promoted. Yes, they’ll get a trophy for the cabinet, but only one will be welcomed into the Lowland League after a round robin play-off that will just as quickly suck the joy from your league triumph as allow you to progress as a club.

There’s also the perception it would allow the country’s biggest clubs – Celtic, Rangers, Hearts and Aberdeen – to ride roughshod over the little guy to further their own interests. B teams’ guest status in the Lowland League does not permit them promotion, but when the agreement was struck ahead of the 2021/22 season, some fans of lower league clubs insisted they were getting distinct trojan horse vibes. They might feel entitled to a touch of ‘I told you so’.

This season, the addition of Hearts B to join Celtic and Rangers was initially rejected by Lowland League club before a late reversal. At the time, the Daily Mail reported Lowland League clubs were thinking long-term – the abolition of the play-off for entry into League Two. You know, the one that’s pretty similar for entry into the Lowland League itself?

READ MORE: Oh Hyeon-gyu determined for Celtic Champions League chance

It was asserted that the removal of the play-off would attract fierce opposition from League Two clubs, the same way I’m not convinced Lowland League sides would be open to tinkering their own division’s exit arrangements. The u-turn on the B teams did, however, precede the formation of the Pyramid Working Group.

Judging by this week’s reaction, however, their next meeting will be spent demanding a word with whoever claimed ‘you can please all of the people some of the time’. If you hadn’t already, you’ve probably now grasped why there will be no perfect solution, and that’s before we consider the case for and against B teams.

For Premiership clubs, the rationale makes sense. More than ever, elite academy sides are, in playing style, being moulded in the image of the first team, preparing kids as much as humanly possible for the big jump. There’s also a wish to have these kids involved in competitive football against adults, not simply playing other youth teams. Clubs can also negate a perceived disadvantage of the loan system in that their players gain experience, but away from the parent club’s ethos.

The primary argument in favour of B teams is that they have been utilised, with success, in other countries. 15 members of the Croatian national team which secured a third-placed finish at the Qatar World Cup cut their teeth in B team football early in their careers. Post-tournament, a report from the CIES Football Observatory concluded that: “All of the 10 clubs that have contributed most to the development of players for the 2022 FIFA World Cup have B-teams playing in national senior leagues.”

Barcelona are another oft-quoted example, given the likes of Xavi, Andres Iniesta and Carles Puyol were B team alumni before conquering the world with club and country. The Catalans, however, have a consistently strong track record of promoting academy talent who become integral to the first-team – can the same really be said for the likes of Celtic and Rangers?

READ MORE: Michael Beale addresses Leon King's Rangers future

When both clubs are under such immense pressure to win every single week, youngsters breaking through becomes the exception, not the norm. I’m not talking a token sub appearance at 5-0 up here or there, but a youngster who has come in and made himself a regular – you don’t often see it these days. Of course, the B team concept is still a relatively new one in Scotland, and its aims are long-term. It is simply too early to tell if the national team will reap rewards down the line.

Rightly or wrongly, however, there’s a perception among fans of lower league clubs that, despite the proposed involvement of Hearts and Aberdeen, this is a pet project for Glasgow’s big two. You’ll have a hard time convincing any of them that Celtic and Rangers are doing it for the greater good of Scottish football.

By that same token, nobody who sat among the 9,500 who watched Falkirk and Dunfermline contest a potentially title-deciding derby in League 1 last week was thinking that the one thing the division needs is Premiership B teams who are essentially not part of the competition. I suppose the long-winded point I’m trying to make is: good luck to whoever needs to find a solution here.

I agree that for Scotland to progress on the world stage, we must be receptive to progressive approaches which have worked elsewhere. But should that come at the expense of angering a not-insignificant cross section of people who ensure Scottish football is the best supported per-capita in all of Europe?

I’m glad it’s not me making the decisions.