Banks o’ Dee president Brian Winton has welcomed plans for promotion into and relegation from the Highland League.
Talks have taken place between the Highland League, North Region Junior FA and North Caledonian Football League about creating a tier six, potentially for the 2020-21 season.
Tier six would allow Junior and North Caledonian clubs the chance to be promoted into the Highland League if they can meet the membership criteria.
Superleague champions Dee are the only Junior club who currently meet the criteria, with Golspie Sutherland the same in the North Caledonian League.
Spain Park chief Winton said: “At Banks o’ Dee we’ve got our licensing from the SFA and have always been prepared.
“We got the opportunity last season after Cove were promoted. The Highland League wrote to us and asked if we’d be interested in stepping up.
“The problem we have is the short notice that you get these requests means you can’t plan for having that opportunity to progress.
“It was the case last year and it could be the same this year because Brora could yet be promoted and then the Highland League would be back to an even number of teams and they might change stance.
“Until there is a pyramid all the way down, that’s the only way teams can plan properly financially and operationally and it’s then in the teams’ hands.
“At the moment it’s not in our hands. In 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 there might have been an opportunity for us.
“But it wasn’t until Cove went up last year that the opportunity was there and we didn’t know that until the last week of the season.
“We’re always open to having the chance to progress, but it needs to be in a planned and structured way where you commence the season knowing what your objectives are for the end of the season.”
Highland League secretary Rod Houston has been encouraged by the discussions.
He added: “Tier six is on the move in the north and we’re just waiting for things to settle down.
“All the parties involved are happy that we’re making progress in the right direction, it’s just a case of crossing the ‘t’s and dotting the ‘i’s to get arrangements in place.
“As far as the league is concerned it’s all about giving clubs who wish to progress the opportunity.
“If clubs don’t wish to then that’s fine. To progress into the Highland League they would have to meet the criteria for membership just as Cove Rangers had to meet the criteria for SPFL membership a year ago.
“If clubs want to get a licence, get floodlights up and do what’s required to get Highland League membership they can do, and know there is the avenue for making progress in a sporting sense.
“The whole point of it is to make sure nothing is closed off.
“It’s a natural progression, this step – but a lot of things have had to fall into place over time.”
Houston and the Highland League also expressed disappointment that the SPFL’s plans to conclude the Championship, League One and League Two include cancelling the pyramid play-offs and denying Brora Rangers a shot at promotion.