Paul Coutts thinks Cove Rangers deserve to be crowned League Two champions after taking the division by storm.
Cove were clear at the top of the table when Scottish football went into shutdown because of coronavirus.
They could be crowned champions if lower league clubs back an SPFL proposal to bring the Championship, League 1 and League 2 seasons to a premature end and decide placings by points per game.
The plan put forward by league chiefs would see the Granite City outfit, managed by Paul Hartley, secure the title and back-to-back promotions.
Cove made it out of the Highland League at the third time of asking last summer and have gone from strength to strength.
Aberdonian Coutts started his career at Cove, joining in 2005 after being released by Aberdeen.
He currently plays for English Football League side Fleetwood Town, after enjoying spells with Peterborough United, Derby County and this year’s Premier League surprise package Sheffield United.
Coutts said: “It’d been a few years in coming to get out of the Highland League.
“I find it quite a bizarre system, how hard it is for teams to get into the leagues in Scotland, through the play-offs and playing the bottom team in League Two.
“I know (chairman) Keith Moorhouse well and knew he was ambitious for it.
“I was delighted they got up and how well they’ve done this season.”
Coutts – who says Cove deserve to be crowned champions for the season they’ve had – added: “They’ve been superb.
“I keep a close eye on how Cove are doing and I’ve still got people I speak to there.
“I expected it – to really push on and have a real go at League Two.
“When you’re used to success, similar to us at Sheffield Utd, it becomes second nature to you. They’ve recruited well and Paul Hartley’s come in and done a good job, carried on (ex-boss) John Sheran’s good work.
“If the season was to stop now, you would hope they would be crowned champions for the season they’ve had. But that’s for the governing bodies to decide.”
Cove last night said they wouldn’t be commenting until a final decision has been made.
The SPFL proposal, which doesn’t yet apply to Aberdeen in the Premiership as there are still hopes the top-flight can be played to a finish, also means Peterhead would be in League One with Cove next term.
If the plan – which the league governing body said was crucial to protect lower league clubs financially and keep next season’s calendar in check – goes ahead, with clubs expected to cast their votes by tomorrow, Championship winners Dundee United will be in next term’s Premiership and League One winners Raith Rovers will move up to replace them.
Partick Thistle and Stranraer would drop into League One and League Two, respectively.
There would also be no play-offs, ruling out for now the prospect of Highland champions Brora Rangers moving up the pyramid, although the governing body remains “committed to consulting with clubs over the possibility of League restructuring ahead of Season 2020/21“.
SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “Very regrettably, we must face the reality that it’s simply not possible for the remaining Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2 fixtures to remain postponed without causing significant further financial harm to clubs in those divisions.
“Further, many of our clubs are experiencing very challenging organisational and financial circumstances.
“Everyone in our game, and in the country generally, is wrestling with the devastating impact of Covid- 19.
“We all know there are no easy answers or simple solutions, but the board’s recommended proposal will give us a far greater degree of certainty, minimise the harm to the game overall, and enable us make end-of-season fee payments now to Ladbrokes Championship, League 1 and League 2 clubs.”