Peterhead boss Jim McInally has slammed the latest suggestion to bring Rangers and Celtic colt teams into the SPFL.
The Gers are proposing reconstruction for next season with a switch to a 14-14-18 structure with their B teams joining Highland League champions Brora Rangers and Lowland League kings Kelty Hearts in an expanded third tier.
The Old Firm sides have said they would pay a £125,000 joining fee, which would go to third-tier clubs, with payments reducing by £25,000 a season continuing for three further campaigns.
Within the plan Celtic and Rangers also have pledged to buy 200 tickets for each away game.
However, the proposal would mean Peterhead – along with Clyde, Forfar and Stranraer – would be demoted from League 1 in its current guise to the bottom division, just one step away from dropping out of the SPFL.
League 2 champions Cove Rangers would also be denied promotion.
Blue Toon boss McInallly has been a vocal critic of previous attempts to bring colt teams into the Scottish League set up.
Scotland’s longest-serving manager said: “Why should we again be the victims in another reconstruction plan having finished eighth in League 1?
“We’ve had one proposal of 14-14-14 where we were victims that has been thrown out and here’s another one.
“I’ll defend our club to the hilt when it comes to this because nobody is supposed to be worse off as a result off reconstruction.
“The last time it was brought up Chris McCart (Celtic’s head of youth development) phoned me and he was surprised that I didn’t support it – but I won’t. Celtic and Rangers need to develop their own kids and that’s what guys like him are getting well paid to do.
“Suggesting this just now, they are chancing their arm to see what they might manage to get away with.
“Right now the focus has to be on getting to a point where the current restrictions are relaxed and we can get some fans back into grounds and we can play games.
“Reconstruction should still be on the table, but for me 14-10-10-10 is the fairest way, Celtic and Rangers need to step away from this and let everyone get on with things.”
With clubs hit hard financially by the coronavirus pandemic, McInally knows some chairmen may be tempted by this idea.
But he added: “What chairmen need to remember is their own fans might turn their backs on the club.
“Celtic and Rangers are offering to buy 200 tickets, but I reckon we’d lose at least 200 supporters who wouldn’t come to these games so they need to look at the bigger picture.
“The games against Celtic and Rangers would be meaningless to our supporters at Peterhead and people wouldn’t come.
“Our average crowd is between 550 and 600 and I think we’d lose half of it for those games.”
Jim McInally talked about reconstruction and his spat with Hearts owner Ann Budge on last week’s Northern Goal podcast:
Celtic and Rangers believe having their youngsters playing in the lower leagues would help their development.
McInally said: “I’ve always said that Scottish football isn’t here for the betterment of Celtic and Rangers and to develop their players – it’s up to Celtic and Rangers to develop their own players.
“With 10 in a row at stake, opportunities will be limited for young players at Celtic and Rangers next season – but that’s not the fault of part-time clubs in League 1 and 2.
“Why can’t they have their young players training with the first-team and playing with first-team players in reserve games? Or why can’t they put young players out on loan? It’s not up to Scottish football to do Rangers and Celtic’s work for them, that’s my opinion – and just because they’re offering money it doesn’t make it right.”