FRASER Duncan has slammed the SPFL's decision to exclude the lower leagues from promotion as "diabolical". 

The Sauchie manager has taken aim at Scotland's senior game after clubs effectively voted to suspend the pyramid structure for a year due to the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Since the 2014/15 season, the winner of a match between the Highland and Lowland leagues has faced-off against League Two's bottom placed team for the right to play in the SPFL. 

Edinburgh City and Cove Rangers have secured their place in recent seasons with Berwick Rangers and East Stirlingshire going the other way. 

The decision to temporary suspend the set-up has been widely criticised by East of Scotland and Lowland League bosses, with Duncan giving them his backing. 

He told Advertiser Sport: "If I am being honest, I am really disappointed in Scottish football and the way they have handled things.

"Right from the very off at the start of the pandemic, all they were speaking about was getting football back. We should have been taking that time to reflect and make sure everyone was safe. 

"To go and make some of the decisions they have is diabolical; to deny Kelty Hearts and Brora Rangers the chance to be in the SPFL. 

"This is dinosaurs who are looking after themselves and their own clubs. If I am being honest, there are clubs in the Lowland League who have broader horizons than some of the older ones in the SPFL." 

Alloa and Hillfoots Advertiser: Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts were denied a shot at a place in the SPFL for the forthcoming season Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts were denied a shot at a place in the SPFL for the forthcoming season

The nature of the SPFL set-up means clubs have the final say on the league structure.

During a series of votes following football's cancellation, proposals which would have seen the Lowland League champions promoted were rejected. 

Duncan continued: "Some of those clubs have had their day and it's time they moved over and let teams join. They are scared and they don't want Lowland League teams going up there and know they are better run.

"These teams have great history but they are resting on their laurels. 

"These Lowland League clubs have great ambition and I think it is a disgrace they haven't been given a chance.

"How can you make a rule in the SPFL and say Hearts are getting relegated and Dundee United promoted, yet you go two leagues down and there's no relegation? 

"Don't forget, we're all supposed to under the one body. It's diabolical." 

Shortly after the final bid to include promotion for the lower league clubs was rejected, SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: “In recent weeks, we’ve been consulting closely with our clubs regarding possible reconstruction and, based on the feedback we received, the board decided to ask all 42 clubs to give their views so that we could have absolute clarity, which we’ve achieved today.

“Whilst a number of clubs were in favour of a new divisional set-up, the support for it was insufficient and we will now move forward with a fixture programme for season 2020-21 based on the current 12-10-10-10 structure."