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SPFL under fire from second angle as Highland League fuming at Hampden beaks for moving promotion goalposts

Highland League clubs are reportedly fuming with the SPFL amid growing concerns they are being boxed out of the top four leagues.

The governing body for the top divisions has been under fire recently with six Premiership clubs launching a blistering attack on the SPFL and its chair Murdoch MacLennan. Rangers, St Johnstone, St Mirren, Aberdeen, Motherwell and Livingston all went public with their concerns after being left underwhelmed by the outcome of an 'independent review' into the running of the professional leagues.

And as that civil war threatens to boil over, it seems another one is brewing. A new report from the Press and Journal quotes an anonymous source within the Highland League as being fuming at the SPFL, feeling they are trying to make it harder for fifth-tier sides to gain promotion. It stems from a new regulation voted through by the 42 SPFL clubs last year which requires teams to hold an SFA Bronze license to play in the top four divisions.

Changes are being made to the Bronze license and how to achieve it and some within the Highland League feel it is an active effort to box their clubs out - with teams having to fork out thousands to stand any chance of promotion. The winners of the Highland League face the winners of the Lowland League in a playoff, with the winner of that tie then facing the bottom team in League Two. Many have argued that system alone is difficult enough without added licensing restrictions making life harder for non-league hopefuls.

An anonymous source said: “It was brought in this season (changes to the Bronze license), but publicly very little has been said about it. It appears it’s been brought in to make it that bit more difficult for teams to get up. They (SPFL clubs) have