KELTY HEARTS say that they are looking into the possibility of leaving junior football in favour of the senior game's pyramid system.
Last week reports emerged that the club, which is currently top of the East Region's top division, were considering quitting their current set-up along with league rivals Bo'ness United to match their ambitions, which include featuring regularly in the William Hill Scottish Cup.
Although the winners of the Scottish Junior Cup and the champions of each region are granted a place in the senior tournament, other junior clubs do not take part as they are not licensed with the SFA – with the exception of Linlithgow Rose.
Teams that wish to become licensed under the SFA have to commit to the pyramid structure under new guidelines, which means joining either the East of Scotland or the Lowland League, one division below SPFL (Scottish Professional Football League) League Two.
Members of Kelty's committee feel that such a move could be of benefit to their plans for the future and that other clubs are also considering their options, while proposals from the Scottish Junior Football Association (SJFA) to reduce the number of Super League teams by two could also influence any decision.
A meeting about that issue was due to be held this week and club treasurer George McTrusty told Times Sport: "There is talk about reducing our league by two teams, who would be relocated to other leagues. That would mean two less home games and less cash; the league is tight enough just now without losing another two games.
"The other motivation is the Scottish Cup and the pyramid system. If we win the Super League, which we have done, then where do we go from here? It's a glass ceiling; we're in the Scottish Cup for one year but that's it.
"We've also got a lot of youth teams at the club but we get little funding. We get pennies from the juniors but teams in the pyramid get thousands from the SFA. We are ambitious but the juniors are just affiliated to the SFA; we're not members. I believe Bo'ness may be going ahead and if we, Bo'ness, Linlithgow and maybe even Bonnyrigg were to go, I think it'd destroy the Super League."
The club's statement added: "It is no secret that Kelty Hearts JFC have been working towards an SFA licence in the hope that when the inevitable change comes to junior football that we, as a club, are ready and prepared no matter the outcome. As a committee and custodians of the club, we wouldn't be doing our duty to the club or the community of Kelty if we didn't look to improve in all areas, and an SFA licence is the ultimate achievement as it recognises that a club is run correctly and that the facilities are of a high standard for the paying public.
"We are exploring all the opportunities available to the club and we will take our time investigating what is best for everyone associated with Kelty Hearts and the local community but in the meantime the focus of everyone at New Central Park is on our remaining fixtures of the 2016/17 season.
"With the club still involved in three competitions we are asking the community to get behind the players and management in their remaining matches as they bid to regain the McBookie East Super League title as well as competing in the latter stages of the DJ Laing East of Scotland and The Conservatory Converters Fife and Lothians Cup.
"We will update fans and the community at the end of the season on the latest developments."
There is a meeting for supporters tonight (Wednesday) in the club's social club at 7pm.