The Lowland League was “pressured” by the SPFL into accepting Brechin City should the club be relegated, says chairman George Fraser.
Brechin are bottom of League Two but despite an early end to the season, will not face the usual play-off to keep their SPFL place.
Fraser claims earlier this year the Lowland League were asked to change the boundaries so Brechin would not go into the Highland League as planned.
“Pressured is the word,” Fraser said.
“There were certain insinuations made if we didn’t move towards this proposal then we may find life a bit more difficult in dealing with our friends at the SPFL.”
BBC Scotland has contacted the SPFL for a response.
In normal circumstances the winners of the Highland and Lowland Leagues would play each other over two legs for the right to do the same against the club bottom of League Two, to determine who plays in Scottish football’s fourth tier.
If the League Two club loses, it drops into one of the two regional leagues, depending on the club’s geographical location.
Fraser claims Brechin did not want to play in the Highland League as planned.
“In the last five or six years we’ve had a good relationship with the SPFL. But we rely on the SPFL’s invite for our champion clubs and teams two, three and four to take part in the Tunnock’s [Challenge] Cup and the Betfred Cup.”
Asked if it was suggested those places might be at risk if Brechin were denied entry to the Lowland League, Fraser told BBC Scotland’s Sportsound programme: “I think it may have been on the agenda. That’s in general meetings with the SPFL. I won’t go into personal blame at the moment because I think this has a bit to run.
Lowland League champions Kelty Hearts and Highland League counterparts Brora Rangers, both expressed their disappointment that talks about league reconstruction – which may have given them a place in the SPFL – collapsed, and criticised the process.