GLASGOW: Rangers, next season, could be following the example of the likes of Napoli and Fiorentina in Italy by starting economic and football life all over again down in the lower divisions.
The two Italian clubs were both sentenced to enforced relegation less than a decade ago after falling into bankruptcy. Both played their way back up to Serie A and, in Napoli’s case, to the Champions League.
Premier League clubs have voted, after a five-hour meeting at Hampden, to reject the application by new chief executive Charles Green for a new company to be readmitted to the Scottish Premier League.
Green’s Rangers are now waiting on further meetings between SFL clubs to see whether they will be entered into the First Division or start out from the bottom tier.
It was largely expected that Wednesday’s vote would be against Rangers playing top flight football next season, but there was also a chance it could be deferred until the SFL had made a decision on where to place the newco club within their structure.
A disappointed Green said: “We are deeply disappointed that our application to rejoin the SPL has been rejected overwhelmingly by the member clubs.
“This time last week, all of us at Rangers were resigned to the fact that we would not be admitted, due mainly to the public declarations of clubs indicating they would not support our application.
“At the weekend, we were approached by representatives from the SPL suggesting our application still stood a chance of success and we should discuss this further with clubs. This we did in good faith but with the knowledge of the hurdles that lay ahead of us.
“We had asked the SPL whether it would be more appropriate for us to withdraw our application but were advised against this.”
Green felt his company were offered ‘false hope’ by the SPL representatives after this morning’s meeting ended with the club being turned down by other members.
He said: “We made a presentation to the SPL clubs this morning, detailing our proposals in support of our application and this included what we believed to be penalties and sanctions that would have dealt fairly with the difficulties caused by events at Rangers prior to our acquisition of the club on June 14.
“Sadly this was rejected by the other clubs and we regret that our club and our supporters were given false hope by this initiative.”
The chief executive also revealed the new club had been preparing to apply to the SFL for a couple of weeks and stated the newco Rangers would play in the appropriate division.
“We will now proceed as we had planned from late June to apply for membership of the SFL,” he said.
“It is entirely a matter for them whether our application will be accepted or rejected and we will make no representation to any member club prior to that application being considered. We also recognise that the SPL has been placed in a difficult position because of the way events have unfolded.
“If our application were to be accepted, Rangers will play in whichever division the SFL sees fit and we will move forward from there.
“The club hopes that the supporters, who have been absolutely tremendous since the club went into administration on February 14, will continue to support the club and make Rangers a success once again.”
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