GLASGOW: The debate and controversy over where new Rangers start next season has not been resolved by the voting of the Glasgow giants into the third division by the Scottish Football League.
At an SFL meeting at Hampden, 29 of the 30 lower league clubs accepted the Ibrox club as an associate member of the SFL while 25 clubs voted in favour of placing them into the bottom tier, despite Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan claiming that decision would bring a financial catastrophe and a “slow, lingering death” of the game.
Soon after the vote was announced Scottish Premier League side Inverness Caledonian Thistl’`s directors convened an emergency board meeting for Saturday to consider the “very serious financial implications” of Charles Green’s newco being voted into the bottom tier.
Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron said: “There will now inevitably be serious consequences for the game in Scotland. We have all, as clubs, accepted the views of our stakeholders in making the initial judgement to uphold sporting integrity.
“All clubs will now have to live with the repercussions of this decision. Scottish football was at a crossroads today in terms of what was on the table for all clubs regarding reorganisation, financial distribution and a road map that would have taken the game forward.
“But this has now been thrown into disarray by this decision. This is a sad day for all clubs in Scotland.”
David Longmuir, SFL chief executive, said he was “comfortable” with the outcome of the vote and that the decision from the SFL clubs was taken with the sport’s best interests at heart.
He said: “I’m comfortable that the Scottish Football League made a very, very decisive decision that was based on sporting fairness which is the fundamental principle of the Scottish Football League.”
Whilst there was speculation over the formation of an SPL 2 to keep Rangers close to the top flight, with the prospect of the newco being invited straight into the SPL also mooted, Green and Rangers manager, Ally McCoist, appeared to accept the Govan club’s fate.
Green said: “The people who brought shame on this great club are no longer part of it and everyone at Rangers is focused on rebuilding the club on top of a solid financial foundation.”