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Rangers newco will play where they're told, claims chief executive

Updated: Wednesday, 04 Jul 2012 20:43

It may be some time before we see these two teams play together
It may be some time before we see these two teams play together

Audio

Newco Rangers chief executive Charles Green will accept whatever fate is dealt them in their application to the Scottish Football League after their top-flight bid ended with an "overwhelming" defeat.

Most Rangers fans have demanded the club push for entry to the Irn-Bru Third Division amid moves to place them in the First but Green will let the SFL clubs decide.

SP: clubs voted against the application despite growing expectations ahead of their Hampden meeting that they would defer a vote in order to seek clarity on the SFL clubs' intentions.

The governing bodies have warned that £16million could be lost to the Scottish game and SPL clubs face a battle to survive if the Ibrox club are out of the top flight for three years.

The Rangers Supporters Trust tonight claimed that the bottom tier was the right place to start to ensure "integrity".

But Green, who confirmed the SFL application ahead of a meeting with supporters, wants to play at the highest possible level and recognised the league had been placed in a difficult position.

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.

"If our application were to be accepted, Rangers will play in whichever division the SFL sees fit and we will move forward from there."

SPL clubs will now hope their counterparts in the lower leagues vote for the First Division following stark warnings about the financial consequences of Rangers being relaunched in the bottom tier, which have included suggestions five or six top-tier clubs would face administration.

The SFL, whose board meet tomorrow ahead of an anticipated vote on 12 July, have pressed for that option along with the SPL and SFA executives. A package on offer includes promotion play-offs to the top flight and a £1million payment for television rights, with clubs warned they could lose a £2million SPL settlement if they refuse.

Dunfermline and Clyde, among at least 10 clubs to have opposed the plan before yesterday's meeting, reiterated their stance today but the Cumbernauld-based club also claimed they had only been left with two options from the meeting - accept the newco club in the First Division or see an SPL2 breakaway league.

But SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster tonight kept public pressure off the lower-league clubs.

"Now is the time for the process to move to the Scottish Football League and the Scottish FA," he said.

"Our clubs have made it clear that Rangers back in the SPL is not something they were prepared to approve. There is clarity.

"Now there is a meeting, I believe, of Scottish Football League clubs which is due to take place next week and no doubt Rangers' application will be considered there."

He dismissed suggestions SFL clubs had been given little option, adding: "The idea of an SPL2 was not discussed today.

"Clubs were clearly focused on whether Rangers newco should be admitted to the SPL and the answer is no.

"It was as simple as that. I'm not going to make predictions on the future."

Doncaster will remain highly involved in discussions between the football authorities in the coming days.

"We're all on the same corridor at Hampden, the SFL, the SFA and ourselves, and we have been in deep discussion with those bodies for several weeks and months," he said.

"Discussions remain ongoing. What I was keen to do yesterday with the Scottish Football league clubs is spell out some of the financial realities of what will confront the game in the event of where the newco might end up."

The resounding decision came amid reports of clubs considering U-turns and strong hints from Doncaster that a vote would be deferred.

And Green expressed disappointment that Rangers fans had been given "false hope".

Green was confident he was getting through to SPL directors over the consequences of refusing his club, despite the fact seven clubs had already confirmed their opposition.

But a package of sweeteners resulted in what the SPL described as an "overwhelming" no vote, with reports claiming 10 clubs voted against with Kilmarnock abstaining.

Green said "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.

"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."