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SPL clubs to decide on next course of action after Rangers rejection

Updated: Monday, 16 Jul 2012 12:17 | Comments

It looks increasingly unlikely that there will be any reprieve for Rangers
It looks increasingly unlikely that there will be any reprieve for Rangers

Scottish Premier League clubs meet for the most important AGM in the organisation's 14-year history as they look to navigate their way through the ongoing crisis sparked by the downfall of Rangers.

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour claimed that five clubs, including his own, were at risk of administration in the coming months after 25 Scottish Football League clubs voted the Rangers newco into the third division.

SFL clubs had been warned that an SPL2 breakaway was on the cards if they rejected a plan to put the Ibrox club in the First.

However, the overwhelming nature of the vote suggests there will be no split in the SFL ranks.

Even one of the teams who voted in favour, Queen of the South, criticised the Scottish Football Association and SPL executives for such "threats".

Hearts, Aberdeen and Dundee United have distanced themselves from any such intervention since Friday's SFL vote and Inverness last night reaffirmed their commitment to rejecting the Rangers application and seeking consensual reform.

After an emergency board meeting, chairman Kenny Cameron said: "We are one of the few clubs with no bank debt whatsoever, so our position is very far from immediately threatening, as has been alleged.

"We look forward to the new season on the back of renewed commitment over the weekend from our major shareholders and sponsors, for which we are very grateful.

"They fully appreciate that in May we, like other clubs, set our budget for 2012-13 and now there will be real change to the commercial curve because of events outside our control.

"It is important that our supporters keep making their contribution via season ticket sales.

"We took their views on board and continue to hold the position that not allowing 'newco' Rangers into the SPL is the correct decision."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan and SPL counterpart Neil Doncaster have claimed the league could lose about #16milion annually as a result of losing the Ibrox club for at least three years, mainly from television deals.

But Cameron said: "At national level, we are optimistic that the SPL's sponsors will take due cognisance of the situation in which the SPL finds itself and will stand behind the league."

Before Friday's vote, the SPL stated that the identity of "Club 12" on their fixture list would be revealed today with Dundee expected to get the nod ahead of Dunfermline.

Some SFL clubs remain sceptical about the prospect of the Ibrox club being relaunched in the bottom tier and the SFA retain some control over the situation given they have yet to grant Sevco Scotland the right to assume Rangers' membership.

Regan has faced calls to resign in recent days over his approach to the crisis and it remains to be seen whether he will carry through his vow to make sure the Third Division option does not happen.

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