Hibs chairman Petrie makes stance over Rangers ‘newco’

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HibS chairman Rod Petrie has vowed to listen to fans’ concerns about the prospect of a “newco” Rangers entering the Scottish Premier League as he declared “integrity is beyond purchase”.

SPL clubs have twice postponed a vote on possible sanctions for “newco” clubs and are due to meet again on May 30, when the 12 clubs will assume control of any decision on whether a “newco” Rangers can acquire the share of the current club, with an 8-4 majority decision needed.

Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston has signalled he would accept a “newco” Rangers for financial reasons but Petrie has given a strong hint he would oppose their entry.

Petrie said: “That’s fundamental to us at our club, to make sure the integrity of the game is not called into question and that the sporting integrity of the competition we take part in is maintained at the highest standards.

“It’s not a question of any sum of money in return for that integrity – integrity is beyond purchase.

“It’s important that all clubs can have a place within football, provided they have earned it in a sporting sense and also have abided by the rules.”

The Charles Green-fronted consortium which has signed a deal to take control of Rangers hope to take the club out of administration through a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA).

However, the group say they will form a new company to purchase the club’s assets if a CVA is rejected by creditors.

Rangers fans have threatened action against clubs who act against their club’s interests, while supporters of other teams have threatened to walk away from the SPL if it contains a “newco” Rangers that could not agree a deal with creditors.

“It’s vital part of what we do, listening to supporters,” Petrie said.

“It’s important we understand what they are thinking and it’s also important we are able to explain the dynamics of the landscape in front of us.

“If we are called upon to make any decisions we will try to do the right thing and uphold the integrity of the competition that we are engaged in.”

Celtic last week stated their guiding principle would be the best interests of the club and supporters, consistent with upholding the “interests and reputation of Scottish football”.