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. Scottish Premier League 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 £16 million 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 has 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.”
The SFL, whose board meet tomorrow ahead of an anticipated vote on July 12, have been made aware of a package on offer which includes promotion play-offs to the top flight and a £1m payment for television rights, with clubs warned they could lose a £2m SPL settlement if they refuse.
Dunfermline and Clyde, among at least ten 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 insisted: “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.”