SPL clubs meet to find way forward

Stewart Gilmour: five clubs including St Mirren at risk of administration
Stewart Gilmour: five clubs including St Mirren at risk of administration
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SCOTTISH Premier League clubs were due to meet for the most important annual general meeting in the organisation’s 14-year history today 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 weeks and months after 25 Scottish Football League clubs voted the Rangers newco into the Irn-Bru 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 but the overwhelming nature of the vote suggests there will be no split in the SFL ranks.

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 outwith 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 £16 milion annually as a result of losing the Ibrox club for at least three years, mainly from television deals. Regan has faced calls to resign 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. 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.