Aberdeen chairman Milne opposed to First Division place for newco Rangers

Chairman of Aberdeen FC Stewart Milne
Chairman of Aberdeen FC Stewart Milne
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Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne has indicated his opposition to a deal being struck between the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League that would allow newco Rangers to play in the Irn-Bru First Division.

Reports suggest that plans are being put in place that would see the Ibrox club relegated from the SPL to the First Division with immediate effect.

However, the SFL have said in a statement they have not reached agreement with any other footballing body over where Rangers will play their football next term.

Charles Green’s new company will almost certainly fail to gain support for entry to the top flight when the 12 SPL clubs vote on the issue on July 4.

Milne said: “The statement that I issued on Monday was both clear and unambiguous and for the avoidance of any doubt I will restate it. Rangers NewCo should apply to the SFA for admission and apply direct to the SFL in the same way that any other new club would do.

“This is and remains our club’s absolute position.”

On the issue of their league status, Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray said: “The Executive Team are working tirelessly to resolve the issues with the SFA, SPL and SFL. We will update supporters as soon as possible and we understand a poll of supporters’ opinions is about to be launched.”

Six SPL clubs have already publicly stated they will oppose the Rangers bid at next week’s vote. An 8-4 majority is required. Green could thus face the prospect of relaunching the club in the Third Division, although a less severe drop to the First Division has been touted.

Reports also suggest there are plans for the SPL and SFL to merge into a new organisation in 12 months’ time, with play-offs between the top two divisions being introduced in time for the coming season.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir said in a statement yesterday: “The Scottish Football League, for the last number of days, has been involved in intensive discussions with the SPL, the SFA and other crucial stakeholders in our game, to try and address, in a positive way, the current critical issues affecting our game.

“The SFL will send a briefing document to its member clubs – a logical and positive communication which will hopefully eliminate some of the understandable doubt, threats and insecurities that are apparent within the game. The consultation document will fully explain the short and long-term benefits of a number of scenarios which we will be considering at a full club meeting next week.

“The SFL is trying to address the question of whether we are in a position to accommodate a solution to the Rangers FC scenario. We are trying to achieve a solution which will be in the best interests of the SFL and the wider game.”

The SPL subsequently released a statement of their own, which read: “The SPL today held constructive talks with 11 member clubs ahead of the general meeting on 4 July. The SPL will continue to work with the Scottish FA and SFL to discuss the best way forward for Scottish football. All member clubs will meet on 4 July to formally decide whether to approve the transfer of Rangers FC share.”