Clock is now running for SPL clubs to rule on newco Gers

SCOTTISH Premier League clubs have just over a fortnight to decide whether or not to vote in favour of granting newco Rangers entry into the top-flight.

A general meeting has been convened for Wednesday, July 4, when the 12 clubs will be asked to cast their vote on an application for registration of transfer of Rangers’ SPL share.

A consortium fronted by Charles Green completed the purchase of the business and assets of Rangers as a newco last week after failure to secure a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) consigned the club to liquidation.

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A statement released following yesterday’s SPL board meeting at Hampden read: “An application for registration of transfer of Rangers’ SPL share has been received.

“Consideration of the application will depend on receipt by the SPL Board of all required documentation and verification. A general meeting of all 12 member clubs has been convened for 10am on Wednesday 4 July 2012 for members to decide whether to approve the transfer.”

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster declined to comment further on a day when the football body also confirmed disciplinary charges will be brought against Rangers when the future of the club is clarified, and before the start of the new season, following an investigation into alleged player payments outside of contract.

St Mirren and Motherwell were first to react to a date being set for the newco vote, with the Fir Park side keen to stress to their fans the complex and difficult position the club finds itself in. A Motherwell statement read: “We are fully aware that an overwhelming majority of our fans and most others are totally opposed to newco being allowed immediately back into the SPL.

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“The consequences of five or more clubs voting no to newco need to be understood and taken into account. In addition to lower gate receipts, we are likely to lose an as yet un-quantified amount of commercial revenue with a specific risk around TV payments.

“In normal circumstances decisions are fairly straightforward but in this situation a decision either way is likely to have a significant impact on at least one of our key income streams. Instead of the usual process of deciding what is best for the club, we are currently faced with trying to decide on which is the least worst option.”

A St Mirren statement read: “The board of directors as well as all other St Mirren supporters totally understands the sense of injustice felt at this time instigated by the way in which another club in our league has conducted their affairs. Once all the facts are available to the board of directors, they shall take any decisions that are required, in the best interests of St Mirren Football Club only as their guiding line.”

The SPL announced in March an inquiry into allegations that Rangers made undisclosed payments to players. The investigation was instigated following claims surrounding the club’s use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) during Sir David Murray’s reign. The use of EBTs, from 2001-2010, was the subject of a tax tribunal in January, which has yet to deliver a verdict, although Rangers have defended their use of the offshore payments.