Rangers not allowed in SPL after newco voted out by other top-flight clubs



By Adam Higgins
Chief Scotland Correspondent



Rangers went into administration owing up to £134 million to unsecured creditors and will eventually be liquidated- they will start next season in the SFL


Rangers will not play in the Scottish Premier League this season after SPL chairmen met at Hampden Park to vote on the new club's application to replace the old Rangers in the top flight.

It is understood that ten of the twelve clubs opposed the plans with Kilmarnock abstaining and Rangers voting in favour with Celtic, Aberdeen and Motherwell amongst those to reject the newco being allowed into the top-flight in Scotland.

The Ibrox club will now apply to play in the Scottish Football League however it is not clear which division the reformed side will enter. A statement read on Celtic's official website regarding their Old Firm rivals: "The decision to refuse access into the SPL was an overwhelming one and demonstrates the depth of feeling amongst everyone involved in Scottish football. Whilst the financial implications of today's vote for Celtic and for the Scottish game as a whole will be very significant, we have already stated that Celtic has a business plan and strategy independent of any other club. In addition, we will be working with our other fellow SPL clubs in the days and weeks ahead to take all possible steps to maximise commercial returns, which remain crucial in these economically-challenging circumstances."

Rangers FC plc entered administration in February owing up to £134m to unsecured creditors. The company will eventually be liquidated and has been replaced by a new company run by owner Charles Green whose consortium bought the club's assets.

The newco has since seen ten first team players refuse to transfer their contracts from the previous regime, including skipper Steven Davis and Scotland internationals Allan McGregor and Jamie Ness. Others include Juanma Ortiz and Rhys McCabe while Steven Naismith has joined Everton and Steven Whittaker also has left for the Premier League to sign for Norwich City.

There is uncertainty about who will replace Rangers in the SPL out of last season's relegated SPL club Dunfermline Athletic or Scottish First Division runners-up Dundee.

Scottish Football League clubs met this week to discuss a Scottish FA proposal for Rangers to enter Division One nevertheless the Glasgow giants could begin season 2012-13 in Division Three if this idea does not gain the support of a majority of clubs in the spectrum.

Eleven out of the thirty clubs have already indicated their opposition to Rangers entering Division One with a final vote scheduled to take place on 12th July when a decision will be made with the SPL season kicking off on 4th August.

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster explained before Wednesday's discussion meeting that three options were available regarding where Rangers should play next season.

He said: "The three viable options are effectively: bringing 'newco' Rangers back into the SPL with a range of appropriate sanctions; putting Rangers into the second tier of Scottish football; or Rangers going into the bottom of the pyramid into Division Three. The third option, I was keen to stress yesterday, would inflict massive damage on the whole of the game in Scotland and effectively punish 41 innocent clubs for the misdeeds of one."

Regarding the possibility of Rangers heading down to the First Division next season, Doncaster added: "There's lots of things that need to happen before that might take place. The SFL clubs will be meeting again next Thursday and will be voting on that. It remains to be seen how that plays out."


Click here to watch press conference with SPL chief Neil Doncaster

Click here to hear the thoughts of Rangers chief executive Charles Green

Click here for interview with SPL chief before meeting with clubs

Click here for thoughts of Rangers fans on rejection from SPL


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