SFL clubs set Rangers D-day
Clubs call for 'time and space' to decide newco fate
Last Updated: July 5, 2012 4:24pm
Rangers: Ibrox outfit will learn which division they play in on Friday, 13th July
Scottish Football League clubs will decide whether to accept the Rangers newco into the league at a meeting on Friday 13th July, it has been announced.
SFL chief executive David Longmuir confirmed the date after a board meeting at Hampden Park on Thursday.
The newly-formed club, created in the wake of the old Rangers' imminent liquidation, were refused entry into the Scottish Premier League following a vote by member clubs on Wednesday.
Rangers chief executive Charles Green released a statement in the wake of that vote confirming the club would apply to join the SFL and that they would play "in whichever division the SFL sees fit".
It is unclear what division Rangers would play in if they were accepted into the league, though SFA chief executive Stewart Regan warned of a 'slow, lingering death' for Scottish football if they were accepted into the Third Division - the preferred choice of many Rangers fans.
Regan estimated that outcome would mean a £15.7million shortfall for SPL clubs and admitted the SFA would rather the Gers were accepted into the First Division in order to minimise the financial impact.
Longmuir has called for the 30 member clubs to be given time and space to make their decision after some claimed they had been "bullied" into accepting the newco club into the First Division.
"The time has come for all outside influences and pressures to stop," he said.
"So I ask all other bodies to leave it to those who have been put in this invidious position to make a decision in the best possible interests of the game.
"I have every faith in the judgment of those clubs and their boards to make a decision, considered and reasoned, which will be in the best interests of the game, how it's structured, how it's governed and how it's financed.
"Our colleagues in the SPL as well are keen to ensure we do something that's going to take the game forward.
"Our job over the next week or so is to consult with colleagues in both SPL and SFA to make sure that what we're about to do is for the benefit and interests of the game.
"The SFL clubs clearly have choices but what we plan to do is make the choices very, very clear to them by giving them the right information and to work over the next week to pull together the plan that's going to take the game forward through this mini crisis, and put us on a better place so that next time next year we're clearly looking forward to getting the ball back on the pitch and playing football.
"Technically the SFA as governing body have the power to influence just about every decision that is taken in the game but I believe that with proper collaboration we can get everybody onside with this."
Longmuir said the first question put to the 30 clubs will be: "Are the SFL in a position to accommodate Rangers into the Scottish Football League?"
But he did not clarify the follow-up questions or details of voting structures.
"It will be a straightforward majority for the first question," he added.
"That fundamental question we're going to ask will be supplemented by further resolutions that we would have to implement to change our rules, which have different voting requirements.
"Some require two-thirds, some require straightforward majorities. That will be made clear to clubs before next week."