Rangers takeover: John Yorkston calls on SPL chairmen to relegate newco Rangers
JOHN Yorkston, the Dunfermline Athletic chairman, will urge his Scottish Premier League counterparts to stand by the principles of sporting integrity when they are asked to decide on the future of Rangers this week.
At Hampden tomorrow, a general meeting of the SPL will reconvene to consider a series of financial fair play proposals, including sanctions for liquidated member clubs that reform as a new company.
Under the proposals, clubs such as Rangers, who will become a newco as part of the takeover planned by Bill Miller, will be deducted ten points for two consecutive seasons, and have their SPL payments reduced by 75 per cent for three successive campaigns.
Yorkston does not believe that an SPL share should be transferred to a newco in the first place. He insists that, despite the economic consequences for the game in this country, Rangers should be relegated to the Scottish Football League.
“That’s what I will be arguing for, but I do understand that others will look at the financial side, and that will have more sway than sporting integrity,” he said. “I would guess I’ll be almost a lone voice, but it doesn’t stop me from having my say.
“Everyone agrees that there should be severe punishment, but there are a number of chairmen who will look at the financial thing and say, ‘do we want an SPL without Rangers?’ It will be a question of sporting integrity against financial necessity. That is the choice facing chairmen.”
If eight of the clubs represented vote in favour of the points penalty, it will come into effect on 14 May. Only five votes are needed to introduce the financial penalties. The decision does not need to be ratified by the SPL board, which recommended the proposals.
Under Article 11 of the SPL’s articles of association, a club requires the consent of the SPL board for a share transfer to be registered. If Rangers were to be granted this before next Monday, they would not be subject to the new sanctions.
Yorkston is concerned about the credibility of a league in which it is possible to wipe out debts through liquidation and start again. He says that a points penalty would not be a sufficient deterrent to others.
“If ten or 15 points is the penalty, then other clubs are going to have a look at that in future. Maybe not right away, but if you have a bad run, somebody else comes in, and maybe these people are not prepared to finance the losses, then you might see it happening.”
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