RANGERS chief executive Charles Green has labelled the proposed 12-12-18 league reconstruction plan as “complete madness” and repeated his threat to use European Union law to overcome any obstacles preventing the Ibrox club from leaving Scottish football.
Green believes season ticket sales throughout Scotland will nosedive as supporters wait to see what shape the game will take, with a final decision on whether 12-12-18 is put in place for next season not expected until May.
Although the SPL-devised structure, which would see the top 24 teams split into three divisions of eight halfway through the campaign, is unpopular with fans, many chairmen and chief executives are keen to push it through because of the substantial increase in share of income it would provide to some clubs.
Green will not have a say in the decision, with Rangers ineligible to vote as associate members of the SFA following their admission to the Third Division last summer. He remains frustrated at the lack of clarity over which division Rangers will be playing in next season and insists he is prepared to take on Fifa, Uefa and the English FA in any potential bid to join a league outwith Scotland.
“We won’t have a decision before May and no-one is going to be able to sell season-tickets if we look at the current timetable,” said Green.
“Look at the structure and what is required for a new league. They need to change the articles of association, they need to raise the issue of shares, they need to come out with a new rulebook as the SPL and SFL rules are different.
“Who’s going to be on the board, who’s going to be chairman or chief executive? They are huge issues. It’s a minefield.
“What are the contingent liabilities? Two organisations are talking about merging under one roof.
“But one of them, until the last couple of days, had not even shown the other one a copy of their agreement with Sky.
“It’s like getting married and not only having never seen her naked, you’ve never even met her. Who’s the bridegroom and who’s the bride? It’s complete madness. It might never get out of the SPL boardroom, because they need an 11-1 vote. Roy McGregor at Ross County is against it and we also know St Mirren aren’t happy about it.
“What frustrates me is that, having been told last summer by the SPL clubs that they had to listen to their fans and get Rangers out of the league, now they are not listening to their fans, 90 per cent of whom don’t want 12-12-18.
“I’m sure there isn’t one magical solution. If there was, that’s what we’d be doing now. But what we do know is the fans don’t want 12-12-18.
“I read last week about the Swiss administrator saying how it didn’t work in Switzerland and begging the Scots guys not to fall into the same trap.
“My business plan assumes we will get promoted each year in Scotland and we are happy to carry on doing what we are doing. But I’ve also been quoted as saying the sooner we can leave Scotland, the better.
“It’s not just rhetoric from me, there has been dialogue in the last three months from Uefa, the European Clubs Association and even Campbell Ogilvie saying the SFA wouldn’t stop Rangers or Celtic leaving Scotland.
“They’ve been talking about that since I had black hair, but I won’t be bald before it happens. I’m happy to go where I think it is right for Rangers.
“I wasn’t encouraged to come to Glasgow, but I think I’ve done a good job since I came here. Don’t think Charles Green is only going to go when someone waves a golden invitation.
“There is a thing called European law, anti-competition law. There are very stringent rules and regulations. I’ll challenge them, just like I’ve done with the SPL and the SFA – if it’s not right, I won’t accept it.
“Don’t you tell me that’s what the rules are, because I don’t care what the rules are. My upbringing was right or wrong. If the rules are wrong, I’m not going to play by them.
“There are quite a lot of people who would love Rangers to join their league. Trust me on that. Some of them daren’t say it publicly because of peer pressure.
“But be in no doubt there are lots and lots of clubs, who I speak to, who would love Rangers to play in their league.
“Now that may not be what Sepp Blatter at Fifa, Michel Platini at Uefa, David Bernstein at the FA or Richard Scudamore at the Premier League want to hear.
“But there are lots of clubs, not just in the UK but in other places, who would like Rangers in their league because we are a massive club.
“What every other club wants is financial security, a product that’s appealing to their fans.
“There aren’t many clubs who wouldn’t benefit financially from Rangers fans turning up at their stadium.”