RANGERS chief executive Charles Green has argued his club should be promoted into the second tier of Scottish football if a new 12-12-18 structure follows their inevitable Irn-Bru Third Division title triumph.
The two league bodies and Scottish Football Association have declared that the leagues would be reconstructed on sporting merit alone, should the votes go through, but Green has claimed moving Rangers up beyond most of the current Second Division clubs would be in line with “sporting integrity”.
Green also threw his weight behind proposals for a Rangers colt team to join the league and made an offer to guarantee other clubs ticket revenue for 300 away fans should such a deal come into force. In a lengthy statement on the club’s official website, Green said: “All things being well, Rangers should win the Division Three title and, that being the case, we should be promoted. That should happen regardless of what league structure the powers that be put in place.
“It would be manifestly wrong to deny any team promotion having won the competition they have entered into at the start of the season. Equally, teams which have been relegated should not benefit unfairly from any a restructuring of leagues.
“The principle of promotion and relegation for the clubs which fall into these categories at the end of this season should be enshrined in any new league set up. So, if, as widely predicted, we end up with a 12-12-18 set up, Rangers should be promoted and this promotion should be to the middle tier.”
Under the proposed arrangements, should the new system be approved, Rangers and their Third Division colleagues would join eight current Second Division sides in an 18-team bottom tier. Their anticipated ascent to the top flight would not be delayed.
The Second Division champions would go into the second tier as normal along with one of the next four teams following play-offs. There would be no team relegated from the current First Division. Green claimed there was a precedent after the end of the 1993-94 season when Stranraer were promoted to the First Division after winning the Second Division. That was when three divisions of 12-12-14 morphed into four divisions of ten.
Green added: “There has been no shortage of voices banging on about sporting integrity over the last year but sporting integrity must cut both ways.”
The Scottish Premier League clubs have set a date of 15 April to vote on the 12-12-18 proposals, although Scottish Football League clubs have discussed a 12-12-10-10 structure, which would see Rangers promoted to the Second Division as normal rather than having all of their current opponents come with them.
With that idea seemingly lacking support, SFL chief executive David Longmuir last week wrote to his clubs suggesting that Old Firm colt teams be brought in to the new league to provide the extra two teams for the alternative plan.
That intervention was roundly criticised but Green last night appeared to dangle tangible benefits in front of the SFL clubs.
Green, whose club do not get a vote as they are new, associate members of the SFL, said: “The SFL has shown real leadership in proposing this initiative although it should be pointed out that this was not the result of lobbying from this club.
“A Rangers Colts team would add value to the league and other clubs would see their home gates enhanced significantly by Rangers fans, particularly those who lived locally.
“I would also be prepared to guarantee other clubs the ticket revenue equivalent of 300 Rangers fans turning up for matches.
“This initiative would help smaller clubs who have no choice but to generate revenue any way that they can.”
Green added: “If the 12-12-18 structure is chosen then I would propose that two additional teams, one a Rangers Colts team, are added to the lowest league.”