Rangers newco: Clyde hit out at SPL ‘threats’ in ‘rushed’ proposal
Clyde have joined the ranks of the Scottish Football League clubs who oppose plans to put the Rangers newco in the Irn-Bru First Division.
The Third Division side believe the league reconstruction proposals, which include merger of the two league bodies and a one-off £1million payment from the Scottish Premier League to buy the First Division television rights, do not justify amending the rules to admit the Ibrox club.
Although Clyde argue some of the reconstruction proposals have merit, they criticised perceived “threats” from the document, which was sent to the 30 SFL clubs after talks between officials from the two leagues and the Scottish Football Association.
The document claimed the Scottish game could lose £16m a year if Rangers were relaunched in the Third Division.
A Clyde statement read: “The board believe that any proposals for change should not be rushed, as these have been. They also have to be done by consensus and not through threat or inducement, again, as these have been.
“The papers include a proposal to allow a newco to enter the First Division. This is contrary to the rules of the SFL and nothing within the papers justifies this proposal.”
They added: “As a club owned by its supporters and recovering from having been on the brink of extinction, the board recognise the damage done to the credibility of Rangers Football Club by its successive owners, and the subsequent impact on staff and supporters. These proposals do nothing to restore that credibility. Rebuilding from the bottom can restore the dignity stripped from the club by its former owners.”
Clyde, who joined Dunfermline, Morton, Raith, Peterhead and Falkirk in opposing the idea, added: “The papers use emotive language to threaten a future of financial meltdown and they carry the implication of the destruction of the game should a newco not be entered in the First Division.
“If things are as bad as indicated then Scottish football is in a far worse state than is being acknowledged. In which case it is time to accept the bankrupt model needs fixed and not supported and perpetuated on the back of this proposal.”
They finished their lengthy statement by saying: “The reality is that we are faced with unique circumstances and it would be foolish to pretend otherwise, that probably means that compromise for some is inevitable, and perhaps even worthwhile for everyone in the long term.
“The solution, however, is not this hastily cobbled together proposal.”
SFL clubs are due to meet on Tuesday to discuss the plan, 24 hours before SPL clubs vote on whether to accept the application by Charles Green’s consortium, Sevco, to take Rangers’ share in the top flight.
Raith director Turnbull Hutton, whose club had already opposed the plan, also criticised the document.
“If we are at the stage of bending rules and accommodating, threatening and blackmailing, we want to give it up,” he said. “‘If you don’t vote in favour of this, we’ll set up an SPL2 and invite clubs in. If you vote against, you won’t get an invite.’ What sort of organisation is that?”
Seven of the 12 SPL clubs have so far confirmed their opposition. Rangers supporters are also now being consulted on whether their club should push for the First or Third Division.
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