Rangers manager Ally McCoist insists that he would not welcome an invitation from the Scottish Premier League to join a breakaway second tier should their proposals for a new 12-12-18 structure next season fail to find favour with Scottish Football League clubs.
A majority of 75 per cent (22 members) in favour of the proposals is required and it’s understood that there is insufficient interest in rushing the new structure through.
However, while SFL chief executive David Longmuir is asking to postpone any change for a year, it’s believed that his SPL counterpart, Neil Doncaster, and his board are preparing to invite selected clubs to join them in a new set-up.
McCoist, however, would be hostile to any approach. Still resentful over what he views as the vindictiveness of the SPL clubs towards Rangers last summer, he would not wish to confer credibility on any kind of breakaway by attaching Rangers’ name to it. However, he realises that the inclusion of Rangers would significantly aid the SPL when it comes to attracting sponsors and broadcasters and that their name will be top of Doncaster’s wish-list.
“We probably would be,” he said. “I’d be very uneasy with it — stabbing the SFL in the back after they looked after us.
“I’d be very uneasy with it. That’s only my personal opinion. The SFL have given us a platform to play this season and all of a sudden we get an opportunity to go? It wouldn’t leave a good taste in my mouth, that’s for sure.
“That’s not to say we won’t do it – I can’t be more honest than that.
“But I’d be flabbergasted if anyone from the SPL came to speak to me.”
There is also the small matter of clubs being legally bound to provide the SFL with two years’ notice of their intention to leave the organisation.
“Only in this country!” said McCoist. “It’s unbelievable we’re in this position six games from the end of the season.
“You’d guess they’re running out of time. That would be my guess but I wouldn’t put my money on it.
“At this moment I expect to be in SFL2 next season. I would expect Queen of the South to be promoted and I would be hope that happens.
“[Rangers’ head of football administration] Andrew Dickson was at the meeting of the SFL clubs on Thursday and I have discussed it with him at great length.
“It went the way he expected it to go. The sense of self-preservation is massive, as you can totally understand.”