RANGERS chief executive Charles Green revealed last night he has written to Prime Minister David Cameron in a bid to move the Ibrox club out of Scottish football.
Green recently revealed he would explore options to take Rangers out of Scotland after being unimpressed with reconstruction plans, on which the other 41 league clubs are expected to vote next month. He has also spoken to Standard Liege chairman Roland Duchatelet over the Belgian club’s bid to expand their horizons.
If a club was to move country, they would need permission from both national football associations involved, along with Uefa, which would be one obstacle to any hope Rangers might have of moving to England. Another is the fact that Barclays Premier League clubs overwhelmingly rejected a plan to explore inviting the Old Firm several years ago.
Green, whose club entered the Third Division last summer after he bought the assets and business of the liquidation-bound oldco Rangers, told their official website: “We’re part of the EU and what we have to do is take advantage of the rules and regulations within that. There are very clear and concise regulations regarding the restriction of trade and football is a business which benefits from the rules and protections of EU competition laws. There is no doubt whatsoever the English FA and leagues will be in breach of European competition laws.
“They will say Uefa and Fifa regulations are outside of that, something you’d expect, but it’s not true. Nothing is outside the law. If people continue to hide behind that, they will be challenged in court and they will lose. The reality is things are going to change.
“I understand why people don’t want to change or give up the little gold mines they have found but it’s not within European law for them to do so. I have written to the Prime Minister to make the point that this is something we want to do but not necessarily for him to come out and help or support us. I’ve always believed in telling someone what you’re going to do and I think speaking to the Prime Minister and the First Minister is the proper thing to do. But rather than wait for anyone to agree to it, I’m just going to get on with seeing what is open to us.”
Liege are pushing for a joint Dutch-Belgian league and also raised the prospect of applying to the French league.
Uefa is involved in talks over merging leagues from different countries in a bid to close the gap between clubs from nations with the most lucrative television deals. But Green, whose club is unable to vote on reconstruction plans because they are recently-admitted associate members of the Scottish Football League, is trying to move the issue forward.
“I must explore all avenues and the issue of cross-border leagues is now on everyone’s lips,” he said. “I recently visited the chairman of Standard Liege because he has made a statement about a Benelux league. There is already one in existence in the professional women’s game and a precedent is there in that respect.”
Meanwhile, Rangers manager Ally McCoist has confirmed talks have taken place with Cammy Bell’s agent over a switch to Ibrox but admits Rangers could struggle to compete with other clubs for players’ signatures. McCoist said: “We are certainly in a far weaker position than we’ve been in terms of bringing players to the club.”