Rangers liquidation: ‘Club 12’ to take their place in SPL fixtures
Rangers are missing from the Scottish Premier League’s fixture list for next season, with “Club 12” having taken their place.
The omission represents a change of heart from the SPL, who had previously said they would include the Ibrox club in their 2012-13 list, which is published this morning. The name “Club 12” indicates a more neutral stance, reflecting the possibility that Rangers will lose the vote to transfer their share in the league from the old company to the “newco” established by Charles Green last week.
“The SPL are replacing Rangers with ‘Club 12’ in the official list of fixtures for the 2012-13 season,” a statement on the Rangers website read. “The governing body is sticking to the schedule of announcing the matches but have taken the Ibrox men out of the list after the developments of last week which saw Rangers FC change ownership under a newco scenario. The Sevco consortium headed by Charles Green completed the purchase of the club and its assets. They are now seeking to transfer the SPL share from the old company – Rangers Football Club plc – to the new company, The Rangers Football Club.
“All 12 member clubs need to vote on this application and eight votes are required for Rangers to be playing SPL football next season. A date for this vote has yet to be set. If the transfer of the SPL share is successful then Rangers will assume the ‘Club 12’ fixtures.”
The vote, at which Rangers will need the support of at least seven of the other 11 SPL clubs, will take place at a general meeting of the top flight. That meeting has yet to be called, and requires a fortnight’s notice, but the SPL board is meeting today and could issue that call, provided Green’s newco submits an official application to have the share of the old company transferred to it. It is understood that a technicality has delayed that application.
The new fixture list is also expected to confirm a winter break for the first time in ten years. The break is scheduled to last two-and-a-half weeks and begin immediately after the New Year round of fixtures.
That will mean the Scottish Cup fourth round – when the top teams enter – taking place at the start of December. The final is moving to a Sunday, 26 May, to avoid a clash with the Champions League final.
Today’s SPL board meeting could also come to a conclusion on the league’s investigation of Rangers’ alleged use of dual contracts. The investigation is into the use by the Ibrox club of Employee Benefit Trusts, the issue at the centre of the First Tier Tax Tribunal, which was held in January but has still to announce its findings. The board may postpone publication of its findings.
While many aspects of the Rangers saga remain unresolved, progress has been made on the planned reintegration of the SPL and the Scottish Football League.
The unification of the two bodies was one proposal in the 2010 report into the game by former First Minister Henry McLeish, who said yesterday he was cautiously optimistic about ongoing talks.
He warned, though, that everything might not be finalised in time for the new season.
He said: “The timescale is very tight, but I think there is a renewed sense of urgency. The problems at Ibrox have emphasised the precarious state of Scottish football, and I think that has encouraged the Scottish Football Association, the SPL and SFL to try to make progress.
“Many people who have been sceptical about the real need for further change are now willing to come to the table. They have recognised that the Rangers crisis is also an opportunity to get some issues sorted out.
“I’m encouraged by the movement I’ve seen but I would caution against trying to rush to a solution.”
Indeed, the authorities run the risk of new complexities. Several newspapers yesterday reported the possibility that, in a united league, a compromise could be found whereby Rangers would be relegated one tier, to what could be termed Premier Division Two.
Under the present set-up, if Rangers do lose the vote on their place in the SPL they must apply to the SFL for a place in its structure. Up to now, it has been presumed that the place in question would be in the Third Division – where a vacancy would arise as a result of one team from each league moving up a division to fill the gap left by Rangers’ removal from the SPL.
The demotion of Rangers to the First Division would mean they could be back in the top flight in a year, thus minimising the loss in gate receipts to SPL clubs. It could also help in the negotiations of a new television contract with Sky.
However, such a compromise would be hugely unpopular with many fans of other clubs, who believe Rangers should be made to start again at the bottom of the pile.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Edinburgh
Sunday 19 May 2013
Temperature: 9 C to 17 C
Wind Speed: 7 mph
Wind direction: North east
Temperature: 10 C to 20 C
Wind Speed: 8 mph
Wind direction: North east