Rangers takeover: Despite losing income fans believe SFL is best option
RANGERS Supporters’ Assembly vice-president Ross Blyth has warned Scottish Premier League clubs they cannot afford to block a newco Rangers’ admission to the top-flight.
The Ibrox side have been consigned to liquidation after Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs revealed plans to reject a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), which will be voted on by creditors tomorrow. Charles Green’s Sevco consortium will now default to a newco option to complete their purchase of the stricken Glasgow giants, whose entry to the SPL will be subject to a vote by all 12 clubs.
Blyth believes there is support within the Ibrox faithful for the club to seek registration with the Scottish Football League instead and start afresh in the Irn-Bru Third Division. But he says the SPL without Rangers could have a detrimental impact on Scotland’s other top teams.
He said: “They’ve got a huge decision to make. But the way the world is economically just now, and football and Scottish football especially, these guys can’t really afford to do without Rangers and the income and revenue that Rangers generate through commercial and TV deals, sponsorship deals and travelling fans to the games.
“Unfortunately, some don’t look likely to vote in our favour anymore because we challenged the SFA transfer ban in the courts. This might go against us now. There is a case that we could lose out on the 8-4 vote or they could put some sanctions or changes in place to allow us back in so that we are really going cap in hand for them to do us a favour.
“I think they will pull out all the stops. If they are going to let Rangers back in, it will be on their terms – changing the voting structure, fines and sanctions for the club. And that’s the positives. The negative would obviously be not allowing Rangers back into the SPL and having to seek a registration from the SFL to start again in the Third Division.”
On a move to the SFL, Blyth added: “A lot of fans are suggesting that we just voluntarily go to the SFL. We are losing a huge income stream over the next three years of having no European football. We will probably have to sell the high-calibre players, the high earners, to generate income. They probably won’t want to stick around either, with no European football for at least three years.
“So are we any better off being in the SPL than we would be in the SFL anyway? The SFL clubs might welcome the chance to have Rangers. They would negotiate pretty good sponsorship and TV deals with Rangers in that league and it would give them some guaranteed income.
“No doubt they would welcome Rangers, although hopefully Rangers would only be passing through to the next division and so on. I’m not sure how much that would damage Rangers but it’s certainly an avenue that the fans are suggesting the club go down.”
According to a statement from HMRC, “liquidation provides the best opportunity to protect taxpayers, by allowing the potential investigation and pursuit of possible claims against those responsible for the company’s financial affairs in recent years.”
Blyth is “100 per cent” behind an investigation but acknowledges that any probes carried out by the tax authorities will come too late to make any difference to the club now.
He said: “I note that HMRC are suggesting they are going to take to task the people who have got us into this position. We are 100 per cent behind that”.
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