Dunfermline expect to replace Rangers in SPL

Dunfermline: Expect to replace Rangers in SPL. Picture: Robert Perry
Dunfermline: Expect to replace Rangers in SPL. Picture: Robert Perry
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DUNFERMLINE expect to be readmitted to the SPL when Charles Green’s application for a newco Rangers is officially rejected.

• Dunfermline “fully expect to be the team in the SPL next season”

• Pars could face fight with Dundee, who finished second in the First Division

There has been no announcement on who would take soon-to-be-liquidated Rangers’ place in the SPL if Green’s bid fails.

That prospect appears near certain after six of the 12 clubs confirmed they would vote against the newco application. Green needs eight clubs to back his bid.

Dunfermline finished bottom of the SPL last season but Dundee also have a claim given they were second in the First Division behind promoted Ross County.

Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston told BBC Scotland: “We fully expect to be the team in the SPL next season.

“We have taken legal advice on the matter and on the basis of that we would expect to be reinstated.”

It is believed that the SPL clubs themselves would decide who replaces Rangers and it could be July 4, when they are due to vote on the newco bid, that they make the decision.

Historical precedents point the way of Dunfermline. For example bottom club Motherwell stayed up in 2003 when First Division champions Falkirk failed to secure an SPL-compliant ground. There have been other years when no club was relegated amid expansion of the top flight.

Dunfermline were also directly affected when Rangers fell into administration in February as an unpaid debt from the Ibrox club delayed payments of the Pars players’ wages as they battled to avoid relegation.

Meanwhile, St Mirren appear to be on course to join Dundee United, Hearts, Hibernian, Inverness, Aberdeen and St Johnstone in opposing the newco application, if the board listen to the views of the fans.

St Mirren have launched a formal consultation with those supporters who have pledged money as part of a community-led takeover plan.

The 10,000 Hours community group have published the responses of the ongoing consultation and, with exactly half the votes cast, only 2 per cent of respondents believe a newco Rangers should be admitted if there is no financial impact on St Mirren in opposing Green’s bid.

When asked if the newco should be admitted even if the consequences of rejection were cash-flow problems for St Mirren that could lead to administration, 83 per cent of respondents said no.

A similar number of fans said they would support the club through difficult financial times with increased donations even if it meant delaying the takeover for a year.

Motherwell have entrusted their decision to members of their fans’ ownership scheme with a no vote expected.