SCOTTISH Football League chief executive David Longmuir will assess any offer from the Scottish Premier League for broadcasting rights to Rangers games in the Irn-Bru Third Division next season as the issue of media contracts threatens the Ibrox club’s bid for membership of the Scottish Football Association.
The possible stripping of trophies is another obstacle which could derail Rangers newco’s hopes of a place in the SFA, which has as a condition the acceptance of a 12-month transfer ban, originally handed out to Rangers oldco for bringing the game into disrepute. Before signing the membership agreement with the SFA, the Ibrox club want the SPL to drop their investigation into alleged dual contracts, while the SPL have their own concerns with regard to the SFL and Rangers’ media rights.
It is believed broadcasters are not keen to sign up to an SPL deal without having access to the Govan club’s games. And, if SPL Chief Executive Neil Doncaster is unable to bring rights to Rangers games to the negotiating table, he says the SFL will lose the annual £2million settlement fee that was agreed in 1999 when the top clubs split from the league to form the SPL.
It is also believed that several top-flight clubs could face financial problems if there is any reduction or delay in the routine £645,000 payment from the SPL which is expected on August 6.
There has to be a five-way agreement between the SFA, SPL, SFL, old Rangers and new Rangers before any deal is sanctioned and, with Ally McCoist’s men due to play their first match against Brechin in the Ramsdens Cup this weekend, time is running out.
The SFL’s media agents, IMG, have invited bids from interested parties with a deadline of today and it is understood the SPL will be one of the bidders.
Longmuir said: “We will look at the options we have on Monday and Tuesday.
“If the SPL happen to be one of the bidders we will assess that as well. They are as at liberty to pitch to us as anyone else.
“I am comfortable that we will get there this week.”
The SPL want an independent commission to rule on whether the Govan club breached regulations with alleged undisclosed payments to players between 2001 and 2010.
Rangers fear an adverse decision could see them stripped of the trophies won during that period. The Ibrox club and their fans claim they have already been punished enough and yesterday manager Ally McCoist said he would “never accept” stripping the club of titles.