Rangers administration: Neil Doncaster puzzled by rancour over ‘newco’

SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster fails to understand why a huge distinction is being made between a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) and ‘newco’ exit from administration for Rangers.

The SPL clubs are due to meet next Wednesday to discuss financial fair play rules and vote, at the third time of asking after two postponements, on increased sanctions for newcos and clubs going into administration. New rules would see clubs in administration lose at least ten points – cut from the original proposal of 15 – or a third of their previous season’s tally, whichever is greater.

The proposed rule changes would also see clubs who undergo an “insolvency transfer” docked ten points for two seasons and lose 75 per cent of their income for three years.

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Rangers’ prospective owner Charles Green and his consortium plan to push for a newco if the CVA is rejected, but many non-Rangers fans oppose a newco being allowed to remain in the SPL or favour harsher penalties if that is to happen – which puzzles Doncaster.

Speaking at Hampden he said: “There is certainly a distinction between a CVA and a newco. But newcos have been allowed within UK football for many years. Newco is typically the way that businesses in general escape from administration, it is far more common than a CVA route. So I am not entirely sure why such a distinction is drawn between the two routes out of administration.

“You achieve a sporting advantage over other clubs by going into administration, therefore you should receive a sporting penalty for going into administration in the first place.”

Doncaster summarised what the SPL clubs will be discussing and voting on at the national stadium next week. He said: “There is a number of financial fair play resolutions to be considered, one of those will potentially increase the sanctions on any club going into administration in the future. There are two resolutions that deal with newco and what might be a penalty for a club escaping administration via a newco route. There are new resolutions that would make it an offence not to pay the players or the tax man on time and there are various tidying-up resolutions that will be considered.

“Separately, there will also be a members requisite resolution which is an attempt to change the voting rules in the SPL. The vast majority of votes in the SPL are carried on an 8-4 basis but some resolutions require 11 votes and the resolution that has been put forward by some clubs would be to change that to 75 per cent in all cases.

“Finally, there is a resolution which would change the decision on a newco which is currently taken by the SPL board, to be taken by the members.”