Inverness board to meet after ‘sad day’ for clubs

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INVERNESS Caledonian Thistle directors are convening an emergency board meeting this weekend to consider the “very serious financial implications” of Rangers newco being voted into the Third Division.

The Ibrox club discovered their fate at a meeting of SFL clubs at Hampden yesterday.

Twenty-nine of the 30 SFL clubs accepted Rangers as an associate member of the SFL while 25 clubs voted in favour of placing the newco team into the bottom tier, despite Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan claiming that decision would bring financial catastrophe and a “slow, lingering death” of the game.

Inverness chairman Kenny Cameron said: “There will now inevitably be serious consequences for the game in Scotland.

“We have all, as clubs, accepted the views of our stakeholders in making the initial judgement to uphold sporting integrity.

“All clubs will now have to live with the repercussions of this decision. Scottish football was at a crossroads in terms of what was on the table for all clubs regarding reorganisation, financial distribution and a road map that would have taken the game forward. But this has now been thrown into disarray by this decision. This is a sad day for all clubs in Scotland.”

A package of reforms were offered by the SFA, the Scottish Premier League and the SFL as a carrot for clubs to put Ally McCoist’s side into the second tier.

The proposals would have seen the SPL increase to 14 teams for the beginning of season 2013/14, with a plan in place to add two more at a later date.

Changes to the size of the other leagues as well as the merging of the ruling bodies, the redistribution of monies, parachute payments, play-offs and a pyramid system are also on the agenda.

Cameron insists it was an opportunity missed. He said: “None of us will escape the financial fallout from this.

“There was an opportunity on the table, in terms of the joint agreement tabled at today’s meeting for us all to come together and a genuine willingness to improve the game substantially over the coming years.

“But it now looks as though this will once again be kicked back into the long grass. A once in a lifetime opportunity to bring forward change may well have been lost.”