MALCOLM Murray, the chairman of newco Rangers, has apologised for the collateral damage caused throughout Scottish football during the crisis at Ibrox.
• Ibrox chairman expresses ‘sorrow and regret’
• SFL clubs discuss proposals for newco Rangers
Murray issued the apology on the day Scottish Football League clubs met to discuss whether Rangers should compete in the Irn-Bru First Division if Scottish Premier League clubs reject the top-flight application today.
Many of the SFL sides believe the newco Rangers should enter the league at the lowest tier as, despite speculation that some SPL clubs were considering a change of heart, a place in the top flight looks unlikely. Murray apologised “unreservedly” for the repercussions but said the Rangers players, fans and management could hold their heads up.
He told Rangers TV: “I think there is [a case for an apology], the board think there is. I would have to say that Ally McCoist, the staff, the players and the fans have no need to apologise… events have been triggered by a few individuals in the past that have caused the crisis that now embroils Scottish football.
“I would like to apologise unreservedly for the deep crisis caused by events at Rangers that now has caused Scottish football to look over an abyss and I think it is now time for common sense to prevail.”
SPL clubs will be hugely interested in any feedback ahead of their vote on newco Rangers chief executive Charles Green’s SPL application. Seven SPL clubs have already publicly confirmed their opposition but Green declared his confidence that chairmen will listen to his pleas to consider the impact on Scottish football. Reports earlier claimed Green, who met several SPL clubs over the weekend, has offered a six-point plan to secure top-flight football including a points deduction and making a public apology on behalf of the oldco club. However, the rest of the reported proposals – SPL voting reform, a different distribution of wealth, an SFA transfer ban and repayment of football debts – could come about anyway as a consequence of the Old Firm being split up or by stipulations made by the SFA.
Murray admits it is a difficult period for Scottish football as a whole, and wants any resurrection of Rangers to coincide with a stronger league structure. He said: “It has been a very difficult few months and it has now widened out to the whole of Scotland. Scottish football is in a deep crisis sadly driven by events at our club but I have to say it has reached frenzied proportions, particularly in the media.
“Sadly, Scottish football is looking over a deep abyss and we are deeply regretful that events at this club may have triggered it.
“The people at Rangers want to move forward and in so doing we want to recognise the damage caused by recent events before we do so. We also want to rebuild Rangers – we want to make sure we are part of a vibrant Scottish football, Scottish economy and Scottish life in general.”