It was a neat trick last week for the SPL chairmen to appear to piously refuse Rangers newco’s application for the oldco’s membership to be transferred. This was particularly so because several of them, notably those at Celtic, Aberdeen, Motherwell and Dundee United (although not limited to these clubs) had been left in no doubt by their supporters that the consequence of any acquiescence towards Rangers newco would result in a fans’ boycott. The decision was a financial one, nothing more nothing less. A fans boycott would cost more than losing Rangers (for a season).
I nearly laughed out loud when I read Dunfermline chairman John Yorkston’s comment that the Self Preservation League chairmen had made a ‘brave’ decision. Or maybe he was being intentionally ironic.
Actually what is really happening would put Niccolò Machiavelli to shame.
Having passed the steaming foetid parcel to the SFL clubs to deal with, you’d think that the SPL would now take a step back. After all they had done their bit for sporting integrity, now it was the SFL’s turn. It’s a simple open and shut case – send Sevco to begin life in division three.
However the SPL (and the SFA) have clearly intimated to the SFL clubs their preferred outcome, i.e. Rangers newco to be allowed to start life in the SFL first division. In return for this the SPL would graciously offer to continue settlement payments to SFL clubs, there would be an additional promotion place available each season through play-offs and a one season TV deal.
This option clearly hasn’t gone down well with the fans. “Sporting Integrity!” they cry. “Send them to the third” “Get them to re-apply!” “Turn down their application!”. Reading the forums it seems that to be with the Zeitgeist in Scottish football, you are required to hate Rangers newco more than you support your own team. Anyone who steps out of line is sent to a proverbial Gulag. The irony here is that the Rangers fans themselves seem to have accepted by a majority that the newco should start in the third division.
Meanwhile there are whispers that the notion that Rangers newco will play in the second tier is a “done deal”. I use the term second tier rather than first division because there is an implied threat from the SPL that should the SFL clubs vote no on Friday to the SPL/SFA proposal, the SPL, in the interests of sporting integrity you understand, will step in and invite clubs, including Rangers newco, to a new SPL2.
In such an event it will be interesting indeed to witness how Partick Thistle, Morton, Falkirk and Raith Rovers will stick to their guns.
Will they follow the money or proudly stick with the diddy clubs? What do you think?
I don’t expect that my own club, Dumbarton, in the first division through sporting merit, would receive an invite from on high to SPL2. I doubt whether Cowdenbeath would either. That is why both of these clubs would be likely to vote yes to the SPL/SFA ‘proposal’.
Stenhousemuir have been widely vilified for this article on their website which clearly presents the financial implications for that club resulting from a yes or a no vote.
I happen to think that if Rangers newco went to the third division, it would render the coming season’s third division championship, and the following seasons’ second and first as nul and void. Where is the sporting integrity there? and where is the gain for the wee clubs (other than a couple of big crowds on the way through)
Scottish football and society would undoubtedly be a better place without the Old Firm. However, even with one of them in the critical ward, the money they generate has been thrown into sharp focus.
It’s become an oxymoron in Scotland.
A bit like Civil War.
Filed under: Football, rangers | Tagged: sevco 5088, sfa, spl, SPL2 | 1 Comment »