SPL news

First division clubs line up against Gers

June 29, 2012
By ESPN staff

Dunfermline have joined Morton, Falkirk and Raith Rovers in objecting to newco Rangers joining them in the Scottish First Division.

Rangers stadium Ibrox
GettyImagesRangers could be stripped of titles

Rangers owner Charles Green is facing the prospect of relaunching the Ibrox club in the Scottish Football League, with an application for entry to the Scottish Premier League set to fail.

Seven of the 12 SPL clubs have now gone public with plans to reject the Rangers bid at next week's formal vote, where Gers need an 8-4 majority in favour.

Reports on Thursday suggested that plans are being put in place that would see Rangers relegated from the SPL to the First Division with immediate effect, rather than start from scratch in Division Three.

Dunfermline - who were relegated from the SPL last season - held an emergency board meeting on Friday and said in a statement: "Matters are currently being progressed in an illogical manner, as the SPL should have met and voted on the Rangers situation definitively.

"Thereafter, if there is to be change, a joint presentation should be made by all the Scottish football governing bodies together and not on an ad hoc basis as at present.

"The board of DAFC can confirm that it will not be voting in favour of any solution which involves ''Newco" being parachuted into SFL Division 1 next year.

"The revised proposals we have reviewed contain a number of suggestions that are entirely credible in isolation and everyone agrees that the structure of Scottish football must change.

"But it must be done for the right reasons and not used as some form of bargaining tool.

"The proposal document makes little or no mention of fans or their views, as was the case with the league reconstruction debate, and all these issues must now be put on the table to deliver a credible, equitable and viable solution.

"The document strongly implies that if the proposals are not accepted, then we will have financial meltdown in Scottish Football.

"But if the loyal fans across the country desert the game then commercial sponsors or TV companies will have no one to promote or broadcast to.

"The McLeish Report made a number of solid recommendations but Scottish football needs to be more radical with a number of additional matters being addressed as a matter of urgency, such as what do the paying public want?

"It would appear that the broad thrust of the McLeish Report appears to have been given immediate traction in the last couple of weeks, entirely for the wrong reasons.''

With Rangers unlikely to play in the SPL next season, it has been suggested that the place of "Club 12'' will be taken by First Division runners-up Dundee, rather than Dunfermline being reinstated.

The Fife club have demanded clarity on the issue from SPL chiefs by July 5. The statement continued: "As had been speculated, a further proposal now being presented is Dundee taking the place of ''Club 12" in the SPL.

"DAFC acknowledge that the club was relegated last season as our results on the pitch were simply not good enough.

"But we worked to a strict budget and had to take some very difficult decisions over the course of the season, which upset our own fans, due to circumstances outwith our control.

"We were rightly replaced by Ross County on sporting grounds, and we would like to take this opportunity to wish them every success next season.

"However, the situation regarding Rangers has led to the creation of a place for ''Club 12" an entirely different scenario, which has developed radically since February, and was subject to many decision-making delays by the SPL.

"Despite asking for some direction or clarification, we have had no communication whatsoever from the SPL as to the rationale, rule reference or justification as to why Dundee is being proposed to take the place of ''Club 12" rather than DAFC.

"We are requesting in writing a definitive response from the SPL by the 5th July to allow both ourselves and Dundee to plan for next season.''