So, Rangers have finally been liquidated, and formed onto “The Rangers FC” after years or financial mis-management….
Let me examine this without my Jambo (Heart Of Midlothian fan) head on.
Rangers were docked 10 points last season for going into administration, a standard penalty meted out to all clubs who enter administration. But what of the penalty for liquidation? Much has been made about the vote from member SPL clubs to vote whether the NEWCO Rangers should be allowed into the SPL, well I don’t remember Livingston and Gretna being afforded the right of having member clubs vote them in or out…. oh no, that was left to the SFA to decide all on their todd.
Why then, should the NEWCO Rangers be afforded that right? oh that’s right, because they are Old Firm…. It’s no secret that the SPL favour the Old Firm as their “Flagship” clubs, while those two squabble over the majority of the money from TV rights, the rest of the SPL fight for the crumbs that are left.
While one part of me thinks the SPL sponsorship will suffer greatly, SKY has assured us that they have no plans to withdraw the contract to show SPL matches regardless of if there is 4 Old Firm matches next season or not. This is re-assuring, given that if NEWCO Rangers go down to the 3rd division, they are almost certain to be back up to the SPL in 4 seasons, meaning that by the time the SKY rights are due for renewal, there WILL be 4 Old Firm matches a season again.
For me though, Rangers being relegated/dropped to division 3, will solve more issues than it creates, the smaller SPL clubs will receive more income from the TV rights, which means that a lot of clubs who were on the brink, money wise, will have a better chance of survival, and a solid foundation to get a firm financial footing before rangers are back stealing all the income again.
Not only this, but it gives the smaller clubs a better shot at getting into Europe, which means higher ticket sales and gate receipts, none of which i can see is bad for the remaining SPL clubs.
I fear however on the boards of the clubs panicking, and giving a “yes” vote for the NEWCO Rangers, simply because, if they vote the NEWCO Rangers out, and then end up in administration themselves, THEY will then have to go through this whole process. To say this is a dangerous time for Scottish football is an understatement. The SPL are on the brink of resolving some of the issues that are currently blighting the Scottish game, but handled properly, can eradicate some of them in one fell swoop, simply by not accepting NEWCO Rangers into the SPL.
If handled wrongly, this could spell the end of Scottish football as an independent league structure, and possibly the end for many clubs, right the way up to the SPL.
It wasnt that long ago (mere months) that Hearts were looking at the same fate, and in truth, we were possibly only hours away from administration. I could name several others who are perched on the edge of it, or have stared it in the face last year, but i wont, for no other reason than the list is too numerous.
So far, all of this had been about money, but lets move aside from that and look at the ethical reasons NEWCO rangers should not be allowed into the SPL.
The precedent for dropping clubs to the 3rd division is already set. Livingston and Gretna had the misfortunes of the same fate a few years back. NEWCO Rangers should be treated no differently.
Aside from financial mis-management, the whole of the Rangers board have cheated and swept aside the rules of the SPL, giving little forethought to the knock-on effect it could create.
Whilst Craig Whyte, who is one of the architects of this whole debacle plays the “it wisnae me, it wis him” card (ironically the card rangers and celtic fans play when sectarianism rises in Old Firm matches) and continues to escape punishment for this entire episode.
If it was left to the fans, NEWCO Rangers would be in the 3rd div, indeed most of the fans groups have polls on their website asking, with a 97% average of all fans asked saying they should be relegated. Some of the chairmen of some of the SPL clubs most notably Inverness Caledonian Thistle, have said they will ask the fans and vote accordingly. I hope this happens.
The fans are the one thing that keeps the SPL alive, yet they are the one group of people listen to the least in its implementation and running. I would love to see what Mr. Doncaster would do if the fans boycotted all the games (something which is being mooted should NEWCO Rangers be admitted to the SPL) and none of the clubs became profitable any more.
So, we now have to wait to see the outcome, I know what i and many other SPL fans want to happen, i know what SHOULD happen, alas however what WILL happen may be something entirely different. I have heard a rumour, that Hearts, have traded a yes vote, for the £800k owed to them by NEWCO Rangers for the sale of Lee Wallace, if this is true, then Hearts will see no more money from me. And I know a lot of others who feel the same.
Be warned Mr. Doncaster, the fans have spoken….
Have your say here : http://www.demographix.com/surveys/GQY4-9MNZ/VQRZ4HB6/