SPL clubs reject Rangers newco entry

Chorley Citizen: Rangers appear destined to be playing in the Scottish Football League next season Rangers appear destined to be playing in the Scottish Football League next season

Clydesdale Bank Premier League clubs have voted "overwhelmingly" to reject the newco Rangers application.

The SPL announced the news in a brief statement after more than five hours of talks at Hampden. SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster earlier hinted the vote could be deferred amid fears over the financial consequences of the Ibrox club starting their new life in the Third Division, but clubs carried through their vow to deny Charles Green's bid.

An SPL statement read: "At today's General Meeting, SPL clubs today voted overwhelmingly to reject the application from Rangers newco to join the SPL."

SPL clubs will now hope their Scottish Football League counterparts accept the newco in the First Division amid warnings that £16million could be lost to the Scottish game if they go down to the Third.

Three-quarters of Rangers fans on the season-ticket database voted for the lower tier in a poll for their preferred option, but Green has previously declared his intention to play at the highest possible level. Warnings have been made in the last few days that up to half the SPL clubs could go into administration if the Ibrox club are in the bottom tier.

It appears that most if not all of the SPL's commercial contracts include exit clauses for sponsors and partners allowing them to pull out or renegotiate if the Old Firm are not present. The clauses were inserted amid speculation over the Glasgow pair moving to England or into a European league but they have proved costly after Rangers went into liquidation last month.

It is as yet unclear whether relegated Dunfermline or Dundee, who finished second in the First Division, will replace Rangers in the SPL although the proposal put to SFL clubs states the Dens Park club would be promoted.

Green, whose Sevco firm bought the assets of Rangers for £5.5million, attended the meeting with chairman Malcolm Murray and manager Ally McCoist, who left before noon. The verdict was announced by email about 2.20pm, with Green and Murray leaving shortly afterwards, while SPL clubs continued to talk.

Green claimed earlier this week he was confident chairmen would listen to his pleas after meeting several clubs to warn them of the financial implications. Murray issued an "unreserved" apology on Tuesday in a move thought to be designed to pave the way for a U-turn.

But St Johnstone, St Mirren, Aberdeen, Hearts, Hibernian, Dundee United and Inverness had already declared their opposition while Motherwell on Tuesday night announced their fans had voted to reject the application. Green needed an 8-4 majority.

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