Wednesday 22 November 2017

D-Day for Rangers as clubs meet for crucial vote

Jamie Holland

Scottish football faces heightened uncertainty ahead of today's Scottish Premier League (SPL) vote on a newco Rangers application after a meeting of Scottish Football League (SFL) clubs broke up with little indication of the prospects of a compromise proposal or date for a potential follow-up meeting.

Seven SPL clubs had previously confirmed their opposition to a newco admission, but only St Johnstone re-affirmed their position yesterday after Ibrox chief executive Charles Green claimed he was confident clubs would listen to his pleas over the impact of rejection.

And Motherwell last night announced that 82pc of Well Society members and shareholders had voted against the Rangers bid in a ballot. The club had previously stated that the ballot would be "used to determine which way the club votes".

Newco Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray yesterday issued an apology for the distress caused to Scottish football by those in charge of the old company, one of six concessions reported to be part of Green's plan to persuade SPL clubs to perform a mass U-turn. Green needs seven other clubs as well as Rangers to vote his way.

Although the likes of East Fife, Stranraer and Stirling Albion came out against the idea of the new company entering the Irn-Bru First Division before the meeting, SPL clubs will go into today's vote with little indication over how a subsequent SFL vote would go.

The meeting was designed for the chief executives of the SFL, SPL and Scottish Football Association (SFA) to furnish the 30 clubs with information to back up the claims in the document sent out to members last week.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir said: "It was important clubs are now in a more informed position to go back to their boards and fan groups and take that factual information to make informed decisions.

"It is time to reflect on the scenarios and consequences and I want to give them space to do that. We haven't even decided on if and when we would have a vote.

"It's time to give the clubs a chance to engage with their fans and work out the right strategy. Votes will come if required."

One point at least was clarified after SFL lawyers decided how many votes were needed to approve the plan.

Longmuir said: "There are different requirements for different types of votes but the main thrust of this decision that we might have to make would only require a simple majority."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan addressed the clubs last night and was reported to have claimed that his organisation would block any SPL entry.

However, Regan later denied saying this.

Irish Independent

Promoted Links

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport