Dundee to replace demoted Rangers in Scottish Premier League
Dundee will be invited into the Scottish Premier League season to replace Rangers, the SPL confirmed today.
First Division runners-up Dundee were chosen ahead of relegated Dunfermline during the league's annual general meeting at Hampden today.
Rangers chief executive Charles Green and manager Ally McCoist arrived at Hampden ahead of the meeting.
But, despite reports of a possible U-turn in recent days, SPL clubs agreed to work towards the decision made by Scottish Football League clubs to put the Ibrox club in the Third Division.
An SPL statement read: "It was agreed that the SPL would work with the Scottish FA, SFL and Rangers to facilitate Rangers FC taking their place in SFL Division 3 this season.
"It was agreed that Dundee FC would be invited to fill the space vacated by Rangers FC in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League."
Ten SPL clubs voted to reject the Rangers application to the top flight on July 4 but a plan from the executives of the three main football authorities to put them in the First Division was subsequently rejected by 25 SFL clubs.
That sparked reports of a potential U-turn and St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour warned his club would be among five in the SPL who would struggle to remain solvent in the coming weeks and months.
But Aberdeen, Inverness, Dundee United and Hearts insisted over the weekend that there would be no revisitation of the vote.
And the SPL statement appeared to shelve plans for a an SPL2, which was mooted by SFA chief executive Stewart Regan when he spoke to SFL clubs detailing his predictions for the impact of the various scenarios.
The decision to promote Dundee could spark legal action from Dunfermline, who believed precedents meant they should have been reinstated.
The plan put to SFL clubs by Regan and SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster involved promoting Dundee.
The SPL also announced the new make-up of the organisation's board with Ralph Topping re-elected as chairman.
St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown and Motherwell vice-chairman Derek Weir stepped down from the six-man board.
Aberdeen chief executive Duncan Fraser, Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston, Celtic director Eric Riley and Dundee United chairman Stephen Thompson will serve beside Doncaster and Topping next season.
Dunfermline were holding a board meeting this afternoon to discuss their response.
St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour was the first to emerge from the SPL meeting just before 2pm.
Gilmour had warned over the weekend of "catastrophic" consequences of the SFL vote and claimed Saints would have to battle to avoid being among up to five SPL clubs who could enter administration in the coming months. He was much more positive today, if not as talkative.
He said: "It was a really good meeting, really positive. It's time to move on."
Ross County chairman Roy MacGregor shared his mood.
MacGregor said: "Everyone was very positive about the negotiations. I'm sure we'll go on from here."
MacGregor admitted retaining television money would be crucial and said it was too early to say whether the deals were safe.
Doncaster had predicted the league would lose £15.7million in commercial deals, mostly from broadcasting partners, if the Rangers newco was launched in the Third Division. MacGregor added: "Every club has suffered over the past period of time and we're looking to pick up and go forward.
"We've been going back for a while.
"I'm the new kid on the block so it's really difficult to ask me these questions. But I'm really positive today.
"It's a positive move from Rangers, they were there and were delighted today and I'm sure the team coming up will be delighted as well."
Dundee's promotion means the new Rangers could kick off life in the Ramsden's Cup against Brechin. Dundee were down to play at Glebe Park in the first round on July 28.
Sevco Scotland, who bought the assets of Rangers for £5.5million when the club was consigned to liquidation, have still to gain membership of the SFA though with the governing body still considering their application.
Regan vowed on July 4 that he could not allow the game to suffer a "slow, lingering death" that he believed would come about if the Ibrox club had to go to the Third Division but any intervention now would be difficult to justify or force through given the SPL have accepted the SFL decision, which was backed by 25 of the 30 clubs.