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Rangers To Play In 3rd Division
Rangers have been told that they will have to play next season in the Scottish 3rd Division. In a long lasting saga currently stretching to 5 months their former chairmen Craig Whyte and David Murray have been said to have behaved corruptly and possibly illegally in a lot of their financial dealings and avoiding paying a lot of tax resulting in massive debts which have been looked at by the football authorities as well as the police.
In the middle of February Rangers went into administration and at the time it was hoped that they could have emerged from it within a few weeks. That though proved to be wishful thinking.
After trying to save the old version of the club they eventually went into liquidation and a new company had to be formed, now known as ‘The Rangers Football Club’.
With it now being a new company it had to seek entry to the leagues. At first it looked as if they would be able to stay in the Scottish Premier League as before. The chief executives of the SFA and SPL, Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster as well as the other SPL chairmen all seemed to be in agreement that Rangers would be allowed to stay because of the financial implications. It was said that if Rangers weren’t there then there would be less likelihood of the SPL getting decent TV and sponsorship deals and it could have a serious impact on the other clubs.
Dates were set for voting on this matter a few times but each time no decision was made about it. It was only when fans of the other clubs made their feelings known that things started to look differently. Fan groups at the other clubs were very definite that they did not want Rangers to get preferable treatment just because of the revenue they generate. They should get the same treatment as other teams and face the same punishment.
The vote came and Rangers were not allowed in the SPL. Needing 8 votes from 12 to stay they only received 1 which was from themselves who were allowed a vote. Kilmarnock abstained and the other 10 voted no.
So they then had to go to seek entry to the Scottish Football League, which looks after the 1st 2nd and 3rd Divisions.
The powers that be just wanted them to drop to the First division as punishment with the hope they would be back in the SPL in a years time with all the financial benefits but the clubs from these leagues, again with the opinions of their fans wanted them to be treated the same as anybody else would. When they had a vote it was 25-5 in favour of Rangers starting in the 3rd Division and not the 1st.
Regan and Doncaster have been accused of trying to bully all these teams into letting Rangers get into the First division but in the end the chairmen of these clubs held firm and did what they felt was morally right. Possibly this is not the end of it with some still wanting to change the structure of Scottish football to benefit Rangers.
There have been stories that a few SPL clubs could also soon go into administration because of the lack of sponsors money. Some of the chairmen, therefore, are unhappy along with some Rangers fans and insiders who claim it was just down to certain individuals and so the club as a whole shouldn’t be punished.
But a lot of Rangers fans are in agreement with the punishment and coming to terms with it. The fans of the other fans seem happy too. There has been a lot of talk that this crisis and Rangers being in Division 3 could lead to the end of Scottish football but there seems a general feeling that if it was to die it is better to go making a morally correct choice than making a choice for financial reasons but having no fans there to watch.