Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

Rangers fans in boycott threat

Rangers supporters chiefs have threatened a boycott of away fixtures next season
Rangers supporters chiefs have threatened a boycott of away fixtures next season

Rangers supporters chiefs have threatened to boycott away fixtures next season if the Ibrox outfit's Scottish Football League counterparts vote for a new 12-12-18 set-up.

The country's 32 lower-league clubs are currently mulling over plans to reorganise Scottish football under one league body.

Among the proposals are blueprints for a 12-team top division and similarly-sized Championship second tier that would merge into three groups of eight after 22 games in order to decide the major issues - the title, European qualification and relegation out of the top flight.

But the sticking point for some of the nation's smallest clubs is whether to proceed with an 18-team third division or persist with the current Second and Third Divisions comprising 10 teams each.

The first option, however, means runaway Irn-Bru Third Division leaders Rangers would remain trapped in the basement of Scottish football for another year and that has sparked outrage among their fans.

Now Rangers Supporters Assembly chief Andy Kerr claims the Glasgow giants' fanbase will look to take revenge if the 18-team bottom tier is voted in.

He told the Scottish Sun: "The only thing that is pushing this is short-sighted finance. The top 12 clubs are happy because nothing is changing.

"The teams below them are happy because they are getting a bigger share, while those 17 clubs left along with Rangers are happy. They are rubbing their hands at the thought of the gate money.

"While we want to support our team, serious questions would have to be asked. I think there's a huge risk Rangers fans will simply say, 'enough is enough'.

"We are trying to work our way back while others are attempting to hold us back and drag us down. I don't believe our fans would stand for it, and nor should they.

"It's been an adventure this year. But the thought of having to go through all that again, having won the league and not been promoted, would have a very negative affect among our supporters."

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