Belfast Telegraph

Friday 25 July 2014

Rangers in threat to quit Scottish football

Charles Green

Rangers chief executive Charles Green believes the club should attempt to quit Scottish football if league reconstruction plans are approved.

The Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League agreed in principle to a restructuring plan that would see the organisations merge in a 12-12-18 structure.

If the new format was rubber-stamped for next season, Irn-Bru Third Division leaders Rangers would remain in the bottom tier of Scottish football regardless of any title success this term, albeit with the potential time frame for a return to the top-flight remaining the same.

Green said: “I haven't read anything other than what is in the press and if that is what we have sat here eagerly awaiting to transform Scottish football, my advice to the board of Rangers is the quicker we can leave Scottish football the better.

“I can't see anything that is going to transform the finances, the status or the excitement.”

The SPL needs an 11-1 majority among its clubs but the idea has already been informally approved by all 12.

The SFL needs 22 of its clubs to back the plans, with a 16-10-16 plan previously being agreed unanimously by the 30 clubs.

Rangers, as associate members of the SFL, will not have a vote on the issue and expressed their unhappiness at not being invited to participate in the talks.

The article on the club's website, written by new director of communications James Traynor, also described the reconstruction plans as an “abomination”.

According to Green, the remainder of Rangers' season will be rendered meaningless if the proposals are accepted.

He said: “If this does happen what is the point of us finishing the season?

“Why should we send players out to get broken noses — like Ross Perry last week — or have players getting surgery when no-one can get promoted and no-one can get relegated.

“We might as well have a winter break now 'til next August.

“I can't see any point in carrying on with meaningless matches.

“In what league do you win a division and then end up playing the same teams again the following season?

“There is no meaning to it, in reality.”

Green acknowledged the problems likely to be faced by Rangers in attempting to quit Scottish football, but highlighted attempts for cross-border leagues to be introduced elsewhere.

Standard Liege recently revealed they will ask to join France's Ligue 1 if a new Belgian-Dutch league is not created.

Green added: “On first glance, of course, there is nowhere for us to go because Fifa have made their feelings known on cross-border leagues.

“However, we have noted the comments of Standard Liege recently and what [Celtic chief executive] Peter Lawwell said at his AGM a few weeks ago when he discussed the changes in Europe.

“Hand on heart today there isn't an option but that doesn't mean we shouldn't start looking for an option.

“If all we have to look forward to over the next four years is more madness, then we would be failing as directors not to explore the alternatives.”

Meanwhile, Inverness Caledonian Thistle have completed a deal to sign defender Danny Devine until the end of the season.

The 20-year-old defender, a former youth team player with Lisburn Distillery and Linfield, agreed terms with the Highlanders after deciding against extending his stay with Wrexham.

And Motherwell have announced the loan signing of Huddersfield forward Kallum Higginbotham until the end of the season.

The 23-year old previously spent two years at Falkirk.

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