Gers ready to accept their fate

Newco Rangers chief executive Charles Green will accept whatever fate is dealt them in their application to the Scottish Football League after their top-flight bid ended with an “overwhelming” defeat.

Most Rangers fans have demanded the club push for entry to the Irn-Bru Third Division amid moves to place them in the First Division but Green will let the SFL clubs decide.

Scottish Premier League clubs voted against the application despite growing expectations ahead of their Hampden meeting that they would defer a vote in order to seek clarity on the SFL clubs’ intentions.

The governing bodies have warned that £16 million (€20m) could be lost to the Scottish game and SPL clubs face a battle to survive if the Ibrox club are out of the top flight for three years.

The Rangers Supporters Trust last night claimed the bottom tier was the right place to start to ensure “integrity”.

But Green, who confirmed the SFL application ahead of a meeting with supporters, wants to play at the highest possible level and recognised the league had been placed in a difficult position.

He said: “It is entirely a matter for them whether our application will be accepted or rejected and we will make no representation to any member club prior to that application being considered.

“If our application were to be accepted, Rangers will play in whichever division the SFL sees fit and we will move forward from there.”

SPL clubs will now hope their counterparts in the lower leagues vote for the First Division following stark warnings about the financial consequences of Rangers being relaunched in the bottom tier, which have included suggestions five or six top-tier clubs would face administration.

The SFL, whose board meet today ahead of an anticipated vote on July 12, have pressed for the First Division option along with the SPL and SFA executives. A package on offer includes promotion play-offs to the top flight and a £1m (€1.2m) payment for TV rights, with clubs warned they could lose a £2m (€2.4m) SPL settlement if they refuse.

Celtic released a statement in which they claimed the integrity of Scottish football was the main reason behind their opposition to newco Rangers entering the SPL. Rangers’ Old Firm adversaries admitted the financial ramifications of losing their main rivals will be ‘significant’ but said the club can survive, and flourish, without the presence of their Glasgow neighbours.

“Celtic Football Club today confirmed that it opposed readmission to the Scottish Premier League by Rangers newco,’’ the statement read.

“Today’s decision to refuse access into the SPL was an overwhelming one and demonstrates the depth of feeling amongst everyone involved in Scottish football.”

“Fundamentally, the Celtic board has also been very mindful of the need to take what it believes to be the correct course of action in protecting the integrity of the game in Scotland.

“Throughout the whole sequence of events leading up to today’s decision, the Celtic board has been of the singular view that the integrity of the game in Scotland is of paramount importance. Our only other consideration has been to protect the interests and right of the club and our supporters.”

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