Newco Rangers chief executive Charles Green believes the decision taken by Scottish Football League chairmen to install the club into the Irn-Bru Third Division maintains Scottish football’s ’sporting integrity’.
At a meeting at Hampden today the 30 SFL clubs voted 25-5 in favour of entering Rangers into the bottom tier and Green is now looking forward to the club getting back to footballing matters.
“We are grateful to be accepted as members of the SFL and accept their decision to vote us into Division Three,” he told the official Rangers website.
“It is a matter of regret for all of us involved with Rangers that the issues surrounding the club resulted in the SFL and its members being placed in a very difficult position not of their own making.
“From the outset, we made clear we would play where we were told to play and we just want to get back to playing football.
“This decision maintains the sporting integrity that clubs and fans across Scotland have been calling for but it also impacts massively on Scottish football as a whole and only time will tell what the consequences will be.
“Rangers has been handed the ultimate punishment of starting again from the bottom of the leagues but there is an overwhelming feeling among fans and within the club of ’wiping the slate clean’ as a club free of sanctions.
“We have been greatly encouraged by the number of supporters who have committed to buying season tickets no matter where we ended up playing and I personally want to thank them for their continued loyalty to the club.
“We are a football club and we just want to get back to playing football. Now is the time to move on and start afresh.”
“Our task to rebuild the club will take longer now but we are committed to the job and fully believe we will bring success back to Rangers.”
Green also said the club were keen to rebuild and be an active member of the Third Division.
He said: “The people who brought shame on this great club are no longer part of it and everyone at Rangers is focused on rebuilding the club on top of a solid financial foundation.
“We wish to play a constructive part in Division Three and encourage our fans to support the other clubs within the league by attending matches and delivering to them the benefits of having Rangers within their league.”
Manager Ally McCoist, who, along with Green and SFA chief executive Stewart Regan, met the SFL chairmen ahead of the vote, said the task will be a long one but praised the club and its supporters for their patience and hard work during a difficult period.
He said: “Clearly, starting again from the bottom league is not ideal and makes the task of rebuilding Rangers a longer one but the SFL was placed in an impossible situation and I respect its decision.
“I fully supported the fans views that starting again in Division Three maintains the sporting integrity that the SPL clubs were so keen on.
“The SPL clubs and the SFA have made their positions clear over the last few weeks and it remains to be seen what the long term effects of their decisions will be.
“Rangers has been severely punished for the actions of some individuals who previously ran the club and it will take time for us to recover, but we will come back stronger thanks to the loyalty of the fans and the commitment of everyone at Ibrox, who are working tirelessly to bring stability and success back to Rangers.”