Newco told to do one
By Stuart Gillespie
Updated Wednesday, 4th July 2012
Saints will not be playing any league games against Rangers next season after Charles Green's bid to have a newco club admitted to the SPL was kicked out.
The long awaited vote finally took place at Hampden today and all but two clubs voted for the newco not to be allowed to take the old club's place in the top flight. Rangers - who weirdly were allowed to vote on their own fate - unsurprisingly voted in favour of them being allowed to play in the SPL while Kilmarnock apparently abstained. Goodness knows what they were thinking.
The result was not a surprise as a number of clubs had publicly stated their intentions to vote no. There was talk in the last few days that their may be a change of heart due to negotiations, but that proved not to be the case today.
Following the vote Saints chairman Stewart Gilmour released a statement that said: "As you will now be aware St.Mirren FC today voted against the application by the Rangers newco to be admitted to the SPL. This vote was part of an overwhelming rejection of the application by the SPL member clubs.
"It will now be left for the SFA and SFL collectively to decide where the Rangers newco will play it's football next season. Those organisations will make their decision in due course without any pressure from the SPL or it's member clubs and we will fully respect whatever decision they make.
"We now hope that the St.Mirren support will get fully behind the club and team as we prepare for the new season and start once again to focus on football matters."
So what happens now? Well we need to decide which club joins the SPL. Dunfermline, who were relegated last season, think it should be them. Dundee, who finished second in the first division, think it should be them. A playoff seems the obvious way to resolve that problem but that's too simple for the SPL!
As for Rangers, they are now applying to the SFL. Where they start in has been the subject of much debate. Many SFL clubs, and Rangers fans, believe they should start at the bottom of the third division like any new club. However, there have been attempts by those in charge of Scottish football - including the SPL's Neil Doncaster - to get them to start in the first division.
This is insane but is being done in a bid to help the SPL clubs. At last night's fans meeting Gilmour said the club could make cutbacks to ensure it survives one season without Rangers in the SPL, however would be in serious trouble if they were away for much longer. Administration seems to be a real possibility in this case.
This is because nearly all of the contracts the SPL has with "partners" - such as Sky - have get out clauses allowing them to pull out if neither Rangers or Celtic are in the league. Whoever agreed to this needs to resign. Does this mean that Rangers or Celtic can never be relegated or must always be in the top six to ensure four Old Firm games? Madness!
Unsurprisingly, a number of SFL clubs are not particularly in favour of this plan and many have publicly stated they won't be voting for Rangers to waltz into the first division. It seems Doncaster's little presentation yesterday didn't go down well as he tried to convince the SFL to let Rangers into division one to save the SPL clubs. Aye, because the SFL are going to be willing to do the big boys a favour!
Perhaps instead of working on ways to parachute Rangers into the second teir Doncaster should put his name to another document - his resignation letter.
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