It was a historic day in Scottish football today as Rangers were voted out of the Scottish Premier League, and will play next season in the Scottish First Division or into the Scottish Third Division alongside semi-professional clubs. It will be new territory for Rangers and their fans as the club, formed in 1872 has never been outside the top division in Scotland.
That 140-year-old Rangers club is dead, due to the financial shenanigans of the club’s previous owners. A “newco” had been formed which is why Rangers had to go cap in hand to the other SPL clubs and ask to be admitted back into the top tier of Scottish football.
But the backlash has been so strong by football fans across Scotland against Rangers that the vote was overwhelming against admitting them.
An SPL statement read:
“At today’s General Meeting, SPL clubs today voted overwhelmingly to reject the application from Rangers newco to join the SPL.”
So now Rangers new owner Charles Green has to go beg the other first division sides to let Rangers play their next season.
A majority of Rangers fans, alienated by their club’s administration and liquidation and the grassroots backlash against them across the country, would prefer that Rangers start over in the Scottish third division, but that is not what Green wants.
Expect to hear more stories about how the game in Scotland will be hurt financially if Rangers cannot play in the first division. We heard the same leading up to today’s vote by Scottish Premier League games, where interestingly Hearts saw an INCREASE in season ticket sales after announcing that they would not back Rangers application for the Premier League.
Regardless of where Rangers play next season, promotion will not be automatic. Under UK law, the players contracts were all nullified when the new Rangers was formed and many of Rangers best players have left the club on a free transfer and signed for other teams across Europe.