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Monday, 18 March 2013 17:40

Statement On League Reconstruction

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RANGERS Chief Executive Charles Green has released the following statement on league reconstruction:

“The continuing debate on reconstruction of Scottish football is leaving football fans up and down the country bewildered and thoroughly exasperated – and who can blame them?

“They feel their voice is being ignored by their own clubs let alone the football authorities and fear the current proposals will not herald meaningful change.

“I would like to make Rangers’ position on this issue crystal clear so there can be no ambiguity when clubs within the SFL and the SPL come to vote on a reconstruction model.

“First, we obviously support the creation of a single league body as anything that can be done to streamline the byzantine structures of Scottish football should be welcomed.

“Secondly, I am disappointed that the notion of a league structure of three leagues comprising 14 teams each was not pursued more vigorously as this would have gone some way to addressing the concerns of many football fans regarding small leagues.

“Given we are where we are, I am putting forward the following league structure proposals which I firmly believe to be in the interests not only of Rangers but also Scottish football as a whole.  It is essential that any proposals address satisfactorily the issue of sporting integrity and I believe our proposals do that. 

“All things being well, Rangers should win the Division 3 title and, that being the case, we should be  promoted.  That should happen regardless of what league structure the powers that be put in place.

“It would be manifestly wrong to deny any team promotion having won the competition they have entered into at the start of the season. Equally, teams which have been relegated should not benefit unfairly from any a restructuring of leagues.

“The principle of promotion and relegation for the clubs which fall into these categories at the end of this season should be enshrined in any new league set up.  So, if, as widely predicted, we end up with a 12-12-18 set up, Rangers should be promoted and this promotion should be to the middle tier.

"There is already a precedent for this situation, established by the SFL at the end of the 1993-94 season when Stranraer, winners of the lowest of three divisions, were promoted to the new second tier on the basis they were champions of their division and merited promotion.

“Indeed, recently the chairman of Stranraer FC referred to the matter and supported the prospect of Rangers being promoted in the event of a 12-12-18 outcome. There has been no shortage of voices banging on about sporting integrity over the last year but sporting integrity must cut both ways. Should that be observed during reconstruction discussions then significant benefits would delivered, particularly to clubs in the middle tier who have yet to reap any financial benefit from Rangers playing in lower divisions.

“As we have seen recently many clubs are struggling and the likes of Dunfermline would be given a much-needed financial boost by Rangers playing in their division.

“Clubs in Division 3 are already enjoying a season where their home matches against Rangers are generating 10 times the revenue they would expect from any other home game. In the exceptional case of Queen’s Park, their home matches against us at Hampden will generate several seasons’ worth of gate receipts.

“We are genuinely pleased to have done our bit to assist these clubs financially and have been warmly welcome by SFL clubs. We would like to continue helping the game in Scotland and that’s why I am proposing that a Rangers’ Colts team be admitted to the SFL, and I hope Celtic would also consider doing the same.

“The SFL has shown real leadership in proposing this initiative although it should be pointed out that this was not the result of lobbying from this Club. This is an SFL initiative and is genuinely practical in that it would result in bringing much needed additional income to the game.

“My rationale is that when Rangers are promoted, the lowest league will return to where it was in terms of revenue generation. A Rangers Colts team would add value to the league and other clubs would see their home gates enhanced significantly by Rangers fans, particularly those who lived locally.

“I would also be prepared to guarantee other clubs the ticket revenue equivalent of 300 Rangers fans turning up for matches.

“This initiative would help smaller clubs who have no choice but to generate revenue any way that they can. I should point out that such a proposal would often double the gate at in the lowest division. In fact, such a scheme would have virtually doubled the attendance at the weekend at one Division 1 fixture. 

“If the 12-12-18 structure is to be the chosen one then I would propose that two additional teams, one a Rangers Colts team, are added to the lowest league. Of course, as chief executive of Rangers, I have a duty to pursue the interests of this club. I have talked openly in the past about exploring other playing environments and change may well happen at some time in the future but no-one knows when.

“As things stand, we all have a duty to do the best for the game as well as our clubs and that is why I think these proposals would be good for Scottish football. All I ask is that these proposals are discussed and considered in a fair and balanced manner.”

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