13 Jul 2012

Rangers: Division three?

Be in no doubt tonight, Division 3 football is far from a certainty for “Rangers” no matter how much most fans and most clubs want it.

The invitation to today’s meeting contained a direct warning to club chairmen that the SFL Board may simply over-rule their 25 out of 30 club vote for D3 football. That apparent threat has not, so far as I’m aware, been retracted.

Further, three people present at today’s meeting told me independently that the SFA boss Stewart Regan has told the “Rangers” owner Charles Green that there is no way his club will be playing in D3 a fortnight tomorrow.

Tonight the SFA is assuring me however, that there will be no attempt to over-rule any vote. They say it’ll be financial carnage but finally Scottish football knows where it’s going.


Battle lines
But if there is further bickering the battle lines are drawn. So where’s the fight going to happen

The Football League boss David Longmuir today gave us all a vital clue. He said the D1 chairmen went out of their way to stress they want “a 42 club solution”.

My take on this is a warning shot to the SFA and SPL that the idea of an expanded, breakaway 2-tier Premier League including “Rangers” in its bottom tier (aka D1 in effect) is a no-go.

Now that really is “armageddon” for the football powers-that-be.

The Premier League called the SFA’s bluff over inserting “Rangers” into the top flight last week. Now the Football League has done the same over D1 football.

So the ball now could well fall in the court of those D1 clubs, to veto any possible plan for an expanded Premier League. Their talk of a ’42 club solution’ and their voting today indicate they will do just that.

Against all odds

But do not rule out attempts – against all odds and against an overwhelming D3 mandate – by the SPL to try just this.

They have a meeting on Monday and have been busily altering their public messages about what exactly is up for debate.

Should that be the case and they fail – as they surely will – many see the position of both (English) bosses of the SFA and SPL as completely untenable. Fans do, now, in droves. At least one club chairman already said they should go, on camera, this morning.

I sense this is where things now move and tonight Charles Green was at Ibrox and was asked by an astute reporter:

“Should today’s decision be the final word?”

Mr Green replied:

“Well I hope it will be – but I’m not convinced it will.”

Too right he’s not and how we all wonder why? Not.  No fan of Scottish football should be convinced of it either.

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