14 January, 2013 - 14:11

Rangers threaten to move out of Scotland league should the Scottish game be reformed as planned

Rangers threaten to move out of Scotland league should the Scottish game be reformed as planned

Rangers who have been dominating the Scottish League for decades were demoted to fourth-tier in 2012, following the financial crisis. It would take at least three years for the team to return to the Scottish Premier League.

The latest proposal of the Scottish League reform envisages the introduction of the new three-tier structure (12-18-18). Should the restructuration go ahead as proposed, and should Rangers progress to the Division 2 (at the moment they are topping the table and are firm favorites to qualify), they could find themselves playing the same league they have won the previous year.

Rangers’ Chief executive Charles Green was frustrated with the recent developments.


“I haven’t read anything other than what is in the press and if that is what we have sat here eagerly awaiting to transform Scottish football, my advice to the board of Rangers is the quicker we can leave Scottish football the better,”

- said Charles Green.

Could this threat be considered real or is this just a bluff? Could Rangers possibly apply for entering the English League? In order to answer these questions one needs to briefly recall Rangers’ woes that have led the club to the fourth-tier of the Scottish football and the history of English football as a whole.

Rangers’ insolvency and demotion to the fourth-tier

The 54-times Scottish champions went into administration in February, 2012 due to the unpaid taxes amounting to £9 million. As a result the club was docked 10 points and finished on a second place behind their title rivals Celtic. However the financial woes were just the beginning.

The consortium led by businessman Charles Green has finalized a £5.5 million Rangers’ takeover on June, 14. After the Rangers board fail to reach the agreement with the taxation authorities the club entered the process of liquidation. Its history business and assets were sold to a company Sevco Scotland Limited (later renamed The Rangers Football Club Ltd). The company has asked for the transfer of Rangers’ Scottish Football Association membership. The SFA agreed upon the condition of one-year transfer ban. Rangers were hoping that they could be admitted to the Scottish first division, however SPL clubs voted to demote Rangers to the fourth-tier.

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So at the moment Rangers find themselves in the four-tier of Scottish football. Should the reform go through as planned, they will remain in the basement tier even if they win the Third Decision title. The frustration of Charles Green is understandable as it is always unpleasant to see your efforts falling short. However his claims about leaving the Scottish football to join English game have been criticized by almost everyone except Harry Redknapp.

QPR boss Harry Redknapp who has recently been considered the favorite to take charge of England national team reckons that Old Firm should be part of the English football.


‘They should play in England. They’re two of the biggest clubs in the world. Maybe it would give someone else a chance to win something in Scotland if they left. All over the world you’ll find fans of Celtic and Rangers. Everyone flies to games now. We’ve got Welsh teams in the Premier League. Why not two Scottish teams?’

-revealed Harry.

So why are the Scottish teams not welcomed in English game?

There are at least three reasons for why it will never happen. First one is of purely economic character, the second deals with the difficulties of reforming the English football to let the Scottish teams in, while the third refers to the political issues.

Scottish football has always been considered England’s less attractive and poorer brother. Due to the lack of finances Scottish clubs are unable to attract quality players and hence compete with the Europe top clubs in the continental club football competitions. And that is why the desire of two strongest clubs Rangers and Celtic to join English Premier League is understandable. They are competitive enough to fight on equal terms against some of the top Premier League clubs and they will surely receive more attractive broadcasting income. However there remain doubts as to what benefits this move brings to Premier League clubs.

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And certainly one cannot just buy membership in the Premier league one has to earn the way in. And neither of the Championship teams is likely to give up their right to promotion and let Rangers or Celtic take their spot. That is why if Rangers or Celtic really want to play south of the border they have to start in Blue Square Bet North or the sixth-tire of the English football. And Rangers will not accept that. Consequently Charles Green’s comments are nothing more than unabashed populism directed at some of the simple-minded Rangers’ fans.

Finally, one should certainly take into account the political reasons. In order to understand that the joining of Scottish teams to the Premier League is not possible, it is enough to look at the Scottish FA’s position as regards the participation of the joint British team in the London 2012 Olympic. Suffice it to say that Scottish Parliament would decide in the next several years whether or not Scotland will stay inside the UK.

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Author: Basil Naumov

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15 January 2013, 13:53

Are they good enough.. say for Championship? Not sure.. Let alone The PL

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