Rangers face demotion to Third Division

Scottish football continued to search for solutions to the Rangers crisis. The new company formed with the Rangers name failed to find support for retaining its place in the SPL. A majority of Scottish First Division clubs also resisted Rangers’ admission to the First Division. The implications are that one of Scotland’s biggest clubs would have to start in the Third Division, the lowest tier of league football in Scotland.

Scottish football chiefs are alarmed by the financial implications of that possibility. Stewart Regan, the Scottish Football Association's chief executive, estimated that consigning Rangers to the Third Division would cost clubs in the region of £16 million in lost revenues, a sum that would be catastrophic given the tight budgets on which most Scottish clubs operate. "There's really only one decision for the game now," Regan said: "that Rangers come into football in the First Division."

That would run counter to vociferous opposition from fans of the clubs, who want to see Rangers punished for breaking Scottish football’s rules on club finances on numerous occasions. Incredibly, there seems to be a move to create a second tier SPL, asking league clubs to defect from the First Division merely to provide a new platform for Rangers.

One man showing dignity in an impossible situation is manager Ally McCoist, who, unlike many, seemed to show more respect for sporting fairness than the financial implications. "Clearly, starting again from the bottom league is not ideal," he said, "and makes the task of rebuilding Rangers a longer one but the SFL was placed in an impossible situation and I respect its decision."

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