Rangers Recap

Last Sunday, Cedric thanked me for explaining the whole unruly Rangers saga for him — he had only picked up fragments of the story, and I helped him see the way those fit together. Since we’ve had further excitement on that front this week, it seemed good to me to narrate to you, dear Footyophilus, the further developments of the things that have been fulfilled among us.
When we last left the Rangers, they had been rebuffed in their application to (re)join the Premier League. This meant that, for the moment, they were a football club without a league to play in. Yesterday the Scottish Football League met to consider whether they would admit the New Rangers, and if so, in which of the three Divisions the New Rangers would play.
The meeting dragged on a considerable while. The minute-by-minute BBC report, interspersed with Twitter comments of selected fans, depicts bemused sympathy for anxious RFC supporters, a weary, soup-spattered reporter, and plenty of conflicting input from the by-standers. The final outcome from yesterday’s deliberations officially admitted the New Rangers into the SFL, and assigned them to Division Three. The SFL evidently decided that clubs applying to the SFL customarily start at the bottom and work up, so that should be the case for the New Rangers as well. Certainly new owner Charles Green, manager Ally McCoist, and many players and supporters had expressed satisfaction at a resolution that promised to disperse all the clouds that lower’d o’er their house.
The wrangling isn’t over, though. The SPL had been floating the prospect of expanding the Premiership to a larger pool (the English Premier League includes some 20 clubs, as opposed to the 12 in the SPL). That prospect doesn’t seem to please anyone but league executives and perhaps television networks; the disappearance of the Rangers, and the absence of any Old Firm games, may cut SPL television revenues considerably. (On the other hand, it may distribute revenue differently, and allow a different cadre of strong teams rise to public attention, so some teams and viewers are looking forward to Shooing the Rangers offstage.)
But wait! There’s still more fallout to reckon with. First, some angry supporters of Division One teams are wondering whether their leadership voted to bring Rangers into the first division. Specifically, some Partick Thistle supporters want to know if Partick voted to allow the Rangers directly in Div One; they tweet that it would be an injustice to make a special allowance to one formerly-elite club, and they have been breathing angry threats to renounce their season tickets, or worse.Partick has not, at latest report, indicated whether they voted to allow RFC into Div One.
Second, we still don’t know whether Dunfermline (relegated from the SPL at the end of last season) or Dundee (closest to be promoted from Division One) will become Club 12 in the SPL, in the Rangers absence.
Third, there have been calls for resignations in the top management of Scottish football, as the chiefs of the Premier League and the Football League have both been accused of strong-arm tactics and manipulation in favour of Rangers.
Finally, it’s still possible — at least in someone’s imagination — for the New Rangers to be reinstated as Club 12.
Sixth there’s a tricky question of sanctions on the Rangers based on the malfeasance leading to last season’s debacle and going into administration. On one hand, some have argued that the New Rangers — since the Old Rangers were dissolved and sold to the ‘newco’ ( = ‘new company’) — are entering Division Three just as any new entry into the League; thus (they argue) the New Rangers should not be penalised for the transgressions of the defunct team. It’s a new start! But on the other hand, many retort that this supposedly new team is still being called Rangers, and will play at Ibrox just as the old Rangers did, and Rangers themselves have said that they ‘bought the history’ as part of the assets that came over to the newco. Granted that this new club identifies itself so strongly with the Rangers legacy, can they reasonably claim immunity from the punishment that the old team brought on itself?
Tune in later for any further developments!

4 thoughts on “Rangers Recap

  1. That’s easy, now: in the SPL, I support Celtic; in Div One, I support the Jags; and in Div Three, I support Rangers! (Though I do have a soft spot for Queen’s Park — ‘The current capacity [of Hampden Park] is about 52,500, although Queen’s Park’s average league attendance is around 750’.)

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