Rangers SPL vote far from formality

Last Updated : 04 Jul 2012 08:18

Scottish Premier League clubs gather on Wednesday morning for a scheduled vote on a newco Rangers application, but the meeting looks far from the formality it seemed just several days ago.

Before the weekend, seven SPL clubs confirmed their intention to vote against the bid from Charles Green's Sevco company to assume the share of Rangers, whose assets they bought for £5.5million.

But Green claimed earlier this week he was confident chairmen would listen to his pleas after meeting several clubs to warn them of the financial implications.

Only St Johnstone reaffirmed their position on Tuesday after reports claimed Green was attempting to push through an offer that included points deductions, a transfer ban and an apology on behalf of Rangers. Club chairman Malcolm Murray later issued an "unreserved" apology for the distress caused to Scottish football.

Motherwell were expected to confirm their opposition on Monday after saying a fans ballot would be "used to determine which way the club votes". They instead announced that Derek Weir, their representative at Hampden meetings in recent months, was stepping down as vice-chairman and from his position on the SPL board.

The result of the vote was eventually announced on Tuesday evening - 82% of shareholders and Well Society members voted 'no' - but the Fir Park board provided no accompanying statement.

The SPL, Scottish Football Association and Scottish Football League executives have been pushing a plan to place the Ibrox club in the Irn-Bru First Division. But at least 10 SFL clubs had come out against the package, which also includes merger of the leagues, promotion play-offs to the top flight and a £1million payment to the 30 clubs, before a meeting on Tuesday.

The authorities pressed home their view that up to £16million could be lost to the Scottish game if the club start in the Third Division, amid continued uncertainty over broadcasting deals, and there would no surprise were SPL clubs to adjourn their vote today in the hope that SFL clubs are swayed.

The clubs have a recent history of doing just that having twice postponed a vote on financial fair play proposals before coming to a decision in May. Decision-makers at SPL clubs were reported to have held late-night talks by conference call and the decision could be thrown back to the SFL.

That was the prediction of Raith chairman Turnbull Hutton following yesterday's Hampden gathering. He said: "Will they vote? They normally vote to have a vote to not vote. There's an element of hospital passes and buck-passing going on."

Source: PA