SFL clubs currently opposed 18-2 to plans for Rangers in the First Division
All the public statements made by Scottish Football League sides in their own words.
Charles Green's "newco Rangers" will find out on Friday, July 13 whether or not they will be granted a place in the Scottish Football League for the 2012/13 season.
Current clubs will be given the vote on whether to allow the team into the league, as well as deciding whether to allow the Ibrox side straight into the First Division, in exchange for compromise with the Scottish Premier League on league reconstruction.
Several teams in the SFL's three divisions have already stated their objection to allowing a newco to play in Scotland’s second tier.
A majority vote is needed to admit the newco into the SFL into the league setup, with vacancies normally seeing new teams enter at the Third Division stage.
The stances of SFL clubs should not be taken as a guaranteed list of how they will vote on July 13. With the league's board attempting to negotiate a compromise agreement with the SPL, the positions of many clubs could change before they are asked to cast their vote.
This page will be updated as more clubs make their positions known.
KNOWN LIKELY VOTES TO DATE
First Division entry: Brechin City, Stenhousemuir(#)
(#) depending on conditions over league restructuring being met.
Third Division entry: Alloa Athletic, Annan Athletic, Arbroath, Ayr United, Berwick Rangers, Clyde, Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Athletic, East Fife, Elgin City, Falkirk, Greenock Morton, Livingston, Partick Thistle, Peterhead, Raith Rovers, Stirling Albion, Stranraer
Undeclared: Airdire United, Albion Rovers, Dumbarton, Dundee, East Stirlingshire, Forfar Athletic, Hamilton, Montrose, Queen of the South, Queen's Park
Information is up-to-date up until the time and date given at the top of this article.
FIRST DIVISION CLUBS
First Division entry: None
Third Division entry: Cowdenbeath, Dunfermline Athletic, Falkirk, Greenock Morton, Livingston, Partick Thistle, Raith Rovers
Undeclared: Dumbarton, Dundee, Hamilton
Board statement: “If integrity in our game is to survive, then Rangers must start off SFL life in the Third Division.
"This is an SPL problem but the Clubs of that league have taken their decision for reasons which they must explain to all Scottish football supporters.
"The SPL and SFA should have resolved this long before now. They have tried to pass the buck to the SFL clubs and have tried to force them to accept “Rangers” into the First Division – to provide the greatest benefit to the SPL. This lacks any integrity and casts a dark shadow over our game. Cowdenbeath FC condemns this approach." Wednesday, July 4
Donald Findlay, chairman: “Speaking for myself, and myself alone, it is clear to me that people at the highest levels of our game have tried to hold a gun to my head and the heads of my colleagues. That will never work.
"But I have a long memory and will not forget what they tried to do and the way they tried to bend me, and this Club, to their will. That will never be allowed to happen” Wednesday, July 4
John Yorkston, chairman: "I can now confirm for the avoidance of any doubt that our position has not changed following yesterday's meeting and this is, we will continue to vote no to "Newco" being parachuted into SFL1.
"As a club we have listened to our supporters and we will continue to fully respect their opinion.
"However collectively we can control how DAFC will vote, but we can not control clearly how other SFL clubs will vote, so it is important that all true Pars supporters continue to pull in the same direction and support the team and club in what will be challenging times ahead." Wednesday, July 4
Club statement: "There has been speculation that the DFC Board has already made its mind up which way to vote. This speculation is wrong. At this stage there remain further detailed negotiations and concerns still under consideration." Thursday, July 12
A board statement read: "After hearing arguments on both sides, a clear majority of those voting (55 to 28) reluctantly felt that admitting the Newco into the First Division would be the better option for Scottish football and smaller clubs as a whole – though no-one was happy with the situation other clubs have been put in.
"There was shared anger at the situation that has been created by the Rangers debacle and a commitment to future reform to put the game in Scotland on a more equitable and sustainable footing in future.
"Despite differences in the public debate, the DFC Board believes there is a determination to hold together for the good of the game and for the benefit of small clubs like Dumbarton." Sunday, July 8
Martin Ritchie, chairman: “The Club’s position remains as stated in our press release on Friday 22nd June which stated: “The board at Falkirk FC strongly believe the current turmoil should be a catalyst for change in Scottish Football. League reconstruction, First Division play-offs, a fairer distribution of the game’s wealth and the ending of undemocratic voting systems should be the minimum level of change.
"We believe the current proposal put to the SFL clubs is limited, and has failed to address the major concerns of many SFL member clubs and their supporters. The Board believe that finding the best long term solution for Scottish Football is more important than finding a short solution to our current problems.
“We believe that introducing Rangers to the First Division as proposed throws away the chance of introducing real change to our game and, in the short term, simply reduces existing First Division clubs chances of securing an automatic promotion place. We cannot therefore support the current proposal put forward by the SFL.
“Falkirk Football Club want to play an active part in bringing about the changes that fans want in Scottish football, and call on like-minded clubs to support this initiative.” Wednesday, July 4
Douglas Rae, chairman said: “Under the current SFL rules, any club making an application for membership should be admitted to the Third Division. I personally see no reason to make any exception to that at this time and would therefore vote accordingly.
“I believe the current situation has presented us with an opportunity to consider and review the way forward for Scottish football, and as such it is more vital than ever to look at the 'bigger picture' and the options for change which will no doubt present themselves over the coming weeks and months.
“My personal hope is that any changes arising from this tumultuous period in the history of Scottish football can be implemented for the long- term good of the game.” Wednesday, June 27
Chairman Les Gray: "As you are aware the proposal being favoured by the governing bodies is that Rangers Newco are parachuted into the Irn Bru SFL Division 1, contrary to Scottish Football League rules.
“If our Governing bodies ever get round to tabling any firm proposal to vote on it is unlikely in our opinion that this proposal, in isolation, would be acceptable to the members.
“We believe that a complete overhaul of the game is required for the good of Scottish Football. League Reconstruction, play- offs, a fairer financial distribution model and a more effective Corporate Governance are some of the major issues which require to be addressed. The current circumstances we find ourselves in have created an opportunity for these changes to be implemented."
Chairman Gordon McDougall in the Scotsman: “For me, nothing much has changed. I still favour the newco joining in the Third Division. That’s what their manager has said he wants and it’s quite clearly what their fans have said they want and I would support their wishes." Thursday, July 12
Board statement: "It is the opinion of Partick Thistle that the Scottish Football Association, the game’s governing body in Scotland, should now take ownership of this unprecedented situation.
“We feel that it is not the responsibility for making a decision that will have huge ramifications throughout the game in this country to fall on any individual member, or collection of clubs of the Scottish Football League.
“This is not a problem of the SFL’s making and as a result it is not a decision which can be taken in isolation of the SPL clubs." Wednesday, July 4
Board statement: "Whilst we retain an open mind on the subject of league reconstruction, and will carefully consider any proposal put to us by the SFL board in this regard, the board of directors of Raith Rovers FC is unanimous in its view that we shall certainly not cast our vote in favour of any integrated plan that in our view compromises sporting integrity by involving the admission of any ‘Newco’ directly into Division One." Tuesday, June 26
SECOND DIVISION CLUBS
First Division entry: Brechin City, Stenhousemuir
Third Division entry: Alloa Athletic, Arbroath, Ayr United, East Fife
Undeclared: Airdrie United, Albion Rovers, Forfar Athletic, Queen of the South
Club statement: "The SFL should never have been placed in such an intolerable situation by the SPL and subsequently the SFA. In the view of the Board this situation has arisen, as much as anything, from failures in basic management processes at both organisations.
"While we do not accept that “Armageddon” will follow if Newco Rangers are placed in SFL Division Three, it is very clear that there will be significant financial consequences for Scottish football should that be the outcome.
"Our Club will suffer consequential losses directly, as it is likely that Airdrie United will be promoted to SFL Division One and our budgets for the coming season have been prepared on the basis of two matches against our local rivals.
"These two matches account for around 8% of the club’s total income.Should that happen the Club will consider every avenue for recompense as we are not prepared to be financially disadvantaged by a situation which is not of our making.
"In normal circumstance we would have no hesitation in voting to place Newco Rangers in SFL Division3 but as a Board, we do now need to consider all of the implications before we make that call." Wednesday, July 11
Chairman Mike Mulraney: "As we previously advised in our first statement, we would do what we believed was in the best interest of Alloa FC, Scottish Football and sporting integrity. Fortunately we believe that the best interests of all three are mutual.
"Alloa can see no reason to vote in any way other than to put the new Rangers in the league that their own manager and fans have asked for, division three." Thursday, July 12
Chairman Mike Mulraney: “We will not be bullied into a decision by any outside influences, but will act in the best interest of Alloa first and Scottish football second. Sporting integrity will of course weigh heavily in any decision we make.
“We will continue to assess this situation as it changes as we believe there are very likely a number of variables which could become apparent before the vote next week.
“We do not underestimate the seriousness of this situation and understand that some clubs are of the opinion that this may affect their ability to trade going forward. Alloa are not in this position, the board are working on plans to ensure we will deal with any eventual outcome.” Friday, July 6
Board statement: "After considerable and careful deliberation, that had also taken place over many previous meetings, the Club reached the decision that it cannot support a proposal for Rangers Newco to be directly admitted to Division 1 of the Scottish Football League and that sporting integrity must be upheld.
"We are however in support of entry to the Scottish Football League in Division 3 for next season." Thursday, July 12
Board statement: “The board of Arbroath Football Club will be making no public comment at this stage on the current crisis in Scottish football.
“The Chairman and Secretary attended the meeting of all 30 clubs at Hampden on July 3 when much information was provided for clubs to take back to their boards for consideration.
"The board's intention is to discuss these proposals in full at our next meeting before returning to Hampden for the Special General Meeting on Friday, July 13.” Wednesday, July 4
Lachlan Cameron: "We will vote yes to allowing Newco Rangers into the SFL as an associate member and agree to permit Rangers F.C. to play in the league 2012/13. The logic behind this is that they have the facilities and fan base that the league is looking for. The fact that it could go against the rule book is a question for the SFL and not us.
"We will vote no on the agenda item that allows Rangers into the 3rd division, but 1st division if the SFL board agree terms with the SPL and SFA on measures “improving” the game. Our representative has been instructed that if the agenda item is altered to allow Rangers into the 3rd division full stop, that we will vote yes, but not on any agenda item that allows Rangers into the 1st." Friday, July 13
Chairman Lachlan Cameron in the Daily Record: "The Third Division would be the perfect place for Rangers. There is pressure for them to go into the First by the SPL and SFA but I believe they should go into the Third." Friday, July 6
STV understands that, following the club's AGM on Wednesday, Brechin will vote in favour of plans for Rangers to play in the First Division. Thursday, July 12
Board statement: “This is without doubt an unprecedented time in Scottish football, and it is of paramount importance that any decision must be in the best interests of the game as a whole, but should in the first instance protect the well being and future of Brechin City Football Club.” Monday, July 2
Chairman Sid Collumbine: "East Fife FC want to make clear our views on the current “Newco” situation as it relates to SFL membership. We have taken into account the views of over 500 of our supporters who responded to our survey.
"We retain an open mind on the subject of league reconstruction, and will carefully consider any proposal put to us in this regard.
"The board of directors of East Fife FC, however, is unanimous in its view that we shall not support any integrated plan that in our view compromises sporting integrity by involving the admission of any ‘Newco’ directly into Division One. Any “Newco” must follow the normal application route into the bottom tier." Tuesday, July 3
Club statement: “These proposals will be discussed at what was a scheduled board meeting on Monday evening and in all probability at a further meeting later in the week following receipt of further information likely to be provided on what is a very fluid situation by the footballing authorities. Only then will our representative at the meeting be instructed how to cast his vote.
“This is proving to be a very stressful time for all involved in the game in Scotland and this is certainly the case for your own Directors as they ponder what in the first instance is best for Forfar Athletic and also importantly the future of the game in Scotland as a whole.” Friday, July 6
Queen of the South
Board statement: “The club are unhappy at being dropped into this position and do not, yet, feel they are in possession of the full facts to allow them to make a final decision.
“The club are well aware of the strong opinion of the fans and have read all the comments, emails etc sent to the club and fans should rest assured that they are being listened to.
“The club will continue to discuss the situation and make a further announcement when a final decision is confirmed.” Thursday, June 5
Board statement: "In this situation and having considered the consequences for the club primarily, but also that of the many other clubs who would suffer significantly, we will support Rangers Newco joining the SFL on the strict proviso that the various elements of restructuring and merging of the league are agreed to our satisfaction.
“For the reasons stated above, we would anticipate that the Rangers Newco would be entering at Division One.” Thursday, July 5
THIRD DIVISION CLUBS
First Division entry: None
Third Division entry: Annan Athletic, Berwick Rangers, Clyde, Elgin City, Peterhead, Stirling Albion, Stranraer
Undeclared: East Stirlingshire, Montrose, Queen's Park
Henry McLelland, chairman: "The SPL are threatening that, without Rangers in Division One, the money would be withdrawn - because they can't afford to pay.
"The SFL accounts show that that money is almost the total money that's distributed to the clubs throughout the season.
"Annan would get around £60,000 that could disappear. But, if that's the case then as a club they will deal with it by cutting their cloth accordingly.
"We feel Rangers should be in Division Three and our stance hasn't changed." Sunday, July 8
Club spokesperson: "Berwick Rangers' Board tonight agreed unanimously that should the new Rangers FC be admitted to the SFL for the new season, that they would support a move directly into SFL Division Three.
"The Club has also taken on board the feelings of their Supporters Club, Supporters Trust and the countless individual fans who have contacted them directly. There will be no further statement from the club on this matter." Tuesday, July 10
Berwick Rangers Supporters Trust: A consultation of members resulted in the following vote.
Direct entry into SFL1 = 2%Direct entry into SFL3 = 23%Consideration for admittance into SFL3 if a vacancy exists, in competition with other eligible clubs who may also wish to seek admission, with the successful applicant being selected following a vote by member clubs = 70%Reject Rangers newco admittance into the SFL = 5%
"The results of the Trust consultation will be made known to the FC board, as promised, and will be asking them to take full account of the views expressed by our members, when they decide the best position for Berwick Rangers FC going forward." Sunday, July 8
Club spokesperson in the Scottish Sun: "We would welcome Rangers into the Third Division as there would be financial benefits for us. But for the sake of Scottish football, I think they should go to the First." Friday, July 6
Board statement: "As a club owned by its supporters and recovering from having been on the brink of extinction, the Board of Clyde Football Club recognise the damage done to the credibility of Rangers Football Club by its successive owners, and the subsequent impact on staff and supporters. These proposals do nothing to restore that credibility.
"It is not for us to become involved in punishment, that is a matter for the SPL and SFA. The SFL clubs are being asked to change their rules so that the SPL and SFA can apply sanctions that fit short term financial interests.
"It is not for us to tell any club what they should want for themselves, but to enter anywhere other than the 3rd Division risks Rangers Football Club being burdened with the legacy of commencing its rebuilding in a manner that they later look back on with regret.
"Rangers Football Club does not need to be handed a competitive advantage, they are more than capable of returning to the SPL via the 3rd Division on their own merit. Rebuilding from the bottom can restore the dignity stripped from the club by its former owners." Saturday, June 30
The club is yet to make public comment on the issue.
Board statement: "The Directors of Elgin City Football Club have continued to discuss the present crisis facing Scottish Football and have carefully weighed up all the possible scenarios and their outcomes both for Scottish Football and Elgin City FC as a viable club.
"The club have reached the decision that it cannot support the proposal for Rangers Newco to be directly admitted to Division 1 but will support entry to SFL Division 3 in season 2012 / 2013. The Board thanks the supporters and other interested parties who took time to express their views to the Club during this testing time for the future of our game." Thursday, July 12
Club chairman Derek Smith: "Clubs are damned if we do, damned if we don't" Wednesday, July 4
Club statement: "Although we are to come under severe pressure from bodies outwith the SFL to accept these fast-tracked changes to accomodate at Newco team and to hail this proposal as a 'blue print to safeguard the future of Scottish Football', we must retain our stance and those of the majority of our fans to vote NO." Thursday, July 12
Club spokesperson in the Scottish Sun: "I think Rangers should do the honourable thing and go down to the Third Division." Friday, July 6
The club is yet to make public comment on the issue.
Stuart Brown, operations director: "The outcome of the Supporters’ Trust Poll with regards to the options the Club have been asked to consider in advance of tomorrow’s SFL Meeting at Hampden is as follows:-
Option 1 - to SFL3 – 68%
Option 2 - to SFL1 – 16%
Option 3 - to be terminated or suspended – 16%
"The club executive accepts this as a clear steer from the membership for Option 1 and that is the stance that I will take forward into the SFL meeting. The stance will include the proviso that, in accordance with SFL rules, the Rangers/Newco will have to apply for election rather than be accorded automatic admission as the option, as currently worded, would imply." Monday, July 2
Board statement: "There should not be a special case made for any club and we believe that the proper place for a phoenix club to restart life is at the lowest level.
"We believe it is right and proper than any club should have the right to apply for the resulting vacancy and we would then form a view on which club we would support for election to any vacancy based on the presentation case made by the applicants." Monday, July 2