SPL threaten breakaway second tier if clubs do not agree to Rangers plans

A number of sides in the SFL have been warned they face being cut adrift from the top tier.

The Scottish Premier League will grow by 10 teams under new proposals, creating a two-tier structure.
©SNS Group

The Scottish Premier League have warned they will form a breakaway second tier if plans to put Rangers in the First Division are not approved by clubs.

STV understands a number of sides in the Scottish Football League have been told they face being cut adrift from the top tier if they do not agree to proposals for league reconstruction.

Plans emerged on Thursday which would see the merger of both the SPL and SFL, the introduction of play-offs and a change to financial distribution between clubs in the top two tiers.

Central to the suggestions is that SFL clubs allow a newco Rangers to play in the First Division next season, instead of the accepted process of the club applying to the league for a place in the Third Division.

If they do not gain the approval of clubs, it is understood the long-mooted SPL2 could be created, with SFL First Division sides invited to join.

Rangers

Charles Green’s new company is attempting to have the SPL member share transferred from the old business. An 8-4 majority vote of the league’s 12 clubs is required and is due to be held on July 4.

However, seven top flight clubs have already said they will not give their approval, meaning Rangers’ share will be returned to the league.

It has been suggested then that a club from the second tier, either Dundee or Dunfermline Athletic, would gain the vacant SPL clubs.

The onus would then be on the remaining 29 clubs of the SFL to agree to a new financial and sporting package, which would see a newco Rangers play in the First Division in the 2012/13 season.

Plans include a £1m payment to the league for the SPL to broadcast matches involving the Ibrox club, as well as a redistribution of revenue to give more money to First Division clubs.

SPL sources also claim having Rangers in the second tier would add a combined £2m onto the gates of the other nine First Division clubs, a claim which has not been backed up with evidence.

A play-off would also be brought in between the top two leagues, with the side finishing 11th in the SPL taking on the sides placed second, third and fourth in the First Division.

Any Rangers newco would also be forced to accept any sporting sanctions relating to outstanding investigations into the oldco, as well as paying off all football debt.

The possibility of any newco participating in any competition hinges on the Scottish FA agreeing to transfer Rangers' membership of the governing body to Green.

SFL clubs will meet on Tuesday to discuss the plans, although a vote will not be taken at the meeting.

SPL2

Should the SFL clubs reject the plans, the SPL will push ahead with plans to form a second tier which would include the newco Rangers.

First Division clubs would be invited to join the new division, reducing the numbers in the SFL and cutting off the promotion and relegation link between the two bodies.

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