Rangers were dramatically kicked out of next season's Scottish
Premier League after rival clubs voted overwhelmingly to exclude
the ailing Glasgow giants, it was confirmed Wednesday.
The soon-to-be-liquidated Ibrox club had applied to rejoin the
league after reforming as a new company (newco) but their request
was turned down following a vote of the other clubs which make up
the Scottish top-flight.
"At today's General Meeting, SPL clubs today voted overwhelmingly
to reject the application from Rangers newco to join the SPL," an
SPL statement said.
The statement came after more than five hours of talks at Hampden
as Rangers' new management clung on to the hope of staving off
It caps a humiliating fall from grace for the most successful
club in Scottish football, who were plunged into crisis earlier
this year after entering administration following a tax dispute.
It was not immediately clear where Rangers' new incarnation will
begin life next season. One option under consideration is to
start in the First Division, the league below the SPL.
The SPL, Scottish Football League (SFL) and Scottish Football
Association (SFA) are all pushing for the First Division option,
which would also include significant league reform and Â£1
million ($1.6m) payment for the second tier's television rights.
Safeguarding the multi-million pound commercial deals on which
all of Scotland's professional clubs rely so heavily is central
to the issue, with a new TV deal worth Â£80 million ($125m) over
five seasons reputedly dependent on the screening of four Rangers
v Celtic Old Firm derbies a season.
Broadcasters are said to be prepared to go no more than one year
without these showcase matches.
Already clubs in the lower leagues are speaking out against the
prospect of Rangers going straight into the First Division,
despite being told by the SFL that their own existence would be
at risk if Rangers are forced to start in the Third Division.
The view of many lower league clubs is that Rangers should be
forced to start from the bottom of the league ladder, as has
happened in the past when clubs have been punished for financial
In 2008, Gretna were relegated from the SPL to the Third Divison
-- and then went bust -- after being unable to guarantee that
they would fulfil their fixtures, while a year later Livingston
were relegated from the First Division to the Third Division
after breaching league rules on insolvency.