Uncertainty over vote option

  • Last Updated: July 6 2012, 10:39 BST

Stenhousemuir do not expect Scottish Football League clubs to be given the option of voting newco Rangers into the Irn-Bru Third Division.

Rangers: Division destination uncertain

SFL chief executive David Longmuir said on Thursday that clubs would be asked whether they accept the Ibrox club in the SFL next Friday, followed by supplementary questions, which he did not elaborate on.

Stenhousemuir backed up Clyde's assertion that SFA chief executive Stewart Regan had effectively left them with two options once the newco's SPL bid failed - vote them into the First Division or there would be an SPL2 breakaway.

Stenhousemuir revealed they would vote in favour of the proposal as they would otherwise risk the future of the club.

The Second Division club issued a detailed report of the meeting which claimed the SPL value their annual broadcasting potential at £3million if newco Rangers start life in the Third Division.

They say SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster claimed the top flight would annually lose £17.7million in TV rights and £1million in sponsorship deals if the Ibrox club are out of the division for at least three years.

Regan has publicly claimed SPL clubs would lose £15.7million a season.

Community-run Stenhousemuir said Regan set out the SFA's position very clearly.

"As the governing body they considered that the punishment for Rangers Newco needed to be significant," chairman Bill Darroch said in a statement.

"The punishment they are proposing of relegation from the SPL, a one-year transfer embargo, a significant fine and the related UEFA three-year ban from Europe was fair and just.

"This did not include any subsequent punishments which may or may not be raised re the dual contracts enquiry."

Regan has since confirmed publicly he cannot allow the game to suffer the "slow, lingering death" that would be caused by Rangers relaunching in the Third Division.

Darroch said: "In reality therefore the only decision open to us and the other clubs is to a) accept Rangers Newco into the SFL, or b) refuse Rangers Newco admittance to the SFL.

"If accepted then Rangers Newco would be in Division 1. If not accepted into Division 1, it is apparent that SPL 2 will be the outcome."

Darroch said the impact of the Govan club going into the Third Division, were it to be allowed, would end the £2million SPL settlement payment and mean a £50,000 loss to his club.

That would force them to scrap their acclaimed youth system and could lead to administration.

He said they had been told having the Ibrox club in the First Division would mean a £3.7million loss to the top flight, from sponsorship and overseas TV rights, plus a £1million payment to the SFL for television rights.

Darroch said SPL2 was a genuine option, although it was not presented as a threat. The financial impact of this, said Darroch, would be at least equal to that of the Third Division option for his club and the SFL could cease to exist.

Stenhousemuir said the benefits of accepting included mergers of the two leagues, more equitable governance, potential changes to wealth distribution and play-offs into the top division.

Darroch said they would support the application 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 Div 1."

When asked about Regan's vow to ensure the worst-case scenario did not happen, Longmuir said on Thursday: "The SFL clubs clearly have choices but what we plan to do is make the choices very, very clear to them by giving them the right information and to work over the next week to pull together the plan that's going to take the game forward through this mini crisis.

"Technically the SFA as governing body have the power to influence just about every decision that is taken in the game but I believe that with proper collaboration we can get everybody onside with this."