SPL clubs to discuss Gers repercussions

  • Last Updated: July 15 2012, 22:12 BST

SPL clubs will meet on Monday to discuss their reaction to the Rangers newco being placed in the Third Division - but Inverness have reaffirmed their opposition to the Ibrox outfit joining the top flight.

Rangers have been placed in the Third Division

Reports had claimed SPL clubs could be on the verge of a U-turn despite being expected to name Dundee or Dunfermline as the replacement for Rangers at their annual general meeting on Monday.

But Inverness joined Dundee United and Hearts in this weekend stating they would not change their initial opposition to the SPL application.

And they dismissed claims their club will be placed in immediate danger from any reduction in income that comes with the Scottish Football League decision.

Chairman Kenny Cameron said in a statement: "We are one of the few clubs with no bank debt whatsoever, so our position is very far from immediately threatening, as has been alleged.

"We look forward to the new season on the back of renewed commitment over the weekend from our major shareholders and sponsors, for which we are very grateful.

"They fully appreciate that in May we, like other clubs, set our budget for 2012-13 and now there will be real change to the commercial curve because of events outwith our control.

"It is important that our supporters keep making their contribution via season ticket sales.

"We took their views on board and continue to hold the position that not allowing 'newco' Rangers into the SPL is the correct decision."

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan and SPL counterpart Neil Doncaster have claimed the league could lose about £16million annually as a result of losing the Ibrox club for at least three years, mainly from television deals.

But Cameron said: "At national level, we are optimistic that the SPL's sponsors will take due cognisance of the situation in which the SPL finds itself and will stand behind the league."

The plan put to SFL clubs on Friday included reforms such as top-flight play-offs and merger of the two leagues and Inverness will push for further discussions on change.

"Our club has for some time been in favour of an expanded SPL and it is clear now that the reorganisation of Scottish football has to be at the top of the agenda," Cameron said.

"We will be supporting such reorganisation over the coming weeks and months."

Most, if not all, contracts have an exit or re-negotiation clause should either Old Firm team be absent and the television deals are the biggest cause for concern.

Sky and ESPN were due to sign an £80million five-year deal this summer, although their existing £13million annual contract has a year left to run.

Doncaster has apparently valued TV revenue at just £3million if the Rangers newco was made to start in the Third Division.

St Mirren chairman Stewart Gilmour revealed his own club would be among five clubs struggling to stay solvent in the aftermath of the SFL decision and some lower-league clubs remain sceptical about their vote being applied.

Queen of the South, one of the few clubs who voted for the First Division plan, said they only did so because they believe it is inevitable the new Rangers will end up in the second tier, and wanted to ensure reform came with it.

A statement read: "We have been incredibly disappointed and angry at the actions and leadership of the senior members of the SFA and SPL throughout this whole saga.

"There have been statements, both public and private, that have amounted to little more than threats.

"The dialogue has been negative, focusing on and exaggerating the possible 'Armageddon' rather than rallying and actively trying to find solutions that all clubs and, more importantly, supporters would feel comfortable supporting.

"Instead we were presented with a set of proposals that no one was happy with.

"More importantly, the message from the governing bodies was that, even with a 'no' vote, they would continue to pursue the newco Rangers playing in one of the top two tiers next season.

"There has been a lot of talk about how this is not possible under the current rules, but as the saying goes 'where there's a will there's a way'."

Clyde hinted that Ibrox chief executive Charles Green had been promised that such an outcome could not come about amid warnings of an SPL2 breakaway.

However, United and Hearts both said they would not countenance an SPL2 and Regan - who warned the Scottish game would die if Rangers relaunched from the bottom - has come under increased pressure with the leaking of an email that shows him driving plans to "relegate" them to the First Division.