Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

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Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Mon Jul 02, 2012 6:52 pm

With the SFL set to discuss the fairydust (a sprinkling of £16M here, a loss of 30% there, hey presto, clubs that haven't played Rangers for decades if at all, will suddenly vanish from the scene) document tomorrow, now is a good time to examine the position of the current 30 SFL clubs, Even though no official vote can be taken on anything tomorrow because, as yet, there is no vacancy, it's generally accepted that the Rangers newco will lose the vote on the transfer of the old Rangers share in the SPL on Wednesday.

There is some confusion as to whether a 2/3 or 3/4 majority is needed to instal a new club into the 1st division. In any case it can only be done if and when there is a vacancy. That means the SPL rejecting the newco and then inviting Dundee/Dunfermline into the SPL. Should that happen then the respective voting figures are based on 29 clubs not 30. Here's where it gets even more confusing. 3/4 of 29 is 21.75 so 22 clubs would be needed on that basis. 2/3 of 29 is 19.33 so 20 clubs are needed on that basis. The blocking numbers are therefore eight and ten under these scenarios. However, should one club abstain (as at least one club has indicated) then the yes votes fall to 21 and 19 respectively IF and I stress the IF the rules demand 3/4 or 2/3 of those present AND VOTING, the number needed to block RISES if the abstention is disregarded. Of course that's only with one abstention and assuming the abstention is disregarded.The required numbers would change according to the number of abstentions. With five abstentions and 3/4 needed, 19 votes gets them in but if abstentions are counted as part of the total 19 is three short. But as the SFL doesn't seem to have a clue what its own rules are, don't expect me to.

Where there is clarity is in the event of an admission to the 3rd division. This has happened in 1994 (two clubs), 2000 (two clubs), 2002 (one club) and 2008 (one club). In each instance there has been a ballot of the members until such time as a club has obtained 50% + 1 of the clubs. In other words, 15 votes.

So, where do the SFL clubs currently stand on the issue. Some have been forthright in their opposition to Rangers in the 1st division, some have been non-commital, some have said and done nothing at all. But the most surprising thing is that not a single club has - so far - positively welcomed the proposal. That may change tomorrow when the SFL high heid yins have the chance to put some much-needed flesh on the meagre bones of their document. We shall see. Here now, is the current state of play.

Airdrie United - will abstain as they are a possible beneficiary of Rangers failing to get into the 1st. As play-off final losers they would expect to get the 1st division vacancy. To be fair, even though many are sceptical about the true allegiances of club chairman and SFL president Jim Ballantyne, this is what they did in 2008 with regard to Gretna in similar circumstances.

Albion Rovers - nothing at all on their website

Alloa Athletic - there has been consultation with season ticket holders and long-term fans. All correspondence must be signed. No anonymous contributions were accepted.

Annan Athletic - nothing at all on their website

Arbroath - nothing at all on their website

Ayr United - officially nothing committed but strongly anti-SPL sentiment on Chairman’s blog and a very telling statement (my bold): "For the record, Ayr United try to play within the rules. We try and abide by the financial fair play guidelines and we give every penny available to the Manager for his playing squad. Unfortunately, it’s very tough to do with the expectations of supporters, players and managers but it is what all clubs have to do to keep the club alive and the creditors paid. We try and do it, and we expect other clubs to do it as well.

That will be a large part of our decision making process if and when we are asked to sort out this SPL mess, but we must hear all of the facts first before we jump to conclusions."


Berwick Rangers - nothing at all on their website

Brechin City - "The Management Committee of Brechin City FC will refrain from issuing any public comment on the current situation in respect of Rangers FC until after the meeting of all 30 SFL clubs at Hampden Park on Tuesday 3rd July."

Clyde - very strong ‘anti-Rangers’ statement, well publicised and ending: "The Board of this club sees no merit whatsoever in adopting this proposal."

Cowdenbeath - nothing at all on their website (though with Donald Findlay as chairman it's not too hard to discern their intentions)

Dumbarton - nothing at all on their website

Dundee - "The board have spent the weekend considering the SFL document. We will then come to an educated decision based on the facts as presented and what is best for the future of Dundee Football Club and Scottish Football as a whole."

Which, a cynic might imagine, would involve a return to the SPL and Rangers into the 1st.

Dunfermline - absolute rejection. "the Board of DAFC on behalf of its supporters, and the wider footballing community of Dunfermline and West Fife, can now confirm that it will not be voting in favour of any solution which involves "Newco" being parachuted into SFL Division 1 next season."

East Fife - asked for a survey to be completed by today but this was open to anyone to complete and therefore subject to manipulation in any direction.

East Stirlingshire - nothing at all on their website.

Elgin City - nothing at all on their website.

Falkirk - 100% Rejectionista. "It would be totally unacceptable if a “Rangers Newco” were admitted to the First Division on the current rules. Even a weakened “Rangers Newco” would have resources that far outstripped all other First Division clubs and this would pretty much guarantee them promotion before the season even starts.

Fairness is a word not often quoted in the current situation. However, I think it is worth reminding everyone that when Falkirk FC were faced with provisional liquidation in 1998, the new consortium of owners paid every creditor (including the Inland Revenue) in full, i.e. 100 pence in the pound. If we had gone down the route taken by many clubs since then, paying only a fraction to their creditors, we would have had the resources to accelerate the development of our stadium and make an earlier return to the SPL. Any decisions taken by our board will be made in the best interests of our club and of Scottish football."


Last sentiments the same as Dundee's but possibly for different reasons.

Forfar - no public comment other than "The club’s Chairman and Secretary will attend this meeting with an open mind on the subject, will listen and enter into the discussions and no doubt arguments that will ensue on the day. They will then report back to their fellow Directors before the club make any decision on motions which will be put to an extraordinary and undoubtedly historic general meeting of the Scottish Football League to be held later in July."

Hamilton The first signs of a change of direction? A couple of days ago their chairman was quoted as saying Rangers would be unacceptable to 1st division clubs but today he says: "In many ways the current Rangers situation mirrored our own and we should be aware the effect liquidation has on the supporters who in many ways are the innocent victims of management. We would urge all clubs to work together to reshape the leagues in a fair and equitable manner and to make decisions purely for the long term prosperity of our game and the enjoyment of the supporters of all clubs. Harmony must be restored between all clubs for the good of our game and the continued existence of all Scotland’s Clubs."

Livingston - nothing official but can’t be happy given their demotion to the 3rd a few years ago

Montrose - nothing at all on their website

Morton - Explicit 100% rejection. "Under the current SFL rules, any Club making an application for membership should be admitted to the 3rd Division. I personally see no reason to make any exception to that at this time and would therefore vote accordingly."

Partick Thistle - Neutral. "Currently, Partick Thistle do not have a complete view of or on the proposals, and consequently, we will believe it entirely sensible to wait until we have full details available, before forming any opinion."

Peterhead - Not from their website but their chairman quoted in the press. “For sporting integrity they should be going into the Third Division."

QOS - from director Mark Robertson’s blog: . "We as a Board hear loud and clear how our fans feel and rest assured we will do the right thing. I see what some people write about and as to where my loyalties are. Do not listen to these people (could think of stronger words but they are not worth it) the true fans know that we will always protect QOS even if it means having to make tough decisions."

This could have come from the office of Peter Lawwell. Enough to make fans think it's anti-Newco without actually making that commitment.

Queen’s Park - nothing at all on their website. I'm not surprised at some of the smaller clubs as yet saying nothing as this document was only dropped on them on Friday, but given how close QP are physically to the corridors of power and that they stand to gain the most from Rangers in the 3rd division (the only other ground with a five-figure capacity) I'd have expected some kind of statement.

Raith Rovers - With Turnbull Hutton (crazy name, not so crazy guy) fast becoming the new hero of Scottish football, it's no surprise to hear Raith's position. "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."

Stenhousemuir - they said before the SFL document was published: "We wait for concrete proposals to consider and make a valued judgement from there”.

Stirling Albion - "The Club Executive will hold a joint meeting with the Trust Board as soon as practically possible following Tuesday's meeting, to ensure all parties have the very latest information and when the time is right, it will be the Trust Board's responsibility to determine when and how to seek the views of their members."

Stranraer - nothing at all on their website. Surprising as they too would be a beneficiary, being the team in line to be promoted to the 2nd should Rangers end up in the 3rd.

That's Clyde, Dunfermline, Falkirk, Morton, Peterhead and Raith Rovers committed to saying 'No to Newco' with Ayr United as good as saying the same. It's possible to interpret Hamilton (despite what looks like a little rowing back) and Queen of the South as being of a similar mind and it would be unthinkable for Livingston to vote any other way. That's six definites and ten likely 'No' votes. It's unlikely those numbers will dwindle, despite the threats heading their way. If the Stenhousemuirs and Alloas, so roundly derided by James Traynor in his column today, have managed to survive for so long without Rangers - Stenny have never played them in the league and Alloa last did so 90 years ago - then how can the absence of Rangers from either the SPLor the 1st division adversely affect them or clubs like them now?

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by the hibLOG » Mon Jul 02, 2012 10:05 pm

If the Stenhousemuirs and Alloas, so roundly derided by James Traynor in his column today, have managed to survive for so long without Rangers - Stenny have never played them in the league and Alloa last did so 90 years ago - then how can the absence of Rangers from either the SPL or the 1st division adversely affect them or clubs like them now?
Every club in Divisions 2 and 3 (and, albeit deferred by a couple of years, Division 1) surely stands to benefit more by placing the newco in Division 3, forcing them to spread the 'bounty' of their travelling support throughout the league on their (assumed) way back up. It is surely as clear as day that this whole proposal is 100% about the welfare of the SPL and any fleeting benefit to the SFL will be gone before the money can even earn enough interest to pay for the tea biscuits. Understandably a lot of clubs might want to say "show us the money" to see exactly how many tea biscuits it will cover, but several of those clubs who are firmly in the 'No' camp will surely point out that the finances in this proposal are as fictional as the workings of a Rangers club accountant.
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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:07 pm

That's right. The only clubs which would miss out, assuming Rangers won promotion in the first two seasons, would be those clubs relegated at the same time as they were promoted - a minmum of two and a maximum of four.

Meanwhile, Stirling Albion have balloted their members before tomorrow's meeting with the results being 68% in favour of the 3rd division, 16% the 1st and 16% suspension/termination. Their position has now changed from neutral to opposed to Newco going into the 1st division and their support for them going into the 3rd is based on their being elected under current rules, not just placed there.

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Mon Jul 02, 2012 11:28 pm

East Fife have updated their position prior to the meeting as follows:

"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."


That is now eight definite No votes not counting Ayr, Hamilton, Livingston, QoS. Just two more means Rangers cannot win the vote even if the majority needed is 2/3 rather than 3/4 and even if Airdrie United's abstention reduces the voting number to be counted to 28 not 29. 2/3 of 28 needs 19 votes. Given how strongly the Ayr statement is couched, the hints given by others and with no reason to think the Alloa consultation will be different from any others, I think it's safe to say this plan is dead in the water.

Further, I think they know it and will spend the next 36 hours threatening imminent armaggeddon against SPL clubs in a last-ditch bid to get them to change their minds. That will fail because too many clubs are publicly committed to voting against them. To change back now would be the biggest disaster of this seemingly never-ending series of faux-pas.

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Tue Jul 03, 2012 10:34 pm

Stranraer have voiced their opposition to the current plans, making it nine definite NOES while Dundee have intimated that, like Airdrie United, they will abstain. However, the SFL have indicated that a simple majority will be enough to vote in Rangers to the 1st division and, having leafed through their rulebook, there appears to be nothing to indicate this to be incorrect as they have a catch-all clause on membership admission which doesn't specify the entry level.

So the number needed to get in could be as high as 16 - if all 30 are still members and they need a majority of ALL clubs. Or it could be as low as 14 - if two clubs abstain and the vote is tied at 14-14 and then goes to the casting vote of the President. This is Jim Ballantyne, an abstainer wearing his Airdrie United hat but who could vote to break the deadlock wearing his SFL bunnet. Custom and practice dicates that if a motion fails to gather a majority then it should be deemed to be unsuccessful and the chairman should vote in favour of the status quo.

But this is Rangers we are talking about. This is Jim Ballantyne we are talking about. A man who proudly wore a Rangers Fighting Fund badge at a recent Rangers fund-raising friendly v Linfield. A man who, Alex Thomson revealed today, was a shareholder in Rangers FC prior to liquidation. I'm not saying he will but he definitely could cast a decisive vote in their favour.

As expected, the hounds of hell were unleashed on SFL chairmen today but with seemingly little effect. Now, even as I write, the BBC is suggesting late night calls going on in an attempt to influence proceedings tomorrow with a suggestion that yet again the matter will be delayed. That would be taking this continuing farce to new extremes. The logic behind this latest thinking is that if they are rejected for the 1st division then they could yet be put into the SPL. Enough. It's time to end it. Tomorrow's meeting was called in order to vote and that vote should go ahead. Everyone knows what's at stake and avoiding a vote just in case Rangers end up where they belong - in the 3rd division - is rigging things in a manner Tammany Hall would be proud of - "What, you failed to come second? Don't worry, you can win instead."

Surely there will be enough publicly committed clubs to force not just a vote but the rejection of Charles Green's new club's attempt to gain entry to the game at the highest level. To date the votes are stacked against him 8-1 with the announcement of Motherwell's overwhelming vote against. Michael Johnston has refused to disclose the results of the Kilmarnock consultation which suggests that too was heavily against the newco. Neither Celtic nor Ross County have shown their hand either. But if every club votes as they've said they will and even if Killie, Celtic (not as daft as it might seem, if there's a secret ballot) and County vote in favour then it will be 8-4 AGAINST and the focus will then shift to the SFL.

They will, as Ayr United's Lachlan Cameron has said, be forced to clear up the SPL's mess. They'll be meeting on 12th July. An appropriate day to end this festering sore for good.

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by the hibLOG » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:00 pm

Majestic quotes from Turnbull Hutton:
SPL clubs meet on Wednesday to vote on the newco Rangers application, but Hutton is sceptical.

He said: "Will they vote? They normally vote to have a vote to not vote. That's my experience of them.

"So we're trying to aspire to SPL standards today, and hopefully we will succeed."

Hutton added: "It was a tiring day, lots discussed, no decisions made, Rovers' coming out decision is the same as their going-in decision.

"Life's too short at my age to spend days at places like this to decide nothing.

"There comes a point when you kind of lose the will to live.

"I get a feeling that whatever happens at this meeting next week will find its way to an SPL meeting somewhere, which could find its way to a meeting in the local unemployment exchange."
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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Tue Jul 03, 2012 11:40 pm

Well, we are now into the 4th of July and if the clubs stick to their guns, justice should be done today. Hope I'm not tempting fate by suggesting this rousing song by Pat Benatar & Martina McBride is appropriate for the day's events.

Let freedom ring, let the white dove sing
Let the whole world know that today
Is a day of reckoning.
Let the weak be strong,let the right be wrong
Roll the stone away, let the guilty pay
It's Independence Day.


Covering my bets, if OTOH it's yet another indecisive fudge, maybe Bing Crosby, Cedric Hardwicke & William Bendix could provide an anthem for the SPL.

We're busy doin' nothin'
Workin' the whole day through
Tryin' to find lots of things not to do
We're busy going nowhere
Isn't it just a crime
We'd like to be unhappy, but
We never do have the time

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:23 pm

It's Pat and Martina singing, not Bing and crew. Newco rejected overwhelmingly

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Wed Jul 04, 2012 1:59 pm

I`m still not convinced there won`t be some kind of Rangers in the SPL next season. Doncaster`s waffle is brilliant. Rather than even pretend to be neutral he`s telling the members of an organisation in which he is not involved(the Scottish League) just what is good for it.

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:22 pm

LEATHERSTOCKING wrote:I`m still not convinced there won`t be some kind of Rangers in the SPL next season. Doncaster`s waffle is brilliant. Rather than even pretend to be neutral he`s telling the members of an organisation in which he is not involved(the Scottish League) just what is good for it.
No, it's official. Even on the SPL website. Vote was 10-1 with one abstention. Rangers voted for themselves or their newco successors rather, and Michael Johnston forgot to pack his backbone before setting off for the meeting and abstained.

Charles Green is now claiming they wanted to withdraw their application last week an concentrate instead on the SFL but 'SPL officials' (read Doncaster) persuaded him they still had a shot at it. Green now saying they will accept entry into the SFL at any level. At last they are realising the severity of their situation (though only after another stupid move, trying to sign Ian Black at the same time as they were promising the SPL they would adhere to the transfer ban) and it's SFL 3 or nothing. It could well be nothing.

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Skyline Drifter » Wed Jul 04, 2012 3:31 pm

scottish wrote:No, it's official. Even on the SPL website. Vote was 10-1 with one abstention. Rangers voted for themselves or their newco successors rather, and Michael Johnston forgot to pack his backbone before setting off for the meeting and abstained.
Read elsewhere that Kilmarnock voted "no" and the abstention was either Celtic or Ross County with the former more likely?

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Wed Jul 04, 2012 4:22 pm

Skyline Drifter wrote:
scottish wrote:No, it's official. Even on the SPL website. Vote was 10-1 with one abstention. Rangers voted for themselves or their newco successors rather, and Michael Johnston forgot to pack his backbone before setting off for the meeting and abstained.
Read elsewhere that Kilmarnock voted "no" and the abstention was either Celtic or Ross County with the former more likely?
I hope you're right but I fear otherwise. Killie boards seem to be sure. Though all three clubs mentioned are possibilities. They were the only three not to declare their hand before the meeting. Ross County have no prior history in the SPL and may have felt they should stand aside from decision-making. Celtic have very obvious and historic reasons not to go against their twin but could only do so in secret, given the strength of feeling of their fans. Oddly enough Celtic were one of the few clubs not to consult supporters or to issue any statement of any kind. Johnston did consult but kept the results secret, unlike other clubs. If he comes out now and gives the figures and insists he voted no, many, both Kilmarnock and non-Killie fans alike, won't believe him, seeing as he failed to do so beforehand and given his earlier comments on the situation.

The stupid thing is that an abstention is in effect a negative vote as Rangers needed eight ayes to get in. It wouldn't have mattered if it had been 7-0 with five abstentions (except that would have encouraged Doncaster to try again next week), it wouldn't have been enough. So if you're going to abstain and you know (as they all did) that the noes are going to prevail, there's no point in abstaining. But when it's 10-1 and one abstention, the PERCEPTION is that the abstaining club is on Rangers side.

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Scottish » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:07 pm

Celtic have confirmed they voted NO

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by LEATHERSTOCKING » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:51 pm

Yes, but Doncaster has said that a Rangers newco could come back into the SPL with a range of sanctions.

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Re: Rangers Newco - How the SFL lines up

Post by Skyline Drifter » Wed Jul 04, 2012 9:18 pm

scottish wrote:Celtic have confirmed they voted NO
Yes, it looks like the info I read elsewhere was innacurate. It said Kilmarnock had made a post on the club Twitter account saying they voted "no" but I can see no such thing now. You're probably correct, though I wouldn't be absolutely astonished if County had abstained given they weren't members of the SPL when it all happened.

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