From the outset I felt that Rangers would survive and that they would have a place in the Scottish Premier League. My position was that for the good of our national game this was the best way to go. I still think that Rangers will survive but my position has changed on the best thing to do for Scottish Football. From what I have read online I have totally misjudged the popular opinion across the football supporting public, Rangers fans aside of course. Those who run the SPL/SFA/SFL might do the same at their peril.
I am no expert on the legal aspects of companies going into administration or liquidation. On the other hand I do know what is morally right and wrong. It is inconceivable that Rangers may be allowed to pay a few pence in the pound, keep all their assets and be debt free and stay in the top flight when every other club is struggling to make ends meet.
For me, the only way forward is for Rangers to liquidate. The prospective buyers pay the market value for the assets they feel they want or need from the old company with the rest going on general sale. The money made from the sale of assets then being split between the creditors. That seems like the fairest way to me. If the old Rangers can’t pay they should cease to exist and sell everything to pay as much as possible.
The new club would be identified as the new Rangers wearing red white and blue and playing at Ibrox Stadium. The new Rangers must be treated in the same way Airdrie was when they went to the wall. The new Rangers should have to apply for entry to the league at the appropriate entry level, the Third Division. The new club could then move forward with dignity.
You must assume that the new Rangers would have a good squad, a massive support and be able to generate vast sums of income. Another fair assumption is that they would cruise to the SPL in three seasons winning three titles on the way there. It may be fair to expect successful Scottish and League Cup runs too. Can you imagine the interest an Old Firm cup game (if we could still use the term old firm) would generate? The three years in the lower leagues would dovetail nicely with their ban on European qualification. The new Rangers would emerge as SPL contenders with their heads held high in only three years.
There is the argument of the Sky TV deal. From what I have read the deal is not definitely dead without the four Old Firm games. I know the money is important for all SPL clubs but everyone would need to look at their own business model and make the appropriate changes to ensure survival.
Less TV (if that happens) might lead to bigger crowds. More competition for second place might lead to bigger crowds assuming Celtic maintain a bigger and better squad. Bigger crowds would mean bigger gate money, more programmes sold more merchandise, more pies and more Bovrils sold. There could still be three potential Old Firm games in the cups mentioned above and if the first team squads were to play in the Glasgow Cup. The TV companies might be happy to stick around even if it is for a reduced contract.
I am now of the opinion that saving Rangers at all cost is too high a price. The credibility of the Scottish game is at stake. The powers that be need to show some real strength and character, do the right thing, treat everyone the same. All sports fans want is to play by the same rules. The only other option is for some supremely wealthy person to come in with a lot of cash to fill the financial hole in Rangers FC and pay off their debts. If that happens it will be business as usual next season and I will eat my hat.