The SPL members are set to descend on Hampden once again on Monday to vote on proposed sanctions that could be imposed on a beleaguered Rangers side. The vote has already been postponed and opinion over the weekend from various quarters point to the vote being delayed once again as the club chairman fear a backlash from disgruntled and angry Rangers fans.
O’Rourke hit out at Johnston, saying: “So Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston thinks that Rangers being kept in the SPL is more important than sporting integrity. Well he better be prepared for doing without the Celtic support, because I’m certain the Celtic support will bhoycott Rugby Park next season.”
However O’Rourke believes that Johnston will not be the only SPL chairman to back a Rangers newco returning to the SPL, he added: “Johnston has been the driving force behind the gang of ten’s new proposals for changing the rules in the SPL. I’m not surprised he backs a Rangers Newco getting an easy ride back into the SPL, and he won’t be alone, there will be a few chairmen thinking the same way.”
O’Rourke then rounded on SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster and implied that the Celtic support would take ‘appropriate action’ if Rangers are welcomed back into the SPL merely for commercial gain, the CSA general secretary continued: “I have written to Neil Doncaster regarding comments attributed to him. I have also made him aware that we would have a problem supporting a league that doesn’t uphold sporting integrity. I am almost certain that if a Rangers Newco is not treated appropriately, the Celtic support will take the appropriate action.”
The threat of a fans boycott from Celtic comes weeks after the Rangers Supporters Trust threatened a boycott of away fixtures next season, due to the proposed change in the SPL rules on financial fair play.
Their statement read: “The board of the Rangers Supporters Trust, like other fans of the club, are not in the least surprised by the actions and timing of the SPL decision to vote on rule changes which has now further delayed a future takeover of Rangers.
“Given the severity of the possible sanctions, and their impact on any club who may also fall on hard times through mismanagement, it leaves us little option but to give serious consideration of calling for a boycott of away fixtures by Rangers fans next season; specifically targeting those clubs who have rushed through the proposals to punish our club with these excessive and draconian penalties.”