ArabTRUST chairman Derek Robertson hit out in a frank statement released this afternoon, he said: “You’d be hard pressed to find any Scottish football supporter sympathetic to re-admitting a newco Rangers straight back into the SPL. Any sympathy that might have been out there has been lost due to the continued revelations and the unapologetic bully boy tactics employed by them in recent weeks. In PR terms, a classic case of how not to win friends and influence people.”
In recent months Rangers and Dundee United have been at loggerheads, due to the Ibrox side owing United money from gate receipts not to mention the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund releasing a statement implying that United were dishonourable due linked back to a postponed game between the two sides which was replayed but with fans having to pay half price to get into the game.
The chairman of the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund, Andrew McCormick, stated at the time: “After some discussion it was agreed that we should use some of the money collected by our fans to pay off this outstanding debt. This is a debt of honour to a club of honour. Consideration was also given to using some more of the funds to pay off money owed to Dundee United. But that was rejected as there were strong views that, in recent times, Dundee United had treated Rangers and their fans with disdain.
The Trust also intimated in May that the sporting integrity of the competition should be preserved without fear.
Robertson added: “The ‘elephant in the room’ however remains the uncertainty over the continuance of the Sky TV deal and it is critical that this is clarified before any vote takes place, otherwise it may exert unwarranted influence. We’ve arranged a meeting with Chairman Thompson to continue dialogue.”
Meanwhile Hibernian supporters clubs chairman Mike Riley told the Edinburgh Evening News tonight: “I think the majority view among the Hibs supporters is that Rangers should be punished and punished severely. They have done wrong and they should stand up and take whatever comes their way.
“Whatever way the vote goes, it is going to cause ructions in Scottish football for a long time to come. For them to come back as a ‘newco’ and go straight back into the SPL would upset a lot of people and I know a lot of Hibs fans who would be very unhappy if that were to be the case.
“They are due many clubs money, so everyone is being dragged into it. I think at the moment, they are getting what they deserve.”
Riley’s city counterpart Steve Kilgour, secretary of the Federation of Hearts Supporters’ Clubs, sees the liquidation of Rangers as a great chance for the Tynecastle side to proposer.
He said: “Not having Rangers in the SPL might help us because, if we were to emerge as a challenger to Celtic, our crowds could go up. When clubs are challenging attendances rise. Look at Hibs when they got relegated to the First Division – their crowds went up because they had a team that was winning. Folk will go and watch a winning team no matter what level it is.
“I think Hearts are one of the clubs it wouldn’t impact too heavily on. Clubs have been relegated from the Premier League and survived so I’m sure they can survive in an SPL without Rangers. The TV money might drop but I don’t think Hearts would suffer. Go back to the 2006 season when we were filling Tynecastle ourselves, with or without the Old Firm coming to Edinburgh. A lot of things come with the Old Firm and when they visit a lot of people don’t go any more.”