After Charles Green’s comments about looking to escape Scottish Football, the Rangers chief executive has threatened to sue UEFA for sexual equality if the Ibrox side are not allowed to join a cross-border league.
The Yorkshireman claimed that he could use Sex Discrimination laws to sue Europe’s governing body, if UEFA try to block Rangers’ attempts to move to another league as Green looks at any way he can take the club out of the Scottish game following proposals for a new 12-12-18 league – a proposal that would keep the Ibrox side in the bottom tier even if they secure the Third Division title this season.
The chief executive cited the newly created women’s professional league in Belgium and Holland – sanctioned by UEFA as a reason why the Ibrox side should be granted access to leagues in any other country.
Speaking to Talksport, Green said: “As the structures stand now, there are not many options. But I’m not one for hiding my light behind a bushel. People say you can’t go into England because you are not allowed cross-borders [leagues].
“Well there is now a cross-border [league]. You have a Uefa-sanctioned professional women’s league in Belgium and Holland, so we have a precedent there.
“If there was an opportunity to join a cross-border league and that was challenged by Uefa, I would go to Strasbourg and challenge the sexual equality.”
Maybe Green should look at the case of FC Sion, who tried to go down the civil court and EU court route over their expulsion from the Europa League last season, which ultimately was fruitless as Sion failed to overturn the expulsion.
Mind you rather than suing UEFA, Green could always go for the cheaper route and dress up messers Alexander, McCulloch, Wallace and co. in drag. False eyelashes, wigs and sports bras are far cheaper than taking on UEFA in a court of law in Europe.
However, the downside is that the current Rangers ladies side would have to cease to exist. Or maybe they could take their male counterparts place in the new league system – since using sex discrimination laws they could state that it is discriminatory to just have an all-male football league.
I would actually love to be in the UEFA offices when the court summons appears at their door with the reason stamped all over it. Who needs laughing gas, when you have Chuck Green around.
He then added, that he was willing to take Rangers to the lowest league in England and he would have the support of the club’s supporters.
He said: “I could join the Conference and I would be in a higher league than I’m in. It doesn’t matter to me [which league Rangers are in]. I can tell you this, if the only option is to go into England and start at the lowest level, I believe Rangers fans would support that.
“Nobody can question Rangers fans once they see the attendances. I got figures through yesterday and it’s only Man United, Arsenal and Newcastle [that have]higher average attendances than Rangers.”
The Yorkshireman then rounded on Welsh sides Cardiff and Swansea, insisting that if Rangers are refused entry then the Welsh sides should be kicked out of the English game – again totally forgetting that both sides have never played in the Welsh league and have been playing in the English game from their inception.
He said: “People say you are not allowed in the English league – well let’s then kick Cardiff and Swansea out, because they are playing in a different country. People are saying Wales is fine but Scotland is not. We cannot have a situation where one of the Union is annexed by the football bodies but Wales can join. It’s rubbish.”
Maybe he should have read my article in Huffington Post UK from March 2012, where I quoted Premier League chief executive Richard Scudamore who ‘believes that the Old Firm will never be allowed access to join the English top flight’.
Scudamore said: “Our rules are simple. It says we’re a league formed for clubs that play in England and Wales. I don’t see that ever changing. I don’t see that changing on my watch, not that my watch may last for long. There’s more in it for them than there is for us.”
English Football League chairman Greg Clarke commented on the speculation also, he said: “We have absolutely no intention of having any discussions with any club from another national league regarding membership of our competition.
“This would be highly disrespectful to the Scottish FA and Scottish Premier League and will not be countenanced by the Football League.”
In terms of what the English media and fans think of such a move, in my piece Old Firm in the EPL: Time to end the chase, journalist Neil Ashton spoke to Scotzine, giving his thoughts on the Old Firm joining the English game.
He said: “People are tired of the constant under-current, the unofficial soundings and disclosures from the Old Firm that have yet to translate into concrete, meaningful proposals.
“At the moment it’s pub talk or idle chat, but Rangers and Celtic (or is that Celtic and Rangers?) must have the courage of their convictions and make a play for it, really go for the jackpot.
“It needs a slick PR operation and some highly persuasive salesmen to make it happen, just like any other walk of life, but they can pull it off. They will need to court the 20 Premier League clubs, schmoozing the vote-winners, ie. the chief executives and chairmen. More importantly they will need to max out on a PR offensive in England and Scotland to turn this into a sound, solid and ultimately progressive idea.
“If they can convince the public, they are more than halfway there with the suits in the boardrooms. While the Old Firm continue to tread water, there will never really be the appetite among supporters for it to gather momentum.
“If it ever came close to happening it would cause a lot of excitement and anticipation, not withstanding the controversy. The two clubs must present a united case that will enhance the Premier League. At this time I’m not sure they have even reached an agreement between the two clubs.”
Ashton stated that the main reason why the English clubs do not want the Old Firm in their league, is down to ‘fear among the established order’.
He added: “Fear among the Established Order (Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal and Liverpool), along with new kids Manchester City, Tottenham and Aston Villa that two big rivals have emerged for top four football. The playing contracts and budgets of the Top Four are based on Champions League football: look at the financial implosion that lurks just around the corner at Liverpool now that they have slipped out of the top-tier.
“Add Celtic and Rangers to that cluster of clubs and they will be wetting the bed at night, fearing they will never qualify for the Champions League again.
“Naturally there will be apprehension from clubs outside the top 6-7, because the arrival of Rangers and Celtic would (most likely) push them down two places in the division. For a club finishing 16th or 17th, that’s relegation the following season. Cash, as ever though, is king. Premier League clubs are so greedy, in an almost unimaginable way.
“The boom in TV revenues will wash away all their fears. At least until it dawns on them that three clubs will still be relegated.”
Two fans we asked at the time were also against the idea and felt their fellow fans would be against it also, the Editor of United Rant, a Manchester United fan site told Scotzine that: “There’s almost no scenario right now that will enable the move to happen. Gartside’s proposal was a very specific agenda to protect middle-and-lower ranked Premier League clubs from the financial consequences of relegation. Gartside wants to establish a Premier League 2 and split the revenue between 40 clubs not 20, ensuring that the freefall some clubs have experienced post-relegation is softened somewhat. The proposal to bring Rangers and Celtic into the fold was a poorly thought-out attempt to provide a sweetener for the deal.”
Entering through the lower leagues, would have less opposition according to the United Rant editor, but there are still problems that would be faced and some negative issues that they would have to live with if such a move did materialise. He continued: “Clearly there would be less opposition and a precedent already set with Wrexham, Swansea and Cardiff already in the Football League. The key difference is that Wales has no fully professional league set up whereas Scotland does. It’s hard to justify Rangers and Celtic leaving Scotland for England when the professional league is long-established. Moreover, none of the Welsh sides playing across the border are allowed to represent England in European competitions – would Rangers and Celtic accept this? There’s precedent elsewhere of course – Monaco for example – but that’s a complex political matter for the SFA, FA and UEFA to solve.
We also asked Chris Nee, editor of twofootedtackle.com, who said: “I don’t think this idea has any mass backing in England at all. Many supporters are getting tired of the game’s increasing focus on money and that’s the driving factor in this case. Aside from those supporters with Rangers or Celtic as a ‘second team’, I don’t think there’s any great fondness for the Old Firm and there is little respect for Scottish football. In short, there really isn’t a reason for the move apart from the obvious one, which I’ll come on to. As for being pig sick, I know the feeling. I don’t want Rangers and Celtic in England, I don’t think they warrant places and I think it’s time we ended all the talk.”
On why the English clubs do not want either of the Old Firm joining their league system, Nee added: “Honestly, there are probably two reasons. First, there’s no reason for the Old Firm to join. They’re Scottish, and Scotland has a league system. Second, there is undoubtedly a fear of increased competition. Rangers and Celtic, between them, would likely produce one or two European qualifying sides within ten years. Why would teams vote for that?”
Even if Green proposed to join the Conference, Nee believed at the time that the starting position is not the issue. He said: “I don’t necessarily think that starting position is the issue. If it is, League Two is not the bottom rung of the English football ladder and every team below it, or that started below it, could justifiably oppose their entry even into the fourth division.”
So even if Green saw the EU backing his ludicrous sexual discrimination court action and somehow winning it, the English league clubs don’t want Rangers and Celtic also. So Green will be pissing into the proverbial wind if he thinks that even if court action is successful, the English leagues would welcome him and the Ibrox side with open arms.
Or was Green banking on his comments and his siege mentality rhetoric to bring us to this moment, where he threatens to leave the Scottish game in a bid to get Rangers into the English league so his shareholding of the club increases ten fold? It’s all about money at the end of the day as Green continues to pull the wool over the supporters eyes with his rhetoric and persecution complex.
But why all the hassle after all, Green and kitman Jimmy Bell should just head off to their nearest shopping centre with a list for 16 wigs of various colours, 16 sports bras, 16 thongs, 16 pairs of sussies and 16 pairs of eye lashes – then play at the top of the Women’s game in Scotland and secure European qualification each year.