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Will someone call Chucky’s bluff as Rangers threaten to leave Scottish Football

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Another day and another statement in which Rangers are ‘simply getting on with their own affairs asking no favour from anyone’ – according to Jim Traynor’s blog – and ‘acting with the good of Scottish football in mind’. Rangers chief executive Charles Green is set to recommend to the Ibrox board that ‘Rangers try to find an escape route from Scottish football if the 12-12-18 reconstruction plans are pushed through’.

Since Sir David Murray was at Ibrox, Rangers as well as rivals Celtic have talked about leaving Scottish Football. Even this season it was discussed at the Celtic AGM albeit briefly, while Green touted the possibility back in the summer.

On the same day that Celtic announced that they would be going it solo to show their rivals that they can live without the Ibrox side, Green issued what can only be perceived as an official ‘spitting of the dummy’ statement demanding that Scottish football listen to them or they will leave for pastures new.

Remember Traynor’s phrase ‘we [Rangers] will act with the good of Scottish football in mind’.

With the proposals of a 12-12-18 league on the table, which has got up Rangers’ nose, Green commented: “If this does happen what is the point of us finishing the season? Why should we send players out to get broken noses – like Ross Perry last week – or have players getting surgery when no-one can get promoted and no-one can get relegated.

“We might as well have a winter break now til next August. I can’t see any point in carrying on with meaningless matches. In what league do you win a division and then end up playing the same teams again the following season? There is no meaning to it, in reality.

“I haven’t read anything other than what is in the press and if that is what we have sat here eagerly awaiting to transform Scottish football, my advice to the board of Rangers is the quicker we can leave Scottish football the better. I can’t see anything that is going to transform the finances, the status or the excitement.”

So much for acting with the good of Scottish football in mind Chuck.

Traynor in his first blog piece since taking up his role of Head of Communications at Ibrox, said: “This club, the biggest one in the country, were not invited to take part in talks which will shape the game’s future. We are then entitled to conclude that this club are not important, which is strange indeed when so many fans of other clubs continue to be obsessed by Rangers, who are simply getting on with their own affairs asking no favour from anyone.”

He added: “Rangers will return to the top flight, which will of course have to be rebranded. Rangers will take a seat at the head of the table where, despite the latest insult of being shut out of reconstruction talks, we will act with the good of Scottish football in mind.”

It is interesting to note that Jim Traynor, an experienced journalist, a man who has covered the Rangers saga from day one failed to read the Scottish Football League constitution and rule book.

Rangers, are not a full member of the SFL, they are merely an associate member which means the Ibrox side have no voting rights.

Section 2 of the SFL constitution, which relates to membership states that: “An Associate Member shall have no financial interest in the assets of the League and shall not be accorded any voting rights. An Associate Member will be entitled to notice of general meetings of the League and to attend and speak at such meetings, and shall otherwise be bound by such membership by these Rules and all other Rules and Bye-Laws made by the League and for the time being in force.”

In fact an associate member of the SFL cannot secure full membership until four successive years as an associate member and then only after a resolution has been voted for by the SFL members.

Rather than ‘tapping deliberately into the more extreme element’ of the Rangers support – a quote that Traynor used to describe Green’s statements in his 20th August Daily Record Article ‘All mouth and rouser’ – maybe Charles Green and James Traynor should have read through the rulebook of the league that they are housed in.

Now other than a few pundits, the SPL club chairmen and several in the SFL who have already came out in support of the proposed league reconstruction 12-12-18, the fans are not excited by that thought, but it seems to this ‘semi-literate’ that Rangers are using this as an excuse to hit the headlines once more on how they have been persecuted and that no one wants them.

A bit ironic, given the lyrics of the ‘We are Rangers, Super Rangers’ ditty that they belt out at Ibrox and away grounds they travel too:

We Are Rangers
Super Rangers
No One likes Us
We Dont Care
We hate Celtic
and Well Chase Them Anywhere

So now they are threatening to depart Scottish Football for good and take up residency in another league, but there is one little obstacle – do any league actually want them or any other Scottish club for that matter?

Green even states that FIFA are against cross-border leagues but don’t let the facts get in the way of dreams or threats.

The Rangers chief executive said: “On first glance, of course, there is nowhere for us to go because FIFA have made their feelings known on cross-border leagues. However, we have noted the comments of Standard Liege recently and what Peter Lawwell said at his AGM a few weeks ago when he discussed the changes in Europe.

“Hand on heart today there isn’t an option but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t start looking for an option. If all we have to look forward to over the next four years is more madness then we would be failing as directors not to explore the alternatives.”

It is interesting that Green quoted Peter Lawwell, than his own previous quotes on the subject, when claiming the big boys wanted Rangers among them. At the same AGM as Green quoted the Celtic chief executive from, Lawwell said: “We are committed to the SPL but nothing stays the same. There are very early proposals with UEFA that would suggest they may be open-minded to some kind of regional league.

“They recognise the chasm and the polarity in terms of media value for clubs who are in smaller leagues and they are looking to do something about it. The early proposals are for regional leagues which would allow countries to merge for bigger media rights.

“We believe we are a top-class club. We want to maintain the standard we have set for ourselves and if there are any changes then we would like to be a part of that.”

If you merely looked at Green’s statement then you would only be looking at half the picture, if even that. Yes it is true the Celtic have over the years touted a move to the English Premier League along with their city rivals, but after several attempts to woo their brethren south of the border any hopes of a move to England are now dead and buried.

But it would be silly for Lawwell to rule out any possible future change in UEFA and not want Celtic involved in it, especially if it takes the club he represents onto a higher plain. Even at the height of trouble with the Scottish FA, Celtic did not threaten to quit Scottish football to get their own way.

In fact Lawwell, stated yesterday when announcing the Magners sponsorship deal that he did not miss the Old Firm clashes. He said: “Not really. There are pluses and minuses. You miss the pros and not the cons so it balances itself out. But you wouldn’t swap it for the Champions League.”

If the proposed 12-12-18 league reconstruction is pushed through and Rangers follow through in their threat to pull out of Scottish football, they would be going against their own share issue prospectus also. The prospectus used to sell the share issue to fans and potential investors [which failed to mention the 12-12-18 proposal], stated: “There is currently some uncertainty about the financial stability of certain Scottish football clubs and the proposals for the structure of Scottish football in the future.

“The Company understands that the SPL are reviewing whether the SPL should be split into two divisions and that the SFL are considering a proposal for one league body and three leagues of 16, 10 and 16 teams respectively which would result in the end of the SPL and the opportunity for colt teams to participate in the league. The uncertainty in relation to the financial stability of certain Scottish football clubs and the proposals for restructuring Scottish football present a risk for the Company in relation to the manner in which the league and cup competitions will be structured in the future which may have a material adverse effect on the manner in which broadcasting and other revenue streams can be monetised by the Company.

“However, this risk is mitigated by the fact that any restructuring of Scottish football may enable the Club to return to the top division of Scottish football sooner than currently anticipated and to therefore benefit from access to different sources and levels of income.”

They further added in the prospectus that: “Whilst, currently, the Club is in the Scottish Third Division, the Directors and the manager intend that the Club return to top league Scottish football and European football as soon as possible.”

Again so much for acting with the good of Scottish football in mind Chuck.

It will be interesting to hear Green’s proposal to join whatever league he wants to join, but in all honesty even Jules Verne wouldn’t want the Ibrox side and its mouthpiece Charles Green to feature in any of his 20,000 leagues under the sea in its current form.

Will anyone call Chucky’s bluff or will they continue to let him bring more lunacy to proceedings and to drag Scottish football further into the comedy show that he partakes in every time he grabs the mic?

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About Author

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and Women's Football Weekly. He produces the Scottish Football show The Final Whistle for Pulse 98.4FM and is the ESPN blogger for Celtic FC. He works on a freelance basis and has contributed to the Daily Record, The Scotsman, the Daily Mail and also blogs at Huffington Post UK.

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