Rangers are one promotion away from returning to the Scottish Premiership after they were ejected in 2012 following liquidation.
The Glasgow giants managed to keep hold of a number of their players from the top flight during two simple promotions from the third and fourth tiers of Scottish football.
A 2014-15 season in the second tier promises to be the toughest of those for Ally McCoist’s side who will be expected to get back into Scotland’s top flight for the 2015-16 season to face rivals Celtic.
Rangers are as short as 1.4 with Betfair to win the Scottish Championship this season which suggests promotion won’t be so difficult, albeit they had been 1.01 to do so for each of the two previous seasons. Celtic are 1.04 to win the Scottish Premiership this season.
Joining the record Scottish champions in the Scottish Championship next season are Edinburgh’s two biggest clubs – Hearts and Hibernian, following their relegations from the top flight last season.
Potentially, the second tier in Scotland will see a higher average attendance than its top flight, which would not paint a positive picture of Scottish football to viewers looking in.
With the financial problems Hearts are having and a Hibs side that were not good enough to avoid relegation last season, Rangers are rightfully the favourites to win the league this season.
Ally McCoist’s squad includes Jon Daly, Lee McCulloch, Dean Shiels, Lee Wallace, Nicky Clark, Fraser Aird, Bilel Mohsni, Arnold Peralta and Ian Black – some of whom are capable of holding their own in the higher division.
On top of that, the experienced Kenny Miller, Kris Boyd, Darren McGregor and Marius Žaliūkas have all been added to the squad this summer.
Rangers picked up 83 of a possible 108 points in the Third Division (four tier) two seasons ago, losing only three matches. Last season, in the rebranded League One (third tier), it was an incredible 102 points from a possible 108 – a record no-one expects to be broken.
McCoist’s side picked up a ridiculous 33 wins from their 36 league matches last season, drawing the other three. Those were against Stranraer (home), Stenhousemuir (home) and Dunfirmline Athletic (away).
They averaged nearly three goals per game, finishing the season with a total of 106, conceding only 18. Runners-up Dunfermline scored 68 and conceded 54 in comparison, finishing some 39 points behind the runaway leaders.
Rangers aren’t expected to be so dominant this season, but win the Scottish Championship they will.