by Kieran Mather

First we heard the decision could be put off until the 12th then hours later it came. Falling down like an already tainted axe on Charles Green’s consortium that have taken over Scottish giants Rangers.

This week there have been outcries of corruption within the Scottish FA, Premier and Football League and reforms have been demanded but the outcome remains unchanged. Glasgow Rangers “Newco” application has been denied the opportunity to play in the SPL next season and will now take their application to the SFL.

The meeting at Hampden reportedly witnessed the vast majority / overwhelming majority voting “no” to the application. Charles Green told the clubs official website he was “deeply disappointed” and that the public declarations by clubs last week had resigned them to the fact early.

So where will they fit into the SFL then? Obviously to make the Scottish Premier League a 12-team league shuffles throughout will have to be made. The League of course is planning an expansion to 16 teams in the future and will only relegate 1 team whilst 3 will be promoted in successive seasons to achieve this figure. Maybe that should start now?

This is most definitely the Football League’s gain and the Premier League’s loss. It’s well known now that the Sky Sports contract with the League is now worth £4.5million less. Average attendances will lower in the SPL whilst they will grow in whichever league “Gers” find themselves in and the competition of that division will certainly increase. They will enjoy an array of away days, the Iron Bru hoardings will be seen by potentially 50,000 more people every other week and the brand of Scottish Football League will be worth a little more. The most important thing is that the sorry affair of financial mishaps involved with Rangers can now be put behind them; they have been fined, handed transfer embargos, effectively demoted, lost players, been subject of a criminal investigation into the purchase of the club and publicly ridiculed and humiliated. The fans don’t deserve it – they are amongst the best in the world. The club however….

I do think the punishment is fitting. Apologies have been made and the right people have now been banned from running clubs in Scotland again. It’s hard however to see how this benefits the SPL? The going phrase is the chairmen are valuing integrity above money, which to some effect is true because the chairmen evaluated all possible outcomes recently meaning the decision reached is based on the best interest in the clubs financially however unapparent these reasons are only time will tell.

On the pitch, manager Ally McCoist has to come to terms with the recent losses of Steven Whittaker to Norwich and Fleck to Coventry City but will surely be eyeing up a promotion or even title next season. Celtic will be eyeing up a title too, but will they benefit at all from this? Bookmakers will more than likely not take bets on the Hoops to win the league expecting them to walk it, and where is the competition going to come from? Motherwell? Hearts? I hope so but highly doubt it at the same time. These clubs are now eyeing up second place and with it come a Champions League spot. An allocation, which will probably be pulled (again) by UEFA eventually, as the intended recipients aren’t both claiming them.

Rangers haven’t been sent into the wilderness. They haven’t been stripped of any chance of success ever again. I’m sure we will one day see a team in Glasgow win 5 titles in a row again: it does look to be Celtic next time though. The Scottish game has always been known for its firm treatment of clubs who don’t operate in a financially responsible way and this is the biggest case it’s had to deal with to date. It’s got it spot on in the eyes of the leagues members and fans. It will undoubtedly raise talks of merging Scottish and English football again but there are only a minority who want it.

The effects of events in Scotland since 14th February aren’t yet visible but they will be truly lasting and it may even go up to the top of the football pyramid and effect the national team. Until the story reaches its conclusion however uncertainty will certainly overshadow the game itself in Glasgow.