The Rangers chief executive, Charles Green, yesterday made an extraordinary bid to bribe his way up the Scottish Football League (SFL), saying, “I would … be prepared to guarantee other clubs the ticket revenue equivalent of 300 Rangers fans turning up for matches.”
The SFL will soon vote on reconstruction and amalgamation with the SPL with a 12-12-18 structure on the table. If this is rejected, no reconstruction will happen. Should they win successive promotions Green’s club are due to spend three years in lower league football but if successful his bribe could shorten this to two seasons.
In support of his claim Green cites Stranraer, who won Division Two in 1993 and were promoted to Division One the following season. The league structure changed that summer, from three to four leagues, resulting in more teams being relegated from Division One than was scheduled at the start of the season, but clubs were only promoted to the league they would have entered without reconstruction.
The Rangers are due to be promoted to the Second Division next season but are asking for direct access to the First Division. They have made no suggestion as to what should happen to the club who finish in second place in this season’s Third Division. Although Green’s statement references the Stranraer scenario, and an insistence that “the principle of promotion and relegation… should be enshrined”, he does not explain that Stranraer won the league and were promoted from Division Two to One, or that he wants promotion from Third to First.
It will surprise no one that Green believes “the SFL has shown real leadership in proposing” colts teams from the The Rangers and Celtic, although he has surprised me with the news that his club did not lobby for this suggestion.
I am sure the SFL lawyers would have reverted to the Fifa rule book, which is pretty clear that clubs can only be promoted on sporting merit, and explicitly prohibits clubs from paying for promotion. Which is a pity, as I am sure the financial security of Green’s embryonic club would be greatly enhanced by promotion straight to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
We have been here before.
Scottish Football League clubs will decide their only structure but now more than ever we have to stand together as a club. The direction and leadership of Celtic, and the supporters’ organisations, tested by often irreconcilable challenges at every turn, are exceptional. Fantasies that the World Order is controlled between Celtic Park, Glasgow City Council and the Vatican are just that. Running Celtic is like steering the Titanic away from the iceberg with a pizza box, although if you speak to any numpty who has never done it you’ll get a different view. Despite all this, for the first time in decades we have a successful and sustainable football model.
We recruit and develop exceptional players who achieved what few of us expected this season. The challenge for Celtic is to win the league and Cup and apply all energies on recruiting players for next season’s Champions League campaign.
Enjoy your football; Stand up for Celtic.
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