Today the Scottish Premier League will vote on proposals to allow a Newco to parachute straight into the top league in the country if an existing SPL club goes into liquidation. Fans from 11 of the 12 clubs have overwhelmingly opposed the idea. Rangers fans are split, some would prefer a Newco to apply to the Scottish Football League, others think a Newco should be allowed into the SPL without penalty.
Long before this vote was a glint in the eye of the SPL, it was first discussed on Celtic Quick News. Last October we raised the alarm that Rangers were undertaking an enormous charade. They were preparing to liquidate in order to avoid the consequences of failing to pay their taxes for over a decade.
We also predicted they would present the SPL with a fait accompli – vote us ‘back’ or suffer our scorched earth policy, as we take the rest of you down. For what it’s worth, I also predicted the league would capitulate and Celtic would stand alone in opposition.
10 of the 12 SPL clubs bank with Lloyds Banking Group (Celtic and Hearts excluded). For months I have suggested that LBG could threaten to withdraw overdraft facilities if clubs voted against the revenue Rangers bring but this is not the case. Clubs have a free vote, there is no banking overlord conspiring against democratic wishes, LBG, like the SFA Judicial Panel, have played this with a straight bat.
Right now, I have no idea how the vote will go. The proposal to establish procedures to allow a phoenix club straight into the league could be passed or rejected. If they are rejected, it may be because a majority would rather Newco was back without penalties, or it may be because clubs have listened to their fans and taken a stand.
If the vote goes against Rangers I expect we will see a rapid move to liquidate. If it goes in their favour (and by that I mean a parachute, with penalties, is invented for them), liquidation becomes a more attractive prospect, if not, actually, attractive.
They would still have to overcome potential challenges from creditors, security of Craig Whyte over Ibrox, and, of course, the many penalties that Newco would inherit along with the gift of Rangers SPL share. For now, this means last week’s SFA ban on signing players, but the alleged improper registration of players matter is coming over the hill soon, and the penalties for that… wow!
As I said, I have no idea which way the vote will go. Rangers are finished and it would genuinely be best for them if someone put them out of their misery and allowed them to start the recovery process, but in the light of the intimidation of Raith Rovers last week, it remains to be seen if the other SPL clubs are up to the task.
Most of us called last week’s SFA punishment wrong, what do you think will happen today?
Huge day. Huge, huge, day.