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Scotland Tonight - Where next for Rangers and SPL?

4y ago


Much has been written in the last few years about whether Scottish football can survive without the Old Firm. Now that is a very real possibility with Rangers potentially being forced to play in the lowest tier of league football if SPL clubs decide to vote them out, or if the SFA suspends their license. Would a Premier League without Rangers be a story of empty stadiums and dwindling TV revenues, or could it open up a stifled competition -- and perhaps even be the Glasgow club's redemption? Football fans want Rangers out of the SPL. A ScotPulse poll for Scotland Tonight shows nearly 70% believe a 'newco' club has no place in the top flight. Rangers fans themselves disagree - at least most of them. Nearly a quarter support demotion. Dundee United are one of the dozen SPL sides who will vote on Rangers future. Chairman Stephen Thompson said: "We are at a major crossroads for Scottish football, and significantly the future of all of many clubs." Aberdeen are another, and the club appears to be weighing up its options very carefully. In a statement, Pittodrie's Chief Executive Duncan Fraser said: "The integrity of sport in general, and football in particular, must be central to any decision." Former Celtic director Michael Kelly said he sympathised with Rangers fans. He said: "Old Firm games are the best games of the season, and I go back to the final in 1950 when Celtic won. So I think for me and most fans, Celtic fans, we should want Rangers to be there, otherwise competition is finished and finances are undermined." In the end, the decision is likely to be taken on financial grounds. Rangers are worth an estimated £375,000 a year to every other team in the SPL, even before TV money is taken into account. Sky's £1,010,000 deal next season would certainly be in jeopardy without Rangers. The financial considerations go further than the SPL. The Europa league group stage was worth around £1,000,000 to Aberdeen in 2009, and qualifying for that would be much easier to repeat without Rangers, and good compensation for any domestic loss. And for lower league clubs like Peterhead, even a financially crippled Rangers would still bring a big support. Every team Rangers face on the climb back to the SPL would benefit, and some argue that perhaps the Ibrox club would too. Peterhead chairman Rodger Morrison said: "From a manager's point of view, he probably wouldn't want it. But from a football perspective, and listening to a lot of Rangers supporters, agreeing that they would love just to go back into the third division, re-organise, they will rise. "They will get back to the SPL much, much stronger in the end."