Ibrox side to start 2012/13 in the bottom tier of Scottish football.
Rangers, who have dominated soccer in Scotland with Glasgow rivals Celtic for decades, will relaunch from the lowly fourth tier of the game following their financial crisis, Scottish Football League clubs decided on Friday.
The decision represents a spectacular fall from grace for the 54-times Scottish champions. Rangers went into administration in February before a takeover last month by a consortium led by English businessman Charles Green.
This has been on the cards for some weeks now but even after this ruling there is still an element of uncertainty surrounding both the future of the Ibrox club and Scottish football in general.
There is a suggestion that an ‘SPL 2’ may be formed to include Rangers and other invited clubs to safeguard sponsorship and television contracts but as yet that is mere speculation.
Rangers chief executive Charles Green stated in response to the club’s demotion;
“This decision maintains the sporting integrity that clubs and fans across Scotland have been calling for, but it also impacts massively on Scottish football as a whole and only time will tell what the consequences will be.
“Rangers has been handed the ultimate punishment of starting again from the bottom of the leagues, but there is an overwhelming feeling among fans and within the club of ‘wiping the slate clean’ as a club free of sanctions.
“The people who brought shame on this great club are no longer part of it and everyone at Rangers is focused on rebuilding the club on top of a solid financial foundation.
“We wish to play a constructive part in Division Three and encourage our fans to support the other clubs within the league by attending matches and delivering to them the benefits of having Rangers within their league.
“It is a matter of regret for all of us involved with Rangers that the issues surrounding the club resulted in the SFL and its members being placed in a very difficult position not of their own making.”
The demotion to the bottom rung of the Scottish footballing ladder may well lead to further player exits with a number already having left the club on free transfers that Rangers are fighting to reverse.
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