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SBD Global/June 26, 2012/International Football

Rangers Newco Likely To Be Rejected From SPL

The SPL Rangers were "effectively consigned to start life" outside the league when Aberdeen "became the crucial fifth club to confirm they would vote against a newco application," according to the London TELEGRAPH. Inverness FC had earlier joined Hearts, Dundee United and Hibernian in "making public their intention to vote no." Owner Charles Green needs seven other clubs besides the Rangers to vote in his favor at a meeting next Wednesday. Unless there is a change of heart from at least one chair, there "will be no top-flight football at Ibrox next season" (TELEGRAPH, 6/25). REUTERS' Keith Weir reported that relegation to a lower league "would be a huge blow for one of the biggest names in British football." Their rivalry with fellow Glasgow club Celtic "has been the central element in the Scottish game for decades." It is not clear if Rangers would "have to start life in the lowly third division or be relegated one notch to Scotland's first division" (REUTERS, 6/25).

POLICE INVESTIGATE: The TELEGRAPH reported that the U.K. Crown Office has instructed Strathclyde Police "to conduct a criminal investigation into the acquisition" of the Rangers in May '11 and the "subsequent financial management of the club." The investigation into "alleged criminality" follows a preliminary police examination of information received in February by club administrators. The Crown Office said that the Procurator Fiscal for the West of Scotland "will now work with Strathclyde Police to fully investigate" the acquisition and financial management of the Rangers and any related reports of "alleged criminality" during that process (TELEGRAPH, 6/25).

TICKET TROUBLE: The TELEGRAPH's Forsyth & Grahame reported that Green faces "a new and serious obstacle to selling season tickets" to Rangers fans after "fears were expressed by the Lloyds Bank Group." Green wants to use the former Rangers business to continue to sell season tickets through direct debits taken out before the Rangers went into liquidation. However, Lloyds has "raised concerns" about this proposal with administrators Duff & Phelps, who ran the club from Feb. 14 until Green’s consortium took control. The bank, however, is "understood to have raised a number of concerns about such an arrangement," including the difficulty of "ring-fencing the funds sufficiently" to ensure that season ticket income is not used to pay creditors or in any way other than to ensure that supporters who pay for tickets are able to use them next season. Green, however, assured fans season ticket money "will not be used before the current issues surrounding the club, such as what league we will be playing in, are resolved." Meanwhile, Rangers Supporters' Association General Secretary John McMillan has advised his members "not to part with money for season tickets until at least next month" (TELEGRAPH, 6/22).

TURNED IN: Also in London, Grahame wrote that Green's problems "show no sign of abating" after it emerged that Rangers could be called in front of the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber in Zurich after being reported to the game's ultimate ruling body by Austrian Football Bundesliga Rapid Vienna. The Austrian club is still owed £1M ($1.5M) from the £4M ($6.2M) sale of Croatian striker Nikica Jelavic in the summer of '10 and have "requested the assistance of UEFA and FIFA." Rapid have been informed that they would receive "only a pittance" when Rangers were plunged into liquidation. However, the fact that Green's new Rangers will receive the full outstanding amount due to them from Everton following the £5.5m ($8.5m) sale of Jelavic in January "has angered Rapid." Rapid Communication Head Peter Klinglmuller said, "It seems unfair to us that we might not receive the money we are owed for the player when Rangers expect Everton to pay the fee they agreed for him" (TELEGRAPH, 6/24).
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