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SBD Global/July 31, 2012/Franchises

Rangers CEO Charles Green Accuses SPL Clubs Of 'Bigotry'

Rangers newco CEO Charles Green "set himself on course for another major collision with Scottish football's authorities by citing 'bigotry' as a driving force in the decision to demote Rangers to the Third Division," according to John Greenchan of the London DAILY MAIL. Green's personal relations with Scottish Football Association counterpart Stewart Regan are sure to hit a new low after he appeared to be applauding as Rangers supporters chanted "if you hate Stewart Regan, clap your hands" at Sunday's Ramsdens Cup tie against Brechin City at Glebe Park. Picking up on Manager Ally McCoist's talk of "hostile agenda" against Rangers. Green said, "Some of it has been driven by bigotry, some of it has been driven by jealousy and some of it has been driven by all the wrong motives. I had meetings last week with UEFA officials, who say this is unprecedented in Europe" (DAILY MAIL, 7/29).

GREEN VOWS RANGERS RETURN: In Glasgow, Michael Grant reported that "when asked to expand on the bigotry accusations, Green did not do so." Instead he simply pointed to the fact that clubs, which had voted against Rangers newco's institution in the Scottish Premier League were now appealing to their fans to make up for the consequent financial loss by buying season tickets. Green said, "What's happened with Rangers is absolutely incredible. It seems to me the whole of Scotland have wanted to kick this giant club while it was down." Green also risked angering many other SPL and Scottish Football League club owners and chairmen by predicting that "they were in such dire financial trouble that league reconstruction soon would be inevitable." He added, "These companies all file accounts, we can all see where they are in terms of their positions with the banks. We've got the debt that any of these clubs have. And, on the last day of the season, I would really enjoy some clever financial analyst looking at the balance sheets and debt-to-equity ratio of every club in Scotland." Green's challenging attitude was echoed by the newco Chair Malcom Murray. Murray said, "We'll be back at the highest level and I don't think it will be as long as many cynics say. We're giving the fans what they deserve. If they turn up, these players will be paid for quite easily." Ian Black is the club's first new signing, and they are "in talks" with former Greek int'l player Pantelis Kafes who is a free agents as well as Northern Irish int'l player Dean Shiels (HERALD SCOTLAND, 7/30).

FANS VOICE OPINION: Also in Glasgow, Craig Swan reported that "Green took his seat in the tiny Main Stand at Glebe Park and appeared to become involved in another unsavoury incident in the latter stages" of the Cup game against Brechin City. Ibrox supporters had chanted "F*** the SFA" and "F*** the SPL" at various stages of the contest. When the supporters launched into a rendition of "if you hate Stewart Regan, clap your hands," eye-witnesses claimed that "Green joined in from his position in the Directors Box" (DAILY RECORD, 7/30).
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