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SBD Global/January 15, 2013/Franchises

Rangers Propose New 14-14-14 Plan To Restructure Scottish Football

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Scottish Third Division club Rangers "set out their vision on Monday for a reform of Scottish club football after threatening last week to try to find a European league to play in," according to Keith Weir of REUTERS. Rangers, now in the fourth tier because of financial problems, "proposed delaying any changes to the Scottish structure" until '14-15. The Glasgow club "also recommended splitting the game into three leagues of 14 clubs rather than the proposed 12-12-18 format that could take effect from next season." Rangers CEO Charles Green "softened his threat to leave the Scottish game but restated Rangers’ ambition to be part of any future cross-border European league." Green said, "I am fully aware of the unique challenges a club the size of Rangers face in Scotland. That is why we must explore all options for the long-term, including playing out-with (outside) Scotland" (REUTERS, 1/14).

CONSIDERING THE OPTIONS:
The HERALD SCOTLAND wrote Green "now wants his favoured option to be considered, claiming the vast majority of Scottish football fans do not want the 12-12-18 structure." Green said, "The recent widespread debate on the reconstruction of Scottish football has been welcome, and I am glad that [Rangers Manager] Ally McCoist and myself have contributed and helped stimulate discussion rather than watch everyone sleepwalk into a solution that very few, if any, football fans across Scotland want" (HERALD SCOTLAND, 1/14). The Scotland DAILY RECORD reported "the 12-12-18 structure put forward by the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League last week received an overwhelmingly negative response from fans, and Green immediately blasted the plan in a series of interviews -- where he even threatened to haul UEFA through the courts over 'sex discrimination'" (DAILY RECORD, 1/14). The BBC wrote Rangers do "not detail how the three leagues of 14 would operate, but a 6-8 split after two rounds of matches would mean the top teams playing 36 matches (2x13 + 2x5) and a 7-7 split would mean 38 games" (BBC, 1/14).

STADIUM SEAL: The SCOTSMAN reported Rangers "are set to strike a deal" with Sport Direct Founder Mike Ashley to rename the club’s stadium. The deal, thought to be worth £2.5M ($4M), "is expected to be formally announced later this week after details, such as the stadium’s new name, are finalised" (SCOTSMAN, 1/14).

NO EPL FOR RANGERS: The SCOTSMAN reported Premier League CEO Richard Scudamore said that Rangers and Celtic "will not be admitted" into the EPL. As the Old Firm sides "spoke earlier this week of plans to emigrate south of the border to English football’s top flight, Scudamore has once again quelled speculation of a deal to make room for the two Glasgow clubs." Scudamore said, "It’s only my 14th year of answering this question. No! Our rules say it is only clubs from England and Wales, and I don’t see that ever changing" (SCOTSMAN, 1/14).
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