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SBD Global/February 18, 2013/Franchises

Rangers CEO Charles Green Writes British PM Over Possible Move To English League

Scottish Third Division side Rangers CEO Charles Green has written to Britain PM David Cameron "explaining his desire to move the club to the English league and reckons EU law is on his side," according to Scott McDermott of the Scotland DAILY RECORD. Green is "seeking an escape route into the English league after blasting reconstruction plans" for the Scottish Football League. Rangers "would need permission from" UEFA, the Scottish FA and FA to change leagues. But Green believes that EU laws "could tear down those barriers and pave the way to the promised land." Green said, "We’re part of the EU and have to take advantage of the rules and regulations within that. There is no doubt that the English FA and leagues will be in breach of European competition laws. They will say UEFA and FIFA regulations are outside of that, but it’s not true. Nothing is outside the law" (DAILY RECORD, 2/16).

TALKS WITH BELGIUM:  In Edinburgh, Craig Forbes reported Green has "also spoken to" Belgian Pro League Standard Liège Chair Roland Duchatelet over the club's "bid to expand" its horizons. Liège is "pushing for a joint Dutch-Belgian league and also raised the prospect of applying to the French league." UEFA is involved in talks over merging leagues from different countries "in a bid to close the gap" between clubs from nations with the most lucrative TV deals. Green, whose club is unable to vote on reconstruction plans because it was recently admitted associate members of the SFL, is "trying to move the issue forward." Green said, "I must explore all avenues and the issue of cross-border leagues is now on everyone’s lips. I recently visited the chairman of Standard Liege because he has made a statement about a Benelux league. There is already one in existence in the professional women’s game and a precedent is there in that respect" (SCOTSMAN, 2/16).

NOTHING TO HIDE: In London, Tom Moodie reported former Rangers Owner Craig Whyte claimed that he would "welcome any investigation into his stewardship of the club and the opportunity to clear his name." Whyte's "conscience is clear following what has been a turbulent 12 months for the Ibrox club." Whyte said, "I welcome any fair investigation into anything to do with the takeover, the insolvency, whatever. I would welcome that and be happy to cooperate with any of it, and anybody will see there is no wrong-doing whatsoever. Whyte also "denied any criminal activity" during his time at Rangers. Whyte: "If I was a crook or a wide-boy, do you really think I’m stupid enough to do anything remotely crooked at a high-profile football club? The whole notion is just utterly ridiculous." Asked how he sleeps at night, Whyte replied: "Very soundly" (LONDON TIMES, 2/17).
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