THE SPL this morning announced the fixture list for the 2012/13 campaign – on the day 'newco' Rangers submitted their application to play in the top flight next season.
For the first time in SPL history, Rangers were not named in the fixture schedule, with the Ibrox club replaced by 'Club 12' in all ties.
Gers owner Charles Green must now wait anxiously to discover if his newco will be granted permission to play in top division next term, with an SPL vote set to take place on July 2 or 3.
Confusion still surrounds which league the Ibrox side will be allowed to play in, with Green's application to the governing body the next step forward as the club attempts to avoid a possible demotion to the Irn-Bru Third Division, although a place in a new 'SPL 2' could also be on the cards if major changes of our league structure can be forced through quickly.
SPL Secretary Ian Blair said: "Following the failure of Rangers FC to exit administration via a CVA, we have received an application to register the transfer of their SPL share to a newco.
"Should it be rejected, then another club may be invited to join the SPL for season 2012/13."
The SPL were forced to replace Rangers in the fixture list due to the uncertainty surrounding their future but the Light Blue legions will take some encouragement from the schedule released this morning, with a number of criteria used for Rangers and Celtic put in place for the new campaign.
There is only the one ocassion, on Saturday August 11, where Club 12 and Celtic are due to be in Glasgow on the same day but any possible Old Firm congestion will be avoided that weekend as Neil Lennon's side jet out to America for a glamour friendly with Real Madrid.
There could also be a traditional festive derby clash, with Club 12 due to host the champions on Boxing Day, a reverse of the fixture last season which saw Ally McCoist's side head to Parkhead.
What could prove to be the first Old Firm clash between Celtic and newco Rangers will take place on Saturday September 22 in the East End.
If Rangers' application to the SPL is rejected, they could be replaced in the top flight by Dundee, who were runners-up in the First Division last term, or relegated Dunfermline.
The inclusion of Barry Smith's side would cause fixture chaos, however, with the match schedule throwing up nine potential clashes where the Dees and neighbours Dundee United are at home on the same day.
It has also been confirmed that a winter break will be in place this season, with the Scottish Cup fourth round matches moved forward to December 1/2 to accommodate the change, with the final moved to Sunday May 26 to avoid a clash with the Champions League final.
First weekend fixtures Saturday August 4:
SPL: Celtic v Aberdeen, Kilmarnock v Club 12, Ross County v Motherwell, St Mirren v Inverness CT
First Division: Partick Thistle v Falkirk, Morton v Livingston, Raith v Hamilton, Dundee v Dumbarton
Second Division: Brechin v Albion,
Third Division: Montrose v Clyde, East Stirling v Queen's Park