CONTROVERSIAL plans to revamp the structure of the senior leagues in this country must benefit the whole of Scottish football and not just Rangers.
That was the warning from Falkirk boss Steven Pressley today as he prepared for the prospect of the Gers joining his team in the First Division.
For the Ibrox club – whose application to join the SPL is set to be knocked back next week – dropping straight into the SFL remains a distinct possibility.
Supporters of many rival clubs want the newco to start off life in the Third Divison and work their way up and will be incensed if they just go down to the second tier.
But Pressley will be furious if the football authorities fail to grasp a gilt-edged opportunity to radically alter our national game for the better after years of decline.
He said: "The Rangers situation should be the catalyst for change that will benefit our game for years to come. We must learn lessons from the situation, think about how we finance our game going forward.
"But the solution should not just be what is best for Rangers. The solution must be what is best for Scottish football. That is the really important thing in this whole affair.
"If we end up with a slight distribution of wealth – and a club like Falkirk is only looking at getting an extra £40,000 or £50,000 – an additional play-off place and Rangers in the Scottish Football League then I'll be disgusted with the authorities."
He went on : "There has to be something for the lower leagues, not just the big earners, in all of this. I think we should use the Rangers situation to arrive at a situation that benefits the whole of the Scottish game.
"We have a situation now where the top league needs the bottom league to agree with the top league in order to push through a proposed solution to the Rangers crisis. The SFL now have the best opportunity to push through change.
"A larger top division would allow clubs to cut back, there would be less pressure on them to get results with less chance of relegation and they could develop younger players far better by blooding them in the first team.
"But I have serious fears that the compromise will not go far enough. I will be very unhappy if the proposals do not bring about major change for the better. It will show a lack of strength by the authorities."
However, there remains the possibility that if SFL clubs play hardball, then their SPL counterparts could press ahead for plans with an SPL2 and invite selected clubs to join a closed set-up Bairns boss Pressley is well qualified to talk about the implications of the crisis currently engulfing Scottish football.
The defender kicked off his career at Rangers in the 1990s and won the Scottish Cup with them in 1993 after coming on as a substitute in a win over Airdrie at Hampden.
Despite playing in the Champions League and being offered a new contract by manager Walter Smith, he decided to leave in order to further his career.
After spells with Coventry, Dundee United and Hearts he finished off his career playing for Celtic and won the Scottish title and the Scottish Cup with Gordon Strachan's side.
He has also been responsible for helping develop several promising young players during his time at Falkirk manager and helped his club to third spot in the First Division in the 2011/12 campaign.
So the ex-Scotland international has played for both sides of the Old Firm – one of only four players to do so – as well as several of the country's other largest clubs. He has been disturbed by much of the vitriol that has been directed towards former club Rangers by fans of rival clubs and fears more clubs could follow them into administration or liquidation if the wrong decision is made.
Pressley thinks now is the time for decisive action, not recrimination, and is hopeful a situation will be arrived at that will help our national game flourish in seasons to come.
He stated: "I think everyone in Scottish football realises the financial importance of Rangers in terms of the Sky TV deal. Without them in the SPL, less money will come into our game. There has to be a compromise agreed somewhere.
"You can beat them with a stick if you want, as many want to do, but people have to understand that many clubs will suffer financially because of the Rangers predicament. I don't want any other club to fold as a result of the problems at Ibrox.
"I just don't want to see clubs going to the wall. We have to find the right balance. At times like this anger takes over when rational thinking is really what is needed."