Raith boss in blast as Gers' SFL bid stumbles

Opposition to the plan to parachute a newco Rangers into the First Division has intensified with two clubs pledging to vote against the move.

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Peterhead FC and Raith Rovers both said fans had urged them to oppose the move and to insist that the Ibrox club start again in Division Three.

Raith director Turnbull Hutton said: "This is the same Rangers whose supporters threatened to torch our stadium and whose manager demanded that one of our directors was named over his involvement with an SFA judicial panel, which resulted in TV cameras camping outside his door and threats being made by various outlandish factions."

He also blamed Gers' manager Ally McCoist and former player Sandy Jardine for their behaviour at various points in the ongoing drama.

Mr Hutton felt an application from Rangers to play in the Third Division would be supported by all clubs.

The chairman of Third Division Peterhead, Rodger Morrison, said it would be a "dangerous precedent" for a newco to join the SFL in the First Division.

He said: "It has to be the third division for Rangers. The First Division would be a cop-out in my view."

Rangers are preparing their application for membership of the SFL, having learned that they have no chance of being voted into the Scottish Premier League when the top 12 clubs decide on the matter next Wednesday.

Charles Green and Zeus Capital's consortium need 75% of lower league clubs – or 22 out of the 29 – to vote them in to the SFL.

That should be straightforward, although it remains to be seen if there will be protests about them coming in any higher than the Third Division.

The SFA have told the newco to apply this week for membership of the national association, but Green cannot do so without securing membership of a league first.

The SFA is attempting to broker a deal between the SPL and SFL which could see Rangers enter the First Division, which would minimise the financial damage caused to the other top flight clubs.

In return for allowing Rangers into its top division, rather than its bottom one, the SFL would secure the return of a possible second promotion route to the SPL, a fairer distribution of income, and a potential merger of the league bodies.

The probability of Rangers securing immediate promotion could also persuade Sky to preserve its television deal.

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