Rangers face rejection from SPL

Aberdeen and St Johnstone have joined Inverness in confirming they intend to reject Rangers’ application to join the Scottish Premier League.

That would mean Rangers starting life as a newco outside the top flight of Scottish football.

Dundee United, Hearts and Hibernian have already said they will not back the inclusion of the Gers in the top flight when the clubs vote at the league AGM in early July.

Motherwell are also set to ballot fans at the end of June but rejection by five clubs would be enough to deny Charles Green’s club entry to the SPL.

A statement from Inverness read: “Inverness Caledonian Thistle FC has completed their consultation exercise and consideration of its options in relation to the upcoming SPL vote on July 4th.

“The club will be voting ‘no’ to an application for SPL entry from a new company which has acquired the assets of Rangers following the liquidation of the previous company.

“Having considered all the options and following a very productive discussion with the supporters trust board, members the ICTFC directors are unanimous in their decision.”

Aberdeen chairman Stewart Milne said in a separate statement: “Traditionally we have preferred not to make public our voting intentions, but in light of the level of interest and the fact other clubs have chosen to show their hand, on this occasion I can confirm it is our intention to oppose readmission to the SPL for any Rangers newco.”

St Johnstone soon added their weight to the opposition to Green’s bid despite warning of a “serious impact” on the club’s finances.

A statement read: “Notwithstanding the potentially damaging financial implications, the board believes that sporting integrity should not be sacrificed in favour of economic expediency.

“Over the last few weeks there has been a mounting groundswell of opinion amongst our fans which has clearly shown that the vast majority of our supporters would not favour an application by newco Rangers to the SPL. This has simply reaffirmed the board’s position.

“It is important that a clear and unambiguous message goes out from the custodians of Scottish football that this sort of scenario should never be allowed to happen again.

“As a result, St Johnstone Football Club will not support an application by newco Rangers to join the SPL.

“We would urge all St Johnstone fans to get behind the club and offer their support in the challenging season which lies ahead.”

Meanwhile, the financial impact could delay a St Mirren takeover until next summer.

The 10,000 Hours community ownership group, who have received financial pledges from more than 1,000 fans, had been hoping to assume control next week but the deal has already been postponed.

Members of the group have been asked whether they would be prepared to support the club with increased donations should commercial revenues fall.

The consultation document said: “Depending on the funding required, this may delay the purchase for a year with your monthly contribution going towards helping the club directly while helping to maintain the integrity of Scottish football.”