It’s easy to see why Rangers and their fans feel that the new proposal to run Scottish football into a 12-12-18 league format isn’t to their liking, pretty much meaning that despite winning promotion from the third division this season, they’ll remain in the lowest tier of the sport in Scotland because of needless innovations.
The idea? Reuniting the SPL with the Scottish Football League organization which will mean a top flight of 12 teams and a second tier, probably renamed as the Championship, like in England, with the same amount of teams. The two divisions would merge into three groups of eight after 22 games in order to decide the major issues – the title, European qualification and relegation out of the top flight.
The current structure is one separate SPL with 12 teams, and three lower divisions, first, second and third with 10 teams each. In the new reorganization, the lowest tier, the third division, will consist of 18 teams, and the nation’s smallest clubs are at the moment mulling that option, which isn’t to Rangers liking, for a number of reasons.
The only thing that is pushing this is short-sighted finance. The top 12 clubs are happy because nothing is changing. The teams below them are happy because they are getting a bigger share, while those 17 clubs left along with Rangers are happy. They are rubbing their hands at the thought of the gate money.
While we want to support our team, serious questions would have to be asked. I think there’s a huge risk Rangers fans will simply say, ‘enough is enough’. We are trying to work our way back while others are attempting to hold us back and drag us down. I don’t believe our fans would stand for it, and nor should they. It’s been an adventure this year. But the thought of having to go through all that again, having won the league and not been promoted, would have a very negative affect among our supporters.
Some would say that this resembles the Rangers effort to boycott their cup match against Dundee this seasons, deciding to pull revenge on the top flight teams that voted against them in their attempt to remain in the SPL. The idea behind it was not to help teams that caused them to be relegated (not the dodgy financial handling) earn money through the huge support Rangers bring with them to away matches.
Maybe it doesn’t really matter – a third division is still two years away from the Premier League, whether it’s the lowest of the low or another step in the ladder. But the overall feeling for Rangers and their fans, understandably from all of this, is being made into a milking cow of the lower division clubs, suddenly enjoying a rise in gate receipts from Rangers’ presence. Maybe when they think about how easier it should be getting promoted from a bigger league, with weaker competition each week, they might change their mind.