Reports: Rangers will not get approved for Scottish Premier League

Rangers (Reuters Pictures)

If Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya were thinking of wading through the tough times Rangers and sticking around for another season, they might want to reconsider their options.

In the wake of the club's financial turmoil, liquidation and takeover by new owner Charles Green, Rangers essentially need to start their franchise from scratch. That entailed forming a new company, leaving their history behind and hoping that the rest of the Premier League would accept that while welcoming the club back into the top flight with open arms. It appears, however, that last part won't be happening.  

Under their current circumstances, Rangers need a two-thirds majority vote among the 12 Premier League clubs to be readmitted into the Premier League, and six teams — Aberdeen, St. Johnstone, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, Dundee United, Heart of Midlothian and Hibernian — have reportedly stated that they will not vote in Rangers' favor, leaving the club destined for a place in the lower tiers of Scottish soccer. The official vote is set to take place July 4.

When the Premier League's schedule was released June 18, Rangers were not on it, and instead a mysterious "Club 12" took their place while the team awaited its top-flight fate. That fate appears to be sealed, and the club with so much history and success in Scotland will need to win its way back to the top.

What do you think of this development?

Share your thoughts below.

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63 Responses to Reports: Rangers will not get approved for Scottish Premier League

  1. Jon Arthur says:


    They made their bed, now they can lie in it….hopefully that’s in the SFL 3rd division or lower.

    At least the punishment is starting to fit their crimes.

  2. Judging Amy says:

    I don’t know. I get that they messed up somehow (actually I don’t, don’t understand how these things work), but just as a practical matter won’t the league suffer from the absence of one of its best and historically most prestigious members (thus hurting the other teams)?

  3. Rolando says:

    its the principle of the matter. If rangers were to stay in the top flight it would give permission for any club to spend put themselves in debt, fold, then restart back up again and act like nothing happend. It sucks for Scottish Soccer but rules are rules i guess. I dont see who can challenge Celtic now for the next 5 to 6 years.

  4. elgringorico says:

    All 3 should return to MLS!

  5. McQ says:

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bunch of blokes! This team didn’t abide by the rules and continued to buy championships with money they didn’t have while smaller clubs like Hibs, Hearts and Aberdeen continued to make due with what they could afford. Too bad so sad now they can relish thier fate playing the likes of Partick Thistle and Raith Rovers for a year before thier inevitable return (ala Juve).

  6. The Imperative Voice says:

    Rangers got behind on their taxes, went into administration and were then liquidated, with their assets sold to a new entity. In American terms, they went bankrupt, were dissolved in their present form, and have merely sold assets like their name to the highest bidder.

    So apparently the SPL consensus is to treat this like Gretna, who disbanded a few years back after blowing up their finances. Rangers can re-form but they will have to work their way up the pyramid like any other new team.

    It’s a mixed bag in terms of Rangers’ impact. Other teams were being paid their share of Rangers ticket sales late, because Rangers’ finances were messed. Rangers players were being paid late, and eventually had to accept cents on the dollar. So while the history and prestige arguments are all well and good, they’re a present-day financial menace. A team playing them could not even be sure they’d get their share of ticket sales, not tomorrow, not next week, not next month. They can come back if they get their finances in order.

    To me, a cautionary tale for the consideration of all those opposed to MLS’ salary caps and other red tape.

  7. BSU SC says:

    It’s only a matter of time before we see this happen to one of the super clubs (Real Madrid, Manchester United, Barcelona, etc…). So many of these teams play russian roulette with their finances, at some point the bubble is going to burst.

    Rumor has it that both Bursapor and Beskitas are interested in bringing Mo Edu to Turkey. Bocanegra should have a world of options since he would be available on a free transfer. MLS is definitely a potential destination (Vancouver is at the top of the allocation order). I’m not sure where Bedoya ends up going but any club where he can find consistent playing time would be a good move for him.

  8. The Imperative Voice says:

    If Rangers get recognized for this season they would likely play in the Scottish Third Division against the likes of Elgin City and Montrose. It would then be at least three years of consecutive promotions to make the SPL again.

    But they could in theory play Celtic as soon as the coming season in a Scottish cup match, assuming they re-start this season, get the necessary draw, etc.

    Deadbeat teams are probably worse for Scottish soccer than demotion of deadbeat teams. I understood some teams were not being paid for their share of ticket sales by Rangers, which has the potential for a financial domino effect.

  9. mdb says:

    Given this new reality, does it make MORE sense for the new owner to forgo he entire SPL and enter at whatever level is required for them to join the British league system? It seems a lot more sustainable if they want to really leverage the Rangers brand longer term.

    The SPL is a dead man walking.

  10. ChelseaMatt says:

    Can’t believe this has happened to the Old Firm Derby. SPL won’t be lasting too much longer. With Rangers gone, there is really no reason for Celtic to stick around — they’ll be in the Premier League in 5 yrs. Always wanted to see an Old Firm match. I guess that ship has sailed now. Oh well.

  11. kimo says:

    LOL … Real Madrid has ALREADY been bailed out before. Most recently by the City of Madrid. It’s a total joke and a double standard.

  12. kimo says:

    SPL teams are fools. I see their point of view but they’ve screwed themselves out of spite. Agree with mdb.

    If I’m Celtic, I try and exit the SPL ASAP.

  13. The Imperative Voice says:

    Britain traditionally refers to the unit of England, Scotland, and Wales. You probably mean start in the English league but FIFA might have something to say about that, they haven’t been too keen on flush Celtic and Rangers making a superleague, I doubt they are pro-liquidated Rangers pulling cross-border stunts.

    Usually when an exception is made there is some historical or sectarian reason.

  14. SteveD says:

    My Thinking exactly, If they can get into English FootballLeague Championship do well earn prmotion to EPL. They will be making a ton of money.

    Why start over in Scottish league?

  15. Charles says:

    Wow, a one team league ?

    Americans, come home to MLS !

  16. ArbroathFCfan says:

    Rangers vs Arbroath! YESSS!!!

  17. John says:

    All three Americans should leave asap, preferably by not accepting the transfer of their contracts form the oldco to the newco so they could be signed for free. The SPL w/o any European football was already limiting them to a much lower standard of football than the higher international levels and if they are playing against lower league Scottish teams for the next three years I can’t see them being ready for Brazil in 2014.

  18. kevdflb says:

    UGH! There is no single British league system.
    There is and English league system, a Scottish league system and a Welsh league system. There are 3 British football league systems.

    Or are you just confusing “British” for “English”?
    BTW. Please don’t do that.

  19. Twon says:

    The teams are fools,as is Fifa. Without rangers their is no SPL. Maybe other teams wan’t their spot. However, this is the most idiotic thing, I have ever seen. American Salary cap system makes sense, or if you have no salary cap, a baseball system can also work. FIFA fair play system, will not work. People don’t want to face the truth, however as Europe gets worse, teams in Europe will be at a stand still. Even teams with oil money will struggle because Europe is the biggest buyer of oil. America will struggled but will survive. MLS system of salary cap, may became the standard of Europe.

  20. kevdflb says:

    Both Cardiff City and Swansea (both in Wales, not England) play in the English league – Swansea in the English Premier League.

    No one has threatened to end Welsh football independence. So, there is precedent. It certainly won’t happen now, but it is possible. I doubt either of the Old Firm would want to deal with annual relegation battles though, and they would obviously have to start way down the pyramid. While it might hurt the finances of the Hearts, Dundees and Aberdeens, it would certainly be good for their trophy room….

  21. kevdflb says:

    And Yes, Northern Ireland has its own Football league, too.
    So – 4 “british league systems…”

    link to

  22. CSD says:

    I believe there are 4. Northern Ireland has a league.

    BTW, do whatever you want I don’t care.

  23. CSD says:

    Jinx you owe me a coke…

  24. CSD says:

    Yes, Rangers should enter the English league setup immediately and start at the bottom and work there way up. Their gate revenue alone should be enough for them to get sufficient talent to overwhelm lower tier opponents.

    If the SPL went away and Inverness and someone like Portsmouth ended up in the same league that would be a heck of a train ride for traveling fans.

  25. kevdflb says:

    Well, everyone – even the English Scottish and Welsh forgets about the Northern Irish….
    You can get your Coke in Londonderry.

  26. Gnarls says:

    Thanks for breaking it down. I didn’t know the whole scoop either.

    I certainly agree with your last point. Those who rail on MLS for its low salary cap should take a long, hard look at Rangers (or the old NASL, or Greece) to see what an over-extended, fiscally irresponsible entity looks like. Slow and steady wins the race.

  27. Gnarls says:

    Vancouver sold their allocation rights. No longer in pole position. In fact, they may now be at the bottom of the order if I understand MLS’ convoluted allocation process.

  28. Angry Northern Irishman says:

    It’s Derry!

  29. Gnarls says:

    That sounds like an epic battle from a Tolkien novel.

  30. Old School says:


  31. Jason says:

    Cardiff and Swansea are historically in the English system because they played in the English system prior to the existence of the Welsh system.

  32. oscar says:

    Heck, if Rangers are being asked to play in SPL 3rd division, they might as well just try to shoehorn into the English leagues and work their up to EPL in a few years. They have the fanbase to support this kind of move and the pay off at the end is going to be far higher than it would be getting back to the top of SPL.

    If Cardiff and Swansea can do it, Rangers (and Celtic?) should be able to do it.

  33. kimo says:

    Yep … totally agree. No reason at all to stay in the Scottish setup.

  34. The Imperative Voice says:

    Northern Ireland is technically UK not GB. GB refers to the island (“Britain”) where Scotland, Wales, and England are. UK refers to united kingdom including Northern Ireland. So 3 British leagues plus Northern Irish league (then a separate ROI league).

    Wales is traditionally rugby country. Cardiff and Swansea are in the English league system because they’ve been there like 100+ years. As it stands, 100 years later, though their general position is stable, there have been questions raised as recently as Cardiff’s FA cup run about whether the FA would allow them to represent England should they take an “English” qualifying spot.

    There are also some other quirks, Monaco in France, the Catholic Derry City club in the ROI league even though physically in Northern Ireland, etc. But there’s usually some sort of history or sectarianism or something, not just “it would be a $$ (or pound or Euro as it were) boon to me to pretend I’m English.”

    One of the wildest, to me, is Wellington Phoenix are physically in Oceania but play in Australia, which is now in Asia for soccer. So every year some amateur team like Auckland City represents Oceania instead.

  35. maaxiim says:

    Speaking as a lifelong bluenose, it’s a very difficult time for us. I’d like to point out a couple of facts that seem to be getting overlooked:
    1. The EBT Scheme (aka Big tax caae) was not concealed and was reported on both the ‘gers and their beneficiaries annual taxes. The HMRC did not immediately call the payments into question. That’s a very interesting question; why not?
    2. Craig Whyte fired all board members that questioned his actions.
    3. Ousted board members hired a private detective to investigate Whyte.
    4. Neither team, manager nor fans had ANY inkling that the club was being mismanaged until it became public knowledge and so to say that fans are at fault for celebrating any victory acheived during this period is beyond ludicrous.
    4. The small tax case is purely as a consequence of Whytes actions.
    5. Duff and Phelps had a very questionable roll in how events transpired both before and after we entered administration.

    And before anyone accuses me of trying to duck our responsibilities, I believe that we must now be held accountable, because, whatever else is true, the corporation of Rangers broke the law and that has to be answered for.
    To start again in either Scottish D3 or the English conference might end up being the best thing that could have happened to us.
    thanks for listening!

  36. RLW2020 says:

    didn’t the FA or EPL vote down Celtic and Rangers moving into the EPL a few years ago.

    But if allowed they would be better off moving to League 2 (ENG-4) than Scotland 2 or 3.

  37. RLW2020 says:

    no doubt they will leave. its just a matter of time. No team playing in the cellar of Scottish football can play players with their contracts.

    I just hope that they land in good places, preferably MLS for Bedoya and Bocanegra.

  38. Judging Amy says:

    Ahh thanks! And yes if playing them is a financial risk to a team then I absolutely understand why they aren’t voting to have them in.

    Totally agreed on MLS.

  39. nic d "the TEXAS 2 stepper" says:


    You can take your reasonable and well articulated response somewhere else. Where did you think you were posting?

    This is the internet.

    Don’t assume that were are intelligent.

    Know your audience!

    Good day sir!

  40. nic d "the TEXAS 2 stepper" says:

    “Don’t assume that were are intelligent.”

    As demonstrated by my typo.


  41. bryan says:

    Ok, so Edu needs to move to another Euro club. All of the sudden that French team sounds pretty good!

    Boca, come home.

    Bedoya, try for Holland. I feel like he would still want a pay day, and is not DP caliber, so he’ll end up back in Scandinavia if nothing else comes through.

    Sone Aluko, come on over to MLS. 23 year old Nigerian winger who is promising enough, would be a good addition to any team.

  42. Eurosnob says:

    This is so shortsighted for the SPL owners to force Rangers to start at the lower tiers of Scottish soccer. Some of the owners care more about settling the old scores than anything else. If they tell the Rangers to start at the bottom of the Scotish soccer system, the new owners might as well file the paperwork with one of the English leagues with potentially winning a lucrative EPL spot down the road. If Kazakhstan is part of the UEFA, there’s no reason that a franchise like Rangers cannot be accomodated by the FA.

  43. guwinster says:

    Playing Rangers is not a financial risk. Hearts stands to gain so much more from playing Rangers than say Ross County (2800 seat stadium) that it would be worth it for them to play Rangers even if there was a 60% chance Rangers wouldn’t pay them anything.

    The only reason these teams are voting Rangers down is because they are jealous…and perhaps out of principle, but mostly because they are jealous.

  44. JSmiley half-seriously says:

    Can Rangers join MLS?

    There are teams in Canada, there is “Chivas USA” apparently owned abroad, why not Scotland?

  45. Eurosnob says:

    FIFA could care less about SPL teams unless someone offers a bribe to its decisionmakers. And as for the UEFA, didn’t they recently accept Kazakhstan as one of their “European” members? Asian Confederation did the same for Australia.

  46. wides says:

    Just in case you are not aware, there are 10 levels of the English Football League, they would not be starting in the Championship, they would most likely have to register in level 10 “Northern Football League” … if you think 3 successive promotions would be tedious, it would be 8 promotions just to get to the Championship.

  47. wides says:

    English football league has 10 levels … think they’ll want to wait 9 years just to get to the Championship ?

  48. DCLee says:

    Interesting! So Auckland City represents Oceania in the Asian Champions League?

  49. eddie says:

    It’s hard to feel sorry for the Rangers with there history and the horrid behavior of their fans.

  50. Andy in Chicago says:

    This is very, very bad for the Scottish Premier League if this ends up happening. Without the Old Firm happening 4 times a season, a lot of their (television) money will either be gone or significantly diminished.

    Those matches are a very big reason why stations carry the league in the first place.

  51. Tim M. says:

    The Rangers should be allowed to join league 2 of the English football league or maybe even conference football.

    If only under new ownership or as a completely new franchise, it would be such an insult to this club with so much history and such dedicated fans to not proceed to the english football pyrimiad in some sort of capacity.

    In this aspect they could one day be looked at as trailblazers.

    A football club’s history belongs, with out a doubt, to the fans who’s lives are intertwined with the club itself. which is deeply indrenched in generations of british peoples lives, their culture, their worlds, are deeply indrenched in the future of Rangers F.C.

  52. kevdflb says:

    The more you know!!!

  53. kevdflb says:

    And Guyana and Suriname are in Concacaf…

  54. kevdflb says:

    (I was being intentionally controversial there)

  55. Seriously? says:

    Yes, how very short sighted it is to not allow back a team which played fast and loose with the rules, trying to win the league by spending more than it could afford, and now I assume leaving a lot of money owed to a lot of people, not just players and the government, but anyone who did any service for them like caterers or builders (again, just an assumption, but that’s generally how it goes in bankruptcies), while one assumes the rest of the teams are paying or will pay their taxes, wages and bills in a responsible manner. Holding people/organizations responsible for their actions, and making them follow the rules that are supposed to apply to everybody, even the wealthy, that’s just stupid.

  56. Will says:

    This will be great for the minnows £££

  57. Tyler says:

    That wouldn’t be much of a change most of the time. Top-flight Rangers weren’t paying their contracts most of the time!

  58. john says:

    Fans in the US manage so im sure these fans will figure something out

  59. john says:

    This is a good thought but for rangers to join the championship without any due process would rip the soul out of english football. This would set a precedent saying promotion and relegation can be bypassed with enough money.

  60. biff says:

    Have no idea why my comment above was deleted. Weird. No bad words or ranting and raving. I had simply posted a link to a news story about a possible transfer for Edu and a link about a coach who thinks highly of Boca and would like to have him on his team. The news stories can easily be found with news search for each player on the web.

  61. soccerhorn says:

    Nobody’s said it, but one of the biggest losers in all this is Celtic. Without the Old Firm, Celtic will be on a desert island, with no one to challenge them, and no way to draw fans and make money. This has always been one of the great risks of being in a two-team league. The same would happen if Real Madrid or Barça folded – if one goes, the other one could easily follow.

    I’m a Celtic Supporter, and part of me wants to laugh at the Teddy Bear collapse. But even a fool such as me can see that without our evil twin, Celtic is a giant without a dragon to slay.

  62. Saint4ever says:

    80% of Rangers players will end up in England, NOT “MLS”
    It’s a shame that this is happening but the only way other teams will now that it can’t screw around with it’s money is to make an example of.