Ten of the 12 clubs – including Celtic – voted to exclude Rangers in the guise of a New Company from next season’s competition.
Only Rangers voted for it, while Kilmarnock abstained.
And tonight it appears Rangers bid to enter the Scottish Football League Division One is already hitting the rocks. At least 11 of the 30 SFL clubs have opposed that plan. Others have yet to take a decision.
What this means for Celtic fans is this – there will be no Rangers game next year, and possibly for several years…unless there is a Cup game.
Celtic FC admitted in a statement that there will be implications for the Scottish game but insisted once again that the Hoops are not dependent on having Rangers in the game.
Celtic said in a statement tonight: “The decision to refuse access into the SPL was an overwhelming one and demonstrates the depth of feeling amongst everyone involved in Scottish football.
“Whilst the financial implications of today’s vote for Celtic and for the Scottish game as a whole will be very significant, we have already stated that Celtic has a business plan and strategy independent of any other club.
“In addition, we will be working with our other fellow SPL clubs in the days and weeks ahead to take all possible steps to maximise commercial returns, which remain crucial in these economically-challenging circumstances.”
Rangers FC plc entered administration in February owing up to £134m to unsecured creditors. The company will eventually be liquidated and has been replaced by a new company run by Charles Green.
It has emerged Rangers has been double-paying players through secret contracts for years, possibly 20 years. This allowed them to recruit big name players to the club. It has now left a serious question mark over its nine-in-a-row ‘success.’
The newco has since seen 10 first team players refuse to transfer their contracts from the previous regime, including skipper Steven Davis and Scotland internationals Allan McGregor and Steven Whittaker.
Steven Naismith signed for Everton today – and will be playing alongside Seamus Coleman in the EPL next season.
Celtic’s statement in full is here:
CELTIC Football Club today confirmed that it opposed re-admission to the Scottish Premier League by Rangers newco.
Today´s decision to refuse access into the SPL was an overwhelming one and demonstrates the depth of feeling amongst everyone involved in Scottish football.
Fundamentally, the Celtic Board has also been very mindful of the need to take what it believes to be the correct course of action in protecting the integrity of the game in Scotland
The matter is now within the jurisdiction of the Scottish Football Association and it will be for the SFA to decide on the future of Rangers newco.
Throughout the whole sequence of events leading up to today’s decision the Celtic Board has been of the singular view that the integrity of the game in Scotland is of paramount importance. Our only other consideration has been to protect the interests and right of the Club and our supporters.
Whilst the financial implications of today’s vote for Celtic and for the Scottish game as a whole will be very significant, we have already stated that Celtic has a business plan and strategy independent of any other club.
Our supporters can rest assured that we will continue to fight to protect Celtic’s best interests within the Scottish game.
In addition, we will be working with our other fellow SPL clubs in the days and weeks ahead to take all possible steps to maximise commercial returns, which remain crucial in these economically-challenging circumstances. We will also play an active role in mapping the future of Scottish football.
The fans are the lifeblood of the game and we know how strongly our supporters, and those of other clubs, felt about this issue.
We are confident that Celtic’s fans, together with the supporters of all the SPL clubs, will now play a major role in rallying behind their clubs to ensure that Scottish football emerges stronger from this episode.
During Celtic’s long and illustrious 125-year history, there have been periods of difficulty. At these times, our supporters have always stood shoulder to shoulder with the Club. We need our supporters to be with us now, more than ever.
We know our own supporters will be acutely aware of the significant challenges that lie ahead. We enter next season as Champions of Scotland and look ahead to retaining our title and to making an impact in a European context. We know how difficult this will be and we call on our supporters to join us in tackling these challenges, to take their place at Celtic Park, to invest in the Club and to continue to give us the kind of support for which they are renowned.Tags: