Glasgow Rangers FC: Today, humiliated. Tomorrow, a giant

Glasgow Rangers FC is an institution in Glasgow, a flag-carrier for Scotland and an ambassador of British football, today the victim of the most disgraceful act of back-stabbing as Scottish Premier League clubs voted against allowing the club back into the Scottish Premier League after it went into administration and re-founded itself as Rangers FC.

Glasgow Rangers has arguably done more for Scottish football than practically any other club, lying on a par with Glasgow Celtic FC in terms of international recognition of the game in Scotland, meaning that the decision by the teams in the Scottish Premier League not to admit Rangers FC was a cynical exercise in cowardice, hoping to take advantage of Rangers for a few seasons as the club is readmitted into the League, but in Division Three.

What has anyone to gain from Rangers' absence? Nothing because without Rangers (or Celtic) the SPL will be a non-entity, the Champion will have an aura of "What if Rangers had been here?" hanging round its neck. Scottish football will only be complete in international standing with Rangers in the Premier League, where it belongs.

The opinions of the fans themselves were polled by the Rangers' Fans Fighting Fund. They were asked three questions:

(1) Do you want Rangers to play in SFL Division One next season - with sanctions? 3%

(2) Do you want Rangers to play in SFL Division One next season if there are no sanctions? Just over 20%

or (3) Should Rangers drop into and play from SFL Division Three next season? Just Under 76%

The spokesperson for the Fans Group says on the website:

"That's why we wanted Rangers fans to voice their opinion - and they have done so. We said we would publish the findings - and that's what we are doing. It shows the depth of feeling among our fans who have shown that they don't want any favours from the rest of the clubs - or any preferential treatment. What these Rangers fans are saying is:- If that is what is to happen to us, then let it happen and let us move on. We will support Rangers - no matter where they are playing."

The final decision as to where Rangers is playing in the 2012-2013 season will be made at the beginning of August. Hopefully it will be in the Premier League. A giant is a giant and with its vast fan-base, Rangers will never belong anywhere else.

The club that was founded in 1872, the club that made great efforts to eliminate sectarianism in Glasgow (Protestants - Rangers vs. Catholics - Celtic), the club that had a record attendance of 118,000 fans, the club that has won 54 Scottish League Championships, the club that has won 33 Scottish Cups, the club that has won 27 Scottish League Cups and one UEFA Cup-Winners' Cup in 1972, deserves to play anywhere but in the SPL?

What's the matter, are the other clubs in the Scottish Premier League afraid of something? There are times for doing the right thing, however difficult it may be and however much it may cost. Sportsmanship would dictate that the other clubs in the SPL should have been more magnanimous in their decision. So be it. If Rangers has to start in Division Three dodging thistles and chasing capercaillies across the glens, rolling up its sleeves and spending three years to come back to its rightful stage... Tomorrow Rangers will be back in the Premier League, let us wait to see what happens to those who are sitting there so smugly today.

Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey


[email protected]

Note: Until the vote by the Scottish Premier League to exclude Rangers, the author was a supporter of Glasgow Celtic in Scotland.

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Author`s name Timothy Bancroft-Hinchey