Handicapping the Vote on Rangers' Re-Entry into the Scottish Football League

Trent ScottAnalyst IIIJuly 12, 2012

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - MARCH 25: Rangers fans show their support during the Scottish Clydesdale Bank Scottish Premier League match between Rangers and Celtic at Ibrox Stadium on March 25, 2012 in Glasgow, Scotland.  (Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)
Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

Friday is Judgment Day for Rangers FC. At least that’s the idea, anyway.

Three resolutions are being presented to the member clubs of the Scottish Football League for vote concerning the placement Rangers within the SFL structure.

Via Herald Scotland, those resolutions are as follows:

1. That the Scottish Football League Members agree to admit Sevco Scotland Limited as an Associate Member and agrees to permit Rangers F.C. to play in the League during Season 2012/13.

2. That the Scottish Football League Members direct the Board of Management of The Scottish Football League (the “Board”) to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the Third Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13 unless the Board shall have to its satisfaction negotiated and reached agreement with The Scottish Premier League and The Scottish Football Association on a series of measures which the Board shall consider to be in the best interests of the game, how it is structured, how it is governed and how it is financed, whereupon the Board shall be authorised to provide that Rangers F.C. shall play in the First Division of the Scottish Football League during Season 2012/13.

3. That the Scottish Football League Members in terms of Rule 12 approve the resignation of either Dundee F.C. or Dunfermline Athletic F.C., whichever shall be admitted to join the Scottish Premier League for Season 2012/13, such resignation to take effect as at the date of admission of such club to the Scottish Premier League, notwithstanding that the requisite notice under Rule 12 shall not have been given. Details of the series of measures referred to at (ii) above shall be made available to the Members in advance of the meeting and an opportunity for full discussion of those measures will be given prior to the proposals being put to the meeting.

Or, if you prefer a more simple explanation, they go like this:

1. Rangers are voted into the SFL.

2. Rangers are voted into the Third Division unless the SFL, the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association concoct a scheme to get Rangers into the First Division.

3. Allowing whoever takes place of Rangers in the SPL (Dundee United or Dunfermline Athletic) to do so.

Since the time for most of the talking about these "decent" proposals has been done, let us instead handicap the votes.

Given that the SFA and SPL are desperately trying anything to get Rangers into the First Division, the odds presented are liable to fluctuate a little bit.

With reports coming in, however, that many clubs are not ever remotely on board with the additional proposals, Friday has the ability to be quite contentious at Hampden Park.

Vote on measure 1: 70 percent chance of success

It’s not hard for most clubs to vote Rangers into the SFL. There will be some that may feel that if they even so much as concede Rangers into the SFL in the first place that they will be at the mercy of the titular heads of Scottish football.

Thus, the odds on Rangers being accepted are pretty good, but not anywhere near a slam dunk.

Vote on measure 2: 10 percent chance of success

As currently written, most clubs certainly feel that the three governing bodies have several schemes brewed to drive Rangers into the second tier of Scottish football.

That hasn’t set well with a lot of clubs, and with the language construed as it is, it might require a later vote for Rangers to be admitted to a division period. Not that there’s any rush or anything.

Vote on measure 3: 90 percent chance of success

The gist of Rule 12 (on page seven) is that, with a two-thirds vote, the clubs will allow whichever club is chosen to go to the SPL to leave the SFL and do so.

The only thing that might complicate matters is if the governing heads decide at the meeting to force Rangers in the First Division.

If they were to do that before the third vote is taken, the SFL clubs could create a massive issue by not creating a space for Rangers to join.

To say this whole situation is a clusterbomb would be modest at best. Rangers are being pulled in two different directions and are at the mercy of both sides.

One wants them to be taken down to the Third Division. One wants them to be rammed into the First Division.

Either way, Friday’s vote has the opportunity to create a new, harrowing mess in the land of Scottish football.