East Fife say no to Rangers newco

Sid Collumbine
Sid Collumbine
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EAST Fife will oppose plans to allow the Rangers newco a place in the First Division next season.

The club’s board made the decision at a meeting at Bayview on Monday night and joins a growing number of Scottish Football League (SFL) clubs, including Fife rivals Raith Rovers, to state firmly that they are against any such outcome.

East Fife chairman Sid Collumbine revealed to the Mail that the club would welcome reconstruction talks – but only those which admit a newco in the bottom tier.

Mr Collumbine said: “We retain an open mind on the subject of league reconstruction and will carefully consider any proposal put to us in this regard.

“The board of directors of East Fife FC, however, is unanimous in its view that we shall not support any integrated plan that, in our view, compromises sporting integrity by involving the admission of any ‘newco’ directly into Division One.

“Any ‘newco’ must follow the normal application route into the bottom tier.”

It has been speculated that senior Scottish football figures want to rush through an overhaul of the game, which could include a merger of the SFL and Scottish Premier League (SPL), with the SFL receiving £1 million for television rights if the Rangers newco is granted entry to the First Division.

However, the idea has proved unpopular with most football fans, including over 520 East Fife supporters who completed an online survey.

The results showed only 6.3 per cent felt the Rangers newco should be allowed to start the 2012-13 season in the First Division and 87.1 per cent said they wouldn’t support a newco being allowed entry into the top tier, even if it meant East Fife would be made financially secure as a result.

SFL clubs are not expected to vote on how to handle the newco and about the proposals to restructure the leagues until July 11 at the earliest.