Rangers to make second bid for early release of prize money

Rangers will resubmit their request for prize money to be released early in order to help clubs in Scotland stay afloat during the coronavirus shutdown after it was rejected as not competent by the SPFL’s legal adviser.

Earlier this week Rangers voiced their strong opposition to a proposal to end the Scottish Championship, League One and League Two seasons, warning of “severe consequences for the Scottish game” and labelling plans to relegate clubs “abhorrent”.

They also put forward a members’ resolution calling for the SPFL to distribute prize money as a “priority” with several clubs left in a precarious position.

But in a statement released on Friday, Rangers said they had been frustrated by the league’s response to their resolution as time ticked down ahead of an SPFL board meeting on Friday afternoon.

“As a member club, we sought assistance from the SPFL Executive on several occasions yesterday, to ensure our resolution was deemed competent,” a club statement said.

“For the avoidance of doubt, no advice was forthcoming prior to the meeting starting.

“Now that the SPFL have belatedly identified the reason why our members resolution was not competent, we will immediately resubmit our resolution, based upon their advice.

“If this advice had been forthcoming earlier, we would not have lost valuable time in this process. We are confused as to why attempts have been made to slow the progress of Rangers’ resolution.”

The league has announced proposals to immediately end the three divisions below the top flight and determine final placings by points per game in league matches played to date by each club.

Wednesday’s resolution also recommends that the Ladbrokes Premiership remains postponed for the time being, although final season placings would be determined by the same system if the SPFL’s board determines matches cannot be played.

That could see Celtic crowned champions for the ninth successive season and Hearts relegated, but the immediate impact of the plans would be relegation for Partick Thistle and Stranraer.

SPFL chairman Murdoch MacLennan believes the measures enable “the best possible outcome for Scottish football in these very demanding and unique circumstances” – something Rangers robustly contest.

Steven Gerrard’s second-placed side are 13 points behind Celtic and “firmly believe that the 2019/20 season is only complete when all 38 games have been played to a finish”, while they say this SPFL resolution cannot be accepted.

Rangers were quick to voice their opposition, and Friday’s statement claimed other clubs would also vote against the plans.

“Over the last 36 hours, we have received numerous reports from fellow Scottish clubs relating to attempts to coerce and bully them into voting for the SPFL’s own resolution,” the statement said.

“We are proud that many fellow clubs will stand strong and not be swayed.”

Hearts and Partick, who both stand to be relegated, have also issued statements outlining their intention to vote against the plans, though Livingston have come out in favour.

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