Jul 18 2012 by Andrew Burns, Dumfries Standard Wednesday
Queen of the South
THE QUEEN of the South board has called for calm amid fans’ furious reaction to Friday’s vote on the future of Rangers.
Many supporters have been left seething at the decision to vote in favour of the fallen Glasgow giants being parachuted into the Scottish First Division.
Queens were one of only five clubs to vote in favour of the move, which also included concessions such as the introduction of play-offs into the top tier and a £1million payment to the Scottish Football League.
But 25 of the 30 clubs polled, including local rivals Annan Athletic and Stranraer, condemned Rangers to the lowest level of the senior game.
The Dumfries club was inundated with letters and e-mails over the weekend from fans condemning the decision, while many have voiced their disgust on online message board and social media outlets.
Some fans have vowed not to return to Palmerston following the decision, while others have called for the board of directors to stand down.
The board issued a lengthy statement released on Sunday outlining the reasoning behind voting to allow Charles Green’s newco direct entry to the first division.
It said that clubs had been given the impression that the game’s governing bodies would “continue to pursue the newco Rangers playing in one of the top two tiers next season” regardless of the outcome of Friday’s vote.
It added: “There has been a lot of talk about how this is not possible under the current rules, but as the saying goes “where there’s a will there’s a way”.
“The real risk, therefore, was that we would end up with Rangers newco not in Division Three anyway but with none of the benefits of league reconstruction or additional revenue for the SFL .
“We felt that if there was any chance of getting league reconstruction, and the other overall benefits to the game, that we had to vote “yes”.
“Over the next few days and weeks we will find out if these were, indeed, empty threats or whether the governing bodies will collude to ignore the democratic process and find a way to insert the Rangers newco into one of the top two tiers for next season.”
In the statement, the board also heavily criticised “senior members” of the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League for a lack of leadership and communication throughout the situation.
It also acknowledged the overriding opposition among supporters to voting in favour of the proposals, claiming that Friday’s “difficult” decision should not be viewed as the board “ignoring” the fans.
It read: “We want to be very clear though, that voting contrary to the opinions of many fans is not the same as ignoring them.
“We read all of the correspondence, and again would like to thank each and every person who took the time to get in touch.
“The opinions of fans were considered, and debated, long and hard before the Board took the difficult decision to vote contrary to most of them.
“Please do not take any part of this process to imply that you were ignored or dismissed.”
Meanwhile, Annan Athletic maintained their stance that Rangers should start at the bottom tier and voted against the proposals at Friday’s meeting.
Galabank chairman Henry McLelland said: “Annan Athletic believed there was indeed only one acceptable option albeit not the one we felt we were being ‘guided’ towards.
“We fully accept that consequently Scottish football is facing significant challenges, especially those of a financial nature, there will be a shrinking football economy but both options would have had similar results.”