All change in SFL

MONTROSE Football Club are facing the prospect of playing against Rangers this coming season after an SFL vote came out in favour of the Glasgow club joining the Third Division.

SFL Member Clubs voted 29 to one to allow Rangers into the SFL, while 25 clubs voted in favour of the club going into the Third Division rather than the First.

The decision was cemented on Monday at the SPL annual general meeting when it was decided that Dundee will take the place of Rangers in the top tier.

In a statement, David Longmuir, SFL chief executive, said: The Member Clubs of The SFL have voted to willingly accept The Rangers Football Club as an Associate Member of The Scottish Football League.

“Furthermore, The Scottish Football League’s only acceptable position will be to place Rangers FC into the Third Division of the IRN-BRU Scottish Football League from the start of this season, 2012/13.

“This decision followed our tried and tested process and was taken in cognisance of the other option which was available for consideration and approval.

“This decision has been one of the most difficult for all concerned, but it has been taken in the best interests of sporting fairness which is the fundamental principle of The Scottish Football League.”

He added: “The SFL has been entirely consistent in our willingness to work with other bodies to ensure that we focus on rebuilding our game, restoring pride in our game and exploring revenue streams which allow the game to prosper. Our willingness to achieve these aims does not alter.”

Montrose chairman Derek Sim said: “I’m looking forward to it. It’s a great opportunity for our players to play at Ibrox which is such a prestigious ground, and obviously we will welcome Rangers to Links Park.

“In due course we will discuss with the local authority and Tayside Police the arrangements for matches but at the present time I am just looking forward to it.

“Hopefully we will be able to compete well against a full-time side and have a full-house for both of the matches at Links Park.”

Montrose will face Rangers for the first time this season at Ibrox on Saturday, September 22. They will meet again at Links Park on Saturday, December 15.

Montrose manager Stuart Garden said: “Playing against Rangers is something that I will look forward to and I know that the players will be looking forward to it to. It would also be of huge benefit financially to the club.”