Green in new blast at 'busted flush' SPL as top clubs prepare for reconstruction meeting
23:37 GMT, 2 December 2012
Rangers chief executive Charles Green has dismissed the SPL as a ‘busted flush’ — and predicted there will be no rush of SFL clubs to join a breakaway second tier.
All 12 top-flight clubs meet at Hampden on Monday for discussions over their multi-split plan of two 12-team divisions and, if approved, they will invite clubs outside the elite league to put themselves forward for membership of SPL 2.
But Green, still at war with the SPL over the threat of titles being stripped, believes the SFL’s rival 16-10-16 formation will draw more support from clubs — and claims that third-party mediators should step in to reach a compromise between the two league bodies.
Critic: Charles Green believes clubs won't rush to join the SPL
‘This is not about whether Rangers should be in SPL 1 or not — the SPL is a busted flush,’ said the Yorkshireman.
‘People are sick of seeing clubs playing each other four times a season and the season finished by December because only two clubs can win it.
‘I’m not sure SFL clubs will rush to join the SPL. There is a big sense of injustice about how they were being told what to do over where Rangers should go and we all saw the outcome.
‘They were told to put Rangers in the First Division and, quite rightly, the SFL clubs didn’t listen and put us in the Third Division — and we are happy to be there.
‘I’ve seen the SFL proposal and the SPL version of what should happen. There are merits in both but what it needs is for all the clubs to sit down.
‘It’s not about what’s best for Peter Lawwell and Celtic or what’s best for Rangers or Charles Green — it’s about what’s best for the game as a whole. Someone needs to get a hold of this and deal with it now because it could all end in tears.
‘I think the whole aspect of reconstruction needs a long and hard look and maybe one of the things people ought to consider is bringing someone from outside in to look at it.’
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Green took another swipe at ‘agendas’ within the game, while suggesting that regaining TV rights may yet sway Rangers.
‘Some SPL clubs are terrified of giving up something but the reality is that I had to give up something and that was TV rights.
‘I met with Neil Doncaster last week and told him very clearly that once this agreement is finished we will not give them up again and I have already written to David Longmuir to reinforce that.
‘So if people want to reconstruct the leagues then do it, but don’t do it on the basis that we are going to play ball because we are not.
‘When I see what’s happening up here there still seem to be lots of agendas.
‘I hear comments that people don’t want Rangers here, well I can make it easy, people — we don’t want to be back with the SPL people while this continued persecution of the club for title-stripping is going on.
‘All of the things that have put the game into the terrible state it’s in need to be put behind us and we can move forward. When you look at some of the attendances, it’s not working.’
Meanwhile, Sportsmail understands a motion could be tabled for a fairer distribution of income within the current SPL set-up, in the event that reconstruction falls through once again.
Vote: Celtic manager Neil Lennon
The proposed structure of two 12s, with each club playing each other twice before splitting into three eight-team play-off sections, received unanimous support at a meeting of all SPL clubs a fortnight ago.
There will be no official vote taken at the SPL meeting when the clubs meet again to view the ‘fleshed-out’ version of the reconstruction plan.
The new financial distribution model will be discussed, which is expected to state that getting to the SPL1 would be worth 400,000 to a club, instead of the current 70,000 prize pot for winning the First Division.
If the show of hands at the end of the meeting gives the 11 votes needed to take reconstruction further, the SPL will appoint lawyers to draw up the rules and regulations of the new set-ups, although the SFL remain opposed to the plan.
It was also suggested the SPL’s existing split of finances could come under attack. Currently, television contracts, both domestic and international, are put into one prize pot alongside the SPL’s other commercial deals and 52 per cent is split evenly between the 12 SPL clubs.
The remaining cash is then split on a sliding scale.
This has traditionally favoured the Old Firm voting ‘power bloc’ but the fall of Rangers has left the financial distribution open to attack, with 11 votes required to change it.
‘There has been talk behind the scenes about challenging the current financial distribution model to make it “fairer for all” and, while not finalised, that could even happen as early as Monday,’ one source told Sportsmail.