Scottish Football Association head Stuart Reagan says the game will have to cope with the financial fall-out of Rangers’ demotion to Division 3.
The Glasgow giants were placed in the bottom tier of Scottish football after Charles Green’s ‘newco’ company were voted out of the SPL and Scottish Football League clubs voted to make them start at the bottom of the pyramid.
But with Rangers and rivals Celtic generating most of the financial income of the Scottish game, the absence of the 54-time league champions from the top division for at least the next three seasons could have a devastating impact throughout all levels of the professional game.
Despite that worrying prospect, Reagan is looking towards some possible positives to come out of the situation.
“Today is a watershed for Scottish football. There will, undoubtedly, be financial consequences on the horizon,” Reagan said in an SFA statement.
“This challenge requires the collective effort not just of the Scottish FA but the respective league organisations and all member clubs.
“Nonetheless, with togetherness, an open mind, and innovative thinking, there can also be opportunity: opportunity to restructure the game and promote competitiveness, to place greater emphasis on development of young Scottish talent and to support the financial sustainability of clubs through the Financial Fair Play model.”
Twenty-nine of the 30 clubs that make up the Scottish Football League voted in favour of Rangers joining the SFL, with 25 of them electing for the Ibrox club to start in Division Three.
And while the move will undoubtedly have a negative impact on the financial strength of the game at the top level, there have been suggestions that lower-league sides will benefit from the increased gate-revenue and attention that having Rangers in their league will provide.
And Reagan wants to see more joined-up thinking among the different bodies in the Scottish game, to help ensure such a situation is not allowed to develop again.
“The Scottish FA has offered guidance and support to the respective league bodies during this process,” he said.
“The SPL and SFL enter a crucial phase ahead of the new season and they must reach agreement on the practical issues that require to be addressed within their jurisdictions.
“Ultimately, there must be an outcome that enables Scottish football to move on with consensus, clarity and confidence into a new era for the national game.”