The future of Glasgow Rangers FC looks uncertain since they announced their administration on February 14th 2012. Until now, Rangers have been the most prolific team to play in the Scottish Premier League, winning the Scottish League Cup 27 times and with 54 league championships to their name (more than any other team in the world). The effect that their administration may have on Scottish football could be devastating.
At the moment they have accepted a ten point deduction, making it hugely unlikely that they will retain their league title. There has also been an embargo placed on player transfers and it seems likely that they will have to sell some of their best players in order to generate some revenue. Rangers also face being banned from all European competitions next year unless they can come to an agreement with their creditors before the end of March. It is not just Rangers who need to worry though; there are also serious implications for Scottish football as a whole.
The first issue is that with Rangers likely to sell some of their best players, Celtic will be almost certain to claim the league title in the coming years. This will see an already rather uncompetitive league become even more so. Furthermore, it is a possibility that Glasgow Rangers FC could disappear totally; this would be very damaging to all other clubs in the Scottish Premier League. Rangers take huge amounts of fans with them to away games, and without the ticket sales created by this, other clubs would lose a lot of revenue. Apart from Celtic, no other club in the league can afford to lose the money that is generated by selling tickets to travelling Rangers fans.
Another problem that the Scottish game may face is the possible loss of a broadcasting contract. Sky are unlikely to want to broadcast the Scottish premier league with the absence of Rangers and their fierce rivalry with Celtic. The smaller clubs in the league would certainly suffer should they lose the revenue from broadcasting rights. With the reduction of money from ticket sales and broadcasting rights, the smaller teams will be unlikely to be able to afford to buy players and grow as clubs. The chances of them bringing players in from outside of the Scottish leagues will be greatly reduced if their games are not aired on television. They may also lose many of their better players to other leagues due to this.
In 2009 a bid to bring both Rangers and Celtic to the Barclays Premier League was rejected. However, should Rangers fail to provide competition for Celtic any longer, Celtic may look for a move to the English league again. A bid for a move would be more likely to be accepted this time and Celtic would bring a huge fan-base with them to the Barclays Premier League. This would be a huge blow for Scottish football, although the competition would greater in the Scottish league with more teams having a chance of winning.
Speculation surrounding the future of Scottish football is great at the moment and it will be some time before we see the real impact that recent events will have. One thing is certain though, the administration of Scottish football’s most successful club can’t possibly be a good thing.
A guest post contributed by Sam Harvey on behalf of Wonga – the payday loans alternative. Take a look at their Facebook page for a competition to win season tickets as well as their fantasy football league.