Falkirk set out stall in Rangers debate

Martin Ritchie has spoke out on the Rangers saga
Martin Ritchie has spoke out on the Rangers saga
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Martin Ritchie has waded into the debate over Rangers and the future of Scottish football.

This afternoon, the Falkirk chairman released a statement and outlined the Bairns' view on the matters throwing a shadow of doubt over the new season fixtures and league set-up.

Next month the Scottish Premier League will decide whether or not to give Rangers the 12th spot in the SPL for 2012-13, replacing Club 12 which was included in this week's initial relase of the new season fixture lists.

And though Falkirk won't have a say, Ritchie, who shares team manager Steven Pressley's desire for a re-vamped and expanded top flight, says the current "turmoil should act as a catalyst for change in Scottish football" and set out a string of wishes which "should be the minimum level of change".

Falkirk applied to join the SPL in March - like Dundee and Ross County - as a matter of course with the league championship and promotion a possibility at that stage of the season.

However the Bairns finished third, behind champions County and the Dens Park club in second.

The Falkirk chairman's statement is emphatically against Rangers being added to the First Division mix in its current format and he used the Bairns own financial predicament, when they went into provisional liquidation in 1998, as an example.

"A weakened Rangers NewCo would have resources that far outstripped the rest of the First Division and this would pretty much guarantee promotion.

"When Falkirk FC was placed in provisional liquidation, the new consortium paid every creditor (including the Inland Revenue) in full i.e. 100 pence in the pound.

"Any decision taken by the board will be in the best interests of our club and of Scottish football."

Read Mr Ritchie's statement in full at www.falkirkfc.co.uk.