In Scotland, Hibernian beat Dunfermline 4-0 last night to send the Pars crashing into the First Division. That means Ross County will come up to the Scottish Premier League to replace them.
The league championship was clinched long ago by Celtic due to the various problems Rangers have had, such as a 10 point deduction and massive question marks hanging over the future of the club. Back in November it looked like a certainty that Rangers were going to be 4 in a row champions and now it isn't even 100% certain they will retain their SPL place as there is another vote about rule changes on the 30th of this month that could cause Rangers to be handed draconian punishments by the other clubs despite the club in general not being at fault but the current owner, Craig Whyte being the person responsible. The club is on the verge of being sold to US tow truck tycoon Bill Miller yet the Scottish Football Association and Scottish Premier League seem to determined to punish the club further despite the debt problems and financial irregularities being caused by a combination of the previous David Murray ownership and Craig Whyte who has been banned for life from being involved in Scottish football. If Bill Miller takes over, then the club should have a clean slate and anything that was caused by previous ownership should be on their shoulders and not the club staff, players and supporters. The Scottish Football League side Livingston had a tyrant owner a few years ago who was bought out by concerned fans and the SFL punished the clubs for the sins of the previous owner by relegating them to the Third Division despite the new owners having clean hands in regards to the club finances.
Bill Miller is talking about creating a 'cocoon' company to take over Rangers which would basically be a new company and there is talk about massive points deductions, the league taking 75% of Rangers' league payments for three years and maybe not even allowing the club to play in the SPL but Division Three of the SFL.
This a ludicrous way to encourage teams not to end up in financial difficulty. Several possible owners have walked away because of this crazy business and it just seems like spiteful bile from clubs like Celtic who feel they have something to gain from a weak Rangers.
Rangers are the most decorated club in the world, having won more trophies than anyone else, more league championships (54) and more trebles (7) than anyone else and a 140 year history of massive success.
Anyone would want to risk the future of the biggest club in the country is mad. Even the most Celtic crazy fan must surely see that without the 4 marquee 'Old Firm' games per season, the Scottish game has practically no selling points. If Rangers should disappear or leave the SPL then the current lucrative TV contract isn't worth the paper it is written on and it could cause the SPL to become some really weak Irish style league with 2,000 crowds and no decent players.
Without either Old Firm club, the competition would fall apart. Instead of 50 and 60 thousand crowds at the biggest games, you would be lucky to get 15 to 20 thousand for the most important games at Celtic Park if there were no Rangers. Less than 20 years ago it looked almost certain that Celtic were history but they were bailed out at the last moment. They weren't even going to get the luxury of a prolonged period of administration as the Bank of Scotland were going to immediately liquidate the club at the time.