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Season To Taste
Lots of talking still to be done before any Scottish club playes in Englash football
Ally McCoist has heard so many possible solutions to Rangers current predicament he is taking the latest suggestion that Rangers will be joining the Blue Square Bet Premier League "with a pinch of salt". Ranger chief executive Charles Green hit out at league reconstruction plans and said the club might as well leave the Scotytish set up. On Tuesday, Conference chairman Brian Lee refused to rule out the possibility of Rangers plying their trade in his division. Such a proposal will be discussed at a meeting of clubs on Monday next. McCoist said: "We will just wait and see what happens. I take a lot of it with a pinch of salt because doors get closed in your face and other ones are half-open and other ones open up. Until there is anything concrete, I wouldn't really comment on it. But it's nice to see that they're not slamming the door in our face." Even playing in the Scottish third division, Rangers have now sold more than 38,000 season tickets - higher than their last two seasons in the top flight. And currently have the highest average attendance in Scotland, with Manchester United, Manchester City, Arsenal and Newcastle the only clubs in the UK drawing in bigger crowds. With these sort of numbers being available, McCoist can understand why some English clubs would be keen to see his side join their ranks. He went on: "We are where we are at the moment but the teams in the SFL would hopefully back us up and say we are still a very big pull and a massive club. It's understandable that perhaps some of the clubs in the Conference would welcome us. I'm sure they would welcome us as much as the teams in SFL3." Football League chairman Greg Clarke is not so sure a simple solution is available and considers there are too many obstacles to Rangers playing within the English structure. He said: "If there was a serious move to bring a major Scottish club into English football, that would be under the purview of the Football Association as the national governing body and would require a discussion with UEFA and FIFA. So I don't think the Conference would be able to invite them in, and I don't think the Football League would ever invite them in without a major conversation. Those conversations will only ever take place league to league, FA to FA, because we can't be negotiating with each other's clubs. They would have to take place at the highest levels of English and European football before such a big decision can be taken. The thought of undermining Scottish football by stealing their best clubs and bringing them to England, and undermining the financial model which supports the professional game across many clubs - Scotland is better than that. We should be working together to create a business model in Scotland that supports professional football rather than stealing their big clubs and leaving the rest in a mess. We should be helping Scottish football through a difficult period rather than cherry-picking their best clubs." McCoist's own preference is to find a solution within Scotland which suits everybody. He said: "Until anything happens, it is our target to continue to progress and re-establish ourselves within Scottish football and get back to where we want to be, which is the top league. We want to progress and we want to flourish - and that's within Scottish football. Hopefully that will be replicated by Scottish football flourishing as well. The vast majority of people do think we need change and hopefully it can prosper again and us with it."
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