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SFL denies reaching Rangers agreement

The Scottish Football League (SFL) has denied reports that it has reached any agreement over proposals for the "newco" Rangers to play in the First Division.

As the uncertainty over Rangers' future continued to deepen, the SFL said it had not reached any deal with any other footballing body to enable the club to take a place in the second tier of Scottish football.

The SFL was responding to reports suggesting Charles Green's club would be relegated from the Scottish Premier League (SPL) to the First Division with immediate effect.

In a statement, it said: "The Scottish Football League can confirm that no agreement has been reached between the SFL and any other body regarding the position of the Rangers 'newco' in the First Division. Consultation will continue to take place, primarily with our clubs, as previously advised."

SPL clubs, which meet to vote on whether to allow the "newco" to play in the top flight early next month, must give an 8-4 majority if Green's club is to play SPL football.

But with six clubs having declared that they will vote against - and more thought likely to follow their example - Green now looks likely to seek a place somewhere in the SFL.

That possibility has already seen both Raith Rovers and Falkirk declare that they would oppose any league reconstruction allowing the "newco" to go straight into the First Division. A 75% majority vote would be needed for SFL clubs to pass any resolution on possible restructuring of the league to accommodate the new Rangers.

Thirteen players reported for the first day of pre-season training at Rangers' Murray Park training ground on Thursday morning - but three of those are out of contract, with their futures unclear.

Scotland internationals Kirk Broadfoot, Lee McCulloch and Lee Wallace, plus goalkeepers Neil Alexander and Scott Gallacher, were among those in attendance.

Rangers captain Steven Davis - who skippered the side through four months of administration last season - and goalkeeper Allan McGregor revealed on Wednesday that they were joining the ranks of players declining to transfer their contracts to Green's "newco".

The duo's decision means ten players have now declined to move to the new club. Kyle Lafferty, Jamie Ness, Rhys McCabe, Sone Aluko, Steven Naismith, Steven Whittaker, Juan Manuel Ortiz and John Fleck have already elected not to transfer their deals.

Davis said he had decided not to transfer his contract because he wanted to continue playing at the highest level he could.

In a statement, he told Rangers supporters: "There came a point when I needed to make a decision based on what was best for my short career. I am 27, and I hope you all understand I need to be playing at the highest possible level. "

The developments mean any hopes Green may have harboured of receiving transfer fees for departing players now appear to be slim or dashed. Legal requests for the release of the players' registrations have been sent to the Scottish Football Association.

The business and assets of Rangers, who were liquidated with huge debts, were bought by Green after he failed to gain the Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) needed for the club to exit administration. The liquidation meant the automatic loss of the SPL place belonging to the old Rangers.

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