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Rangers accept third division status

Owner Charles Green says Rangers will not challenge the decision by the Scottish Football League to condemn the Ibrox club to life in Division Three next season.

Rangers "newco" will play in the fourth tier of Scottish football next season after the 30 SFL member clubs voted against parachuting Rangers into the First Division after they were refused admission to the Scottish Premier League.

Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan had warned putting Rangers into the Third Division would spell a "slow, lingering death" for Scottish football, but 25 clubs voted that Rangers should start in the bottom tier of Scottish football, a decision Green referred to as the "ultimate punishment".

Green admits the decision "maintains the sporting integrity" of Scottish football, but warned that the consequences of the decision may be far-reaching and long-lasting. However, he insisted that Rangers would accept the decision wholeheartedly.

"We are grateful to be accepted as members of the SFL and accept their decision to vote us into Division Three," Green said. "It is a matter of regret for all of us involved with Rangers that the issues surrounding the Club resulted in the SFL and its members being placed in a very difficult position not of their own making.

"From the outset, we made clear we would play where we were told to play and we just want to get back to playing football.

"This decision maintains the sporting integrity that clubs and fans across Scotland have been calling for but it also impacts massively on Scottish football as a whole and only time will tell what the consequences will be.

"Rangers have been handed the ultimate punishment of starting again from the bottom of the leagues but there is an overwhelming feeling among fans and within the club of 'wiping the slate clean' as a club free of sanctions.

"The people who brought shame on this great club are no longer part of it and everyone at Rangers is focused on rebuilding the club on top of a solid financial foundation."

"We wish to play a constructive part in Division Three and encourage our fans to support the other clubs within the league by attending matches and delivering to them the benefits of having Rangers within their league.

"We have been greatly encouraged by the number of supporters who have committed to buying season tickets no matter where we ended up playing and I personally want to thank them for their continued loyalty to the club.

"We are a football club and we just want to get back to playing football. Now is the time to move on and start afresh. Our task to rebuild the club will take longer now but we are committed to the job and fully believe we will bring success back to Rangers."

Manager Ally McCoist is confident the club will bounce back stronger.

"Clearly, starting again from the bottom league is not ideal and makes the task of rebuilding Rangers a longer one but the SFL was placed in an impossible situation and I respect its decision," McCoist said.

"I fully supported the fans views that starting again in Division Three maintains the sporting integrity that the SPL clubs were so keen on.

"Rangers has been severely punished for the actions of some individuals who previously ran the club and it will take time for us to recover but we will come back stronger thanks to the loyalty of the fans and the commitment of everyone at Ibrox who are working tirelessly to bring stability and success back to Rangers."

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