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Jul 24, 2012

Newco set to secure membership

Charles Green is hopeful that the Rangers newco will be granted membership of the Scottish Football Association, allowing it to play in Scotland's Third Division next season.

• Rangers continue membership talks
• McCoist denies accepting embargo
• Rangers blog: The sporting integrity

The new club is due to play for the first time in a Scottish League Challenge Cup clash with Brechin at Glebe Park on Sunday but, as yet, has still to secure the transferral of the original club's SFA membership and will be unable to take part in the game.

The SFA had stated that a "primary condition" of the membership would be the acceptance of a 12-month transfer embargo beginning on September 1, but manager Ally McCoist said recently that he "could not support the sanctions".

However, Green, the newco's chief executive, held talks with the SFA and SPL on Monday morning, and it appears Rangers have now agreed to accept the sanctions so that they can begin preparations for the season ahead.

"We are making good progress," he told Rangers TV on Tuesday. "I spoke to the chief executive of the SFA, Stewart Regan, this morning and that went very well.

"I have also just spoken to [SFA board member] Neil Doncaster and I will be meeting both of them later today. I'm really hopeful now that, within the next 24 hours, we can have this thing signed and sealed and Alastair can start loading his players on a team coach to go up and try to win a match on Sunday.

"Most of the things are now clear to all parties. As far as I am concerned now, we have no outstanding issues with the SFA. It's now purely process and documentation. We have no issues with the Football League and just some minor points to resolve with the SPL, and I'm hopeful we can to that today."

Brechin vice-chairman Martin Smith had earlier spoken of his concern that Rangers would fail to secure membership before Sunday's game.

Failure to do so would result in a postponement, and the Scottish Football League would then decide whether Rangers would have to forfeit the game or merely reschedule it.

"I've been having sleepless nights and every day I wake up expecting a phone call or text message saying they have the licence and we can play," Smith said.

"The fact is that we sold our tickets out last night in 45 minutes. Rangers did the same thing at Ibrox on Monday during the day. The game is a complete and utter sell-out.

"We have also sold all of our sponsorship packages and everything is in place - we have lots of sponsors coming and it is all set up for a wonderful day here in Brechin... as long as Rangers get a licence."

Meanwhile, the Rangers newco confirmed that Andrew Little could join ex-Hearts players Craig Beattie and Ian Black in signing for them during a temporary reprieve from the 12-month transfer embargo.

Green said Northern Ireland's Little was poised to agree a deal, while Beattie and Black had both trained at Rangers' Murray Park on Tuesday.

Little, who enjoyed a run of goalscoring form during the second half of last season, wants to remain with the Ibrox outfit, and Green told Rangers TV: "Andrew Little is coming back to the club. We've agreed terms with him and hopefully he will re-sign tomorrow.

"So I think people will see Rangers coming out of the mire, as it were, and there is a lot of confidence around the club."

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