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Jul, 30, 2012

Green hits out at 'bigotry and jealousy'

The Rangers newco were denied a place in the Scottish Premier League because of "bigotry" and "jealousy", the club's chief executive, Charles Green, has claimed.

Green - who saw the new Rangers make a winning start in their first-ever match, a Ramsdens Cup tie against Brechin - said many decisions in the summer-long saga had been made "for the wrong reasons".

His club finally gained Scottish Football Association membership last week, enabling them to play the cup tie and prepare for life in the Scottish Third Division.

Green's Sevco consortium purchased the assets and business of Rangers when the old club was liquidated earlier in the summer. SPL clubs then voted against the newco being admitted to Scottish football's top flight, with Scottish Football League clubs then voting for it to begin life in the Third Division - rather than the First, as had been mooted at one stage.

"Some of it has been driven by bigotry, some of it has been driven by jealousy and some of it has been driven by all the wrong motives," Green told BBC Scotland.

"We've got a position whereby Rangers were thrown out of the league [SPL] and these clubs are still appealing with fans to buy season tickets.

"What's happened with Rangers as an outsider looking in, although I am now an insider, is absolutely incredible ... it seems to me the whole of Scotland have wanted to kick this giant club while it was down.

"I think justice has been done. The club was fined 10 points, it received a £190,000 fine, it was then put out of the SPL, it was then put down to the Third Division, it has had to pay all the Scottish club debts - which wouldn't normally happen for a newco to be obliged to pay oldco's debts."

He said the club was also paying European debts, and claimed he had met UEFA officials who said what had happened was "unprecedented in Europe".

Rangers only gained their SFA membership on Friday, with their first-ever match taking place on Sunday. But Green was in no mood to pull punches, adding: "After 30 years of business, I have never experienced anything like the last three months.

"Some of the business decisions that have been made really have been nonsensical. One of the meetings I went to, one of the reasons why SPL chairmen were under pressure to do something with Rangers was they [fans] wouldn't buy season tickets until Rangers were thrown out of the league."

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