Stenhousemuir Football Club attended the meeting of SFL Clubs held today, 13th July, 2012, at Hampden to decide if the Rangers Newco should be admitted into the SFL.
Following a Q & A with Stewart Regan (SFA) and a presentation and Q & A from Rangers Newco, and a lengthy debate, Stenhousemuir Football Club voted to accept Rangers Newco into the SFL, and voted for their entry in to the 3rd Division.
Bill Darroch, Chairman of Stenhousemuir Football Club commented,
“The Club issued a statement on the Rangers Newco on Thursday 5th July, in which we had stated that we were assessing the options based on the following criteria, a) the impact on Stenhousemuir Football Club, b) the impact on the Scottish Football League (SFL), and c) the impact on the overall game in Scotland. We had also stated that we were minded to support Rangers Newco joining the SFL at a Division 1 level on the strict proviso that the various elements of restructuring and merging of the league were agreed to our satisfaction. We felt that this option would protect the Club’s potential income, and that the restructuring could be a once in a lifetime opportunity to change the game in Scotland for the better.
“During the course of today’s meeting, it was quite clear that many of the restructuring elements had not been fully agreed and therefore were not to our satisfaction. We therefore felt we could not support any other proposals other than entry of Rangers Newco into the 3rd Division.
“Stenhousemuir Football Club is extremely disappointed at the way this whole saga has been handled by the SFA. SFL Clubs had been put into a no-win situation and asked to vote on matters that it seems the SFA and the SPL were unwilling to deal with themselves. Not only this, but whilst they were quite content to pass the difficult decisions over to us, we felt we were being pushed into accepting limited restructuring elements in a ‘take it or leave it’ proposal that was expressly tied to admitting Rangers Newco into the 1st Division. We felt this approach was wholly unreasonable and unsatisfactory.
“Following the votes on the resolutions, the SFL Board were directed to admit Rangers Newco into the SFL 3rd Division and that the various restructuring elements were to be taken forward.
“Looking ahead, today’s decision will no doubt carry financial implications for all Clubs in the SPL and the SFL, but we will need to wait further to see exactly what these might be. However, it became apparent during the meeting that the loss of revenue may not be as drastic as first put forward to us.
“The Board would like to reiterate its position that all future decisions will be based on what is best, first and foremost, for Stenhousemuir Football Club. Thanks to the hard work and dedication of a huge number of people, we have a set-up that is the envy of many. Our Youth & Academy structure is recognised as being one of the best outside of the SPL and it is our intention to support this structure and improve our position in the Performance Programme. Our Community Teams continue to provide opportunities for hundreds of kids and acts as a feeder system of identifying talent for future opportunities and we intend to continue to support this structure and grow it where possible. The Club has also started to receive the recognition it deserves for establishing the Tryst Community Sports Club and this will also continue to be supported. On top of all of this, last season and we hope again this season, we will have a first team that is challenging at the top of the table for promotion.
“All of this has come about because of the hard work and effort of a great number of people, including the many supporters we have both here and abroad.
“It is our intention to protect what we have all built, and continue to grow as a Community Club. We will need to assess the fallout from the recent issues that have struck at the heart of our game in Scotland. We will need to monitor costs closely, and we hope that we can work with others, including supporters groups to look at any new avenues for bringing in new funds to the Club to make up any shortfalls.
“Whilst there will no doubt be many challenges ahead for the Club, we remain confident that all parts of the Club, from the players and coaches, to the Board and Supporters, will continue to work together to meet the challenges head on.“