Ashley Concerned About Rangers Plight
By Footy Mad - Editor
Updated Monday, 14th January 2013
Mike Ashley has backed Rangers chief executive Charles Green in urging football bosses to reconsider a 14-14-14 format in Scotland.
Ashley put £2.5m into the Ibrox club, getting his feet under the table while share prices are low, and the Gers are in the gutter.
It is seen as Ashley's 'Plan B' for when he offloads Newcastle United.
This new format is an alternative to the current league reconstruction plans being discussed.
The Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football League have agreed in principle to a restructuring plan that would see the organisations merge in a 12-12-18 structure.
A vote could take place later this month and, if approved, the new format could be implemented as early as next season.
Green last week hit out at the plans, which would see Rangers remain in the bottom tier of Scottish football for a second season, albeit the potential time-frame for a return to the top-flight would remain the same.
Charles Green: "The recent widespread debate on the reconstruction of Scottish football has been welcome and I am glad that Ally McCoist and myself have contributed and helped stimulate discussion rather than watch everyone sleepwalk into a solution that very few, if any, football fans across Scotland want.
"I am fully aware that the interests of fans and the duties of directors of football clubs, who have to balance books, do not always align.
"However, it seems absurd that, when most fans are so implacably opposed to the 12-12-18 model, their views are being cast aside.
"To be absolutely clear, it would have been easy for me, on behalf of Rangers, to support this model.
"There is no model on the table that offers our club a potentially quicker route back to the highest echelons of Scottish football.
"However, I believe that while all clubs have to look out for their own interests, the greater good of Scottish football cannot be ignored.
"I would like to set out what Rangers believes to be a workable way forward that may appeal to fans of all clubs.
"First, we think any reconstruction should be implemented not next season but the following season so that every club knows what it is playing for at the start of the season.
"Secondly, we believe that further consideration should be given to a 14-14-14 model, which can be constructed in a way that ensures there is no loss of games but will deliver greater competition through the leagues, particularly with the implementation of play-offs.
"I cannot understand why this model has been so readily discounted when fans are clearly looking for larger leagues.
"I know there are various opinions regarding splits in such leagues but they cannot be any more complicated than what is now being proposed.
"I am fully aware of the unique challenges a club the size of Rangers face in Scotland.
"That is why we must explore all options for the long-term, including playing out-with Scotland.
"Of course, that is not something anyone is expecting could happen tomorrow but, over time, things are likely to change in football and we must be ready for such potential outcomes.
"In the meantime, we hope that the powers that be in Scottish football pay heed to the views of supporters who are telling them loud and clear to think again."