By a Newsnet reporter
Plans for a new SPL 2 look to have been shelved after a meeting of SPL clubs today resulted in a decision to invite Dundee FC to replace the old Rangers FC in the Scottish Premier League.
The decision, announced this afternoon, confirms plans for a newco Rangers to start again in the Scottish Football League third Division.
An SPL statement read: "It was agreed that the SPL would work with the Scottish FA, SFL and Rangers to facilitate Rangers FC taking their place in SFL Division 3 this season.
"It was agreed that Dundee FC would be invited to fill the space vacated by Rangers FC in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League."
The decision to invite Dundee to replace the former Glasgow giant has caused controversy with Dunfermline, who were relegated from the SPL this year, threatening legal action.
However it was a delighted Chief Executive of Dundee who responded to the invitation to play in the SPL. Scot Gardiner said: "We were always confident that, on sporting merit, it would be us, but we have been in limbo for a few weeks and, only now, can we start to plan properly for the SPL.
"We have a very good squad of players and can now add to that squad."
As things stand, Dundee, by dint of having finished runners up in last year’s SFL Division One will now be ‘promoted’ to the SPL with Airdrie United taking their place. The vacancy left by Airdrie in Division Two is to be taken by Stranraer.
There were fears that a move to create an SPL 2 would result from today’s meeting, and that Charles Green’s sevco outfit would be shoehorned into the top flight. However several clubs had publicly announced their opposition to such a move prior to the meeting, which all but killed it off.
Assuming the SFA grant Green’s new sevco entity membership this week, the team will start their footballing life in the Ramsdens’ Cup, taking over from Dundee with a 28th July away game against Brechin City.
The outcome of today’s meeting draws to an end speculation of what league the new Rangers will be playing in. However there are sure to be repercussions for SPL and SFA top-brass who were vocal in their warnings of dire consequences for Scottish football should any new Rangers be forced to begin life in Division Three.
SFA Chief Stewart Regan said on July 4 that he could not allow the game to suffer a "slow, lingering death" that he believed would come about if the newco had to go to the Third Division. Mr Regan also caused controversy when he warned of “social unrest” after the original SPL vote which barred the newco from entering the top flight.
Charles Green is still awaiting the outcome of SFA investigations into the old Rangers. There is also the threat of further penalties yet to be imposed after an earlier investigation found the former club guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.
The original fine, which included a twelve month transfer embargo, imposed by an SFA disciplinary panel was deemed unlawful after administrators Duff and Phelps challenged the ruling in the High Court.
The judge sent the matter back to the SFA which has yet to announce what sanctions will be imposed instead.