Dundee returns to SPL after Gers exit

Dundee returns to SPL after Gers exit

LONDON - Agence France-Presse
Dundee returns to SPL after Gers exit

Dundee’s promotion to the Scottish top-flight means it will meet against local rivals Dundee United in the Premier League, marking the return of the ‘Dundee derby.’

Dundee will take the place of Rangers in the Scottish Premier League (SPL) next season it was announced yesterday.

And the SPL also appeared to rule out the creation of an ‘SPL2’ by saying they would work with other Scottish football authorities to “facilitate” Rangers playing in the Third Division, the fourth tier of Scottish football.

Glasgow giants were expelled from the top-flight after the end of last season following months of financial problems that saw the 140-year-old club enter administration.

And on July 13 they were dropped into the Third Division of the Scottish Football League.

Following an SPL meeting yesterday, a statement said: “It was agreed that Dundee FC would be invited to fill the space vacated by Rangers FC in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.” Dundee, runners-up in the First Division, were competing with Dunfermline, relegated from the SPL last season, for a place in next term’s top flight.

Rangers, the most successful club in Scottish football history, had to form a new company or ‘newco’ after entering administration. Last week saw 25 out of 30 Scottish Football League vote for Rangers to enter the Third Division, the standard punishment in such cases.

Before the vote, Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan had said that demoting Rangers to the Third Division would cause financial catastrophe and a “slow, lingering death” of the Scottish game. Regan had reportedly wanted Rangers demoted to the First Division only.

The statement meant the return of the Dundee derby, with Dundee United already in the SPL.

But there would be no league meetings for at least several seasons between Rangers and arch rivals Celtic. Most of the commercial and broadcast contracts concerning the SPL contain exit or renegotiation clauses in the event one of the Old Firm - Celtic and Rangers - were no longer in the top division.