Rangers to be Restored in the Top Flight?

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It began with signing former Hearts midfielder Ian Black, alongside persuading Northern Ireland’s Andy Little to re-sign once his deal ran out in June. Since then it has continued with the likes of Francisco Sandaza, Kevin Kyle, Emilson Cribari and Sébastien Faure joining. Current rumours include Birmingham City’s Margaro Gomis and Malmo’s Swedish international Daniel Larsson. Rangers, that Third Division outfit, have managed to secure the signings of several SPL-standard players, plus a former Serie A defender at a good age, and a former U21 French international while appearing close to the signatures of two further high-quality players.

New signing Francisco Sandaza.
Rumours about Rangers’ signing activity have been rife ever since the side were consigned to Scottish football’s bottom flight. Bizarrely, this is the highest level of activity in the transfer market Rangers have been party to for possibly 4 years. It is true that the quality might overall not be of the level of Pedro Mendes and Madjid Bougherra of yesteryear, but it is still quite an incredible influx of talent for a team whose most illustrious league opponents are Peterhead.

How are the Ibrox men managing this? There is no denying the new players probably would not be good enough to win the top prize in the Scottish game, given the majority are from sides well off the level of the historic Old Firm and few reasonable Rangers supporters would suggest this current side is better than a nevertheless poor Celtic team. However, it is still a remarkable squad for the level it is playing at, coupled with the incredibly promising early displays from the likes of youth players Barrie McKay and Lewis MacLeod.

Rangers supporters, like myself, are extremely proud people, and as much as we consider our club incredibly attractive with its history and honours, the majority of us have an eyebrow raised as to how the side is attracting such a relatively high calibre of player, a player no ‘mortal’ Third Division team could hope to obtain.

This simply begs the question; ‘is something going on?’

With the giant funding gap Scottish football is currently suffering thanks to Rangers’ departure from the SPL, despite their biases and incompetent handling of the affair up to now it seems almost certain that ‘behind the scenes’ Neil Doncaster and Stewart Regan are concocting a way to repair the damage (they themselves have helped cause) by restoring Rangers to the top of the game in Scotland. League reconstruction is certainly one such option and has been discussed in the press and media many times, and it is not a ridiculous concept to explore that Rangers may very well not be in the lower divisions next season.

A reason for this has been postulated that Sky’s continued (albeit less valuable) TV deal is dependent on the club being restored to the top flight (whatever that constitutes after potential reconstruction or not) next season. Without Rangers back in the big time, it has been proposed that Sky have installed a get-out clause in the contract. After next summer, their money is gone unless Rangers are back. Furthermore, a return by Rangers would see the deal restored to its former value, filling in the financial hole.

And presumably Charles Green and Ally McCoist know this only too well, and are using it as a carrot to entice high quality players into a division well below their capabilities. Decent wages alone are not enough to persuade players as good as Ian Black or Emilson Cribari to join the third division. There has to be a reason behind the acquisition of such high quality players.

There is further evidence to support this notion. Romanian stopper Dorin Goian has been speculated about in the press for months regarding his contract – in light of the third division status, would he stay or go? The former Palermo man stated categorically only 3 days ago:

        “I cannot leave Rangers for Spezia. Even though we’re in the bottom tier I am still playing for a world-famous team.”

One day later he left. For Spezia. But with a distinct twist – it is a loan deal for one year. Why would a side in Rangers’ situation loan a player out? Why would Goian accept the loan deal? Unless he was indeed being honest and saying he had no desire to leave permanently but was happy to go out on loan on a temporary basis and return when Rangers are back at the top.

We’ll probably see this again, But in what division?
It all adds up to a lot of conjecture, I concede, but the circumstantial evidence is compelling.

Top players coming in, Green having visions for the future, the feel-good factor returning to the club, existing international players only departing on a loan basis.

Could it be that Rangers will be back where the club belongs well before the predicted minimum of 4 years?

We can only hope.