Scottish FA chief executive Stewart Regan says Rangers must play in the First Division this season or Scottish football will collapse financially.
Charles Green’s new company will not compete in the Scottish Premier League, after member clubs voted “overwhelmingly” against the membership transfer.
Following the decision, Green confirmed they would play “in whichever division the SFL sees fit” with many fans favouring starting life in Division Three.
However Regan claims that is not a sustainable plan, adding that the club have to play to in the nation’s second tier.
Quoted in the Daily Telegraph, he said: “There’s really only one decision for the game now – that Rangers come into football in the First Division.
“I think there has to be an understanding about how serious this is. As much as there was a lot of emotion at SFL meeting [on Tuesday] there was also a realisation from a substantial group of clubs that they couldn’t contemplate a future without Rangers.
“I think there is room to bargain. I wouldn’t position it as a negotiation but we have to work in collaboration. This is a time for clear heads and working together and for painting the future with and without Rangers in Division One.
“That process started yesterday and the seriousness and consequences of this became very clear.”
However remote, there remains the possibility of Rangers not playing in any division next year and Regan believes that scenario would have wider reaching consequences.
He said: “Without Rangers there is social unrest – there is a big problem for Scottish society.
“I think if you look at the huge fan base Rangers have in this country, to contemplate a situation where those fans don’t have a team to support, where those fans are effectively left without a game to follow – I just think that could lead to all sorts of issues and all sorts of problems for the game. Tribalism in football is really important, a part of the game.
“People follow their club with pride. It’s passed down from generation to generation and there are thousands of Rangers fans whose fathers have been Rangers fans and whose grandfathers have been Rangers fans.
“You can’t contemplate a situation without that and if Rangers weren’t to exist I think that could have real dire consequences.”
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