Neil Doncaster: 'SPL has proved there is life without Rangers'

Neil Doncaster.
Neil Doncaster says SPL has adjusted quickly to counter the loss of Rangers.SNS Group

Neil Doncaster believes the Scottish Premier League has already proved it can survive without Rangers’ participation.

The league chief executive, speaking at the Leaders in Football conference in London, says clubs have adjusted quickly, backed up by the continued commitment of financial backers and sponsors.

"We've had to re-invent ourselves but that's happened pretty quickly and clubs have adapted," Doncaster told BBC Radio Five Live.

"It was a traumatic summer for everyone involved in the game in Scotland. We were delighted to see the season get under way and the focus be back on football once again.

"There'd been so much discussion around the whole Rangers situation. To get the season under way, to then be looking forward rather than back was a great relief for everyone.

"The SPL and the clubs have adapted remarkably well to what people really couldn't ever see happening."

With Rangers' holding company having failed to gain a CVA, its assets were sold to a new business set up by Charles Green.

Under league rules, the newco had to apply to the SPL to have the club's membership transferred between the two entities.

Green's company lost the vote of member clubs, forcing Rangers to apply to join the Scottish Football League, eventually taking up a place in the Third Division.

Doncaster added: "It was such an unforeseeable thing that one of the major houses, the economic power houses, in Scottish football should suddenly be out of the SPL.

"I don't think anyone around the world who you speak to can quite believe that what happened happened, but it did.

"There is absolutely an economic knock-on effect at the club level.

"All of our major partners and major sponsors, they've stuck with the SPL and that's enabled the clubs and the league to go forward with huge confidence.

"People had the opportunity to walk away over the summer and chose not to. They've stuck with the league and that's important."

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