Published: 28/06/2012 02:00 - Updated: 28/06/2012 02:00

Our Rangers vote's in the balance

ROSS County chief Roy MacGregor will listen to 10 other SPL chairmen today (Thursday) before giving his verdict on Rangers to the Victoria Park boardroom.

A new company, or newco Rangers, led by owner Charles Green, look almost certain to be shut out of the Clydesdale Bank SPL next season after the crisis club's plunge into liquidation this summer.

One online poll of County fans shows this week a whopping 76 per cent would vote no to Rangers, under their new leadership, being allowed into the SPL and MacGregor said fans' views will be heard, although warned that websites represent only a snapshot of views.

Monday looked like the killer day for the Light Blues' faint hopes of being admitted into the top-flight when St Johnstone then Inverness CT then Aberdeen made public their intentions to vote no on July 7 to Rangers being admitted into the league.

They require eight of the 12 votes to go for them in that historic meeting at Hampden next month, but, as things stand, there are six clubs who intend to say no.

Kilmarnock are tipped to buck the trend and vote yes, along with Rangers themselves, but as we went to press yesterday St Mirren, Motherwell and Celtic have yet to decide.

Rangers await the July 4 vote, but talks have already kicked off between the SPL and the Scottish Football League as it's unclear where Rangers go next. Fans nationwide largely want Rangers to follow in the footsteps of Livingston, who in similar circumstances, were demoted to Division Three.

However, there are moves afoot to allow Rangers entry into a newly-structured "Scottish Professional Football League" Division One in a straight swap with Dundee, although opposition to this within the SFL is strong and all 30 clubs will vote on whether to allow Rangers in, with 75 per cent the key for entry.

All signs point towards Rangers kicking off on August 4 in the fourth tier of Scottish football, although Green's brigade will push for the softer landing in the First Division.

So, where do Ross County stand when it comes to that July 4 vote? Well, MacGregor admits it now looks as if their vote will not matter because the numbers already stack up against Rangers.

However, he and Ross County have a responsibility to vote in the way they see fit.

MacGregor told the North Star that he still has an open mind ahead of the vote and, like all other top-flight clubs, supporters' views will be considered fully before he casts the club's vote.

Today, the Victoria Park chairman is heading to Hampden where he will be joined by 10 other SPL chiefs. Rangers are not invited.

There, he will listen carefully to every view and is keen to hear why clubs intend to vote one way or another before coming to a firm view one way or another and returning to Dingwall to discuss with his board.

He explained: "I have only been at one SPL meeting so far because we are very much the new kids on the block. All I know at this stage is what I am reading in the press, so Thursday meeting with 10 of the other chairmen is important because at the moment I am very open-minded.

"I don't know enough of the history here and want to hear the reasons why other clubs will vote yes or no and then I'll take that back to the board.

"This meeting is a chance for us all to catch up and weigh up the pros and the cons, although as we have seen in recent days, it's looks very much like newco Rangers won't be admitted into the SPL no matter which way Ross County vote."

County fans website and forum www.overthebridge.info ran a poll on how their club should vote on July 4 and 76.3 per cent say refuse Rangers entry to the top-flight.

MacGregor said: "As a club, we have to listen to our supporters and we'll do that. All I would say is that websites are not representative of all our fans and we'll consider all the views before July 4."

The chairman stressed that the Rangers turmoil has not dampened his club's third for their historic first step into the SPL.

With season ticket sales now at record levels, the club now have a base of more than 2,000 fans ready to back them, but MacGregor insists throughout July they could have TREBLED their season ticket sales and he admits that's overwhelming.

He explained: "I just want to say, through the North Star, thank you to everyone who has bought tickets. The response has been simply incredible and I can say that the players, management, the board and I are so grateful to everyone for backing the club.

"While other clubs have been struggling with season ticket sales, ours have more than doubled. The excitement ahead of the new season is there for all to see. What's happening at Rangers has not stopped our supporters buying tickets and, by the end of July (the extended season ticket sales deadline), we could even have three times the number of original season ticket holders."

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