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Rangers to begin season in Scottish Third Division

The club's bid to play in the Scottish First Division has been vetoed and they will now play in Scotland's fourth tier after receiving approval from participating clubs

Rangers ‘newco’ will begin life under Charles Green's reign in the Scottish Third Division after participating clubs voted in favour of their admission following a meeting on Friday.

Scottish Premier League Chief Executive David Longmuir has confirmed that 25 of the 30 voters polled against the outfit’s entrance to the Scottish First Division.

Much had been speculated as to where the newly-formed outfit would be playing next season due to the Glasgow club’s readmission to the SPL having also being dismissed, with the First Division the most obvious choice in terms of club stature.

Longmuir told reporters: "Today has been one of the most difficult decisions to be made by all concerned.

"The decision has been taken in the interest of sporting fairness.

"I am comfortable that the Scottish Football League has made a very decisive decision."

Reports had suggested that the SPL were keen for Rangers not to play in the Third Division next season due to the financial implications – reduced television money due to a lack of Old Firm derbys - and went as far as saying that the Scottish clubs' votes may not even be used as the final decision.

John Yorkston, chairman of the possible '12th club' Dunfermline, was seemingly doubtful about the outcome before the announcement today, claiming that the SPL were still considering entering Rangers into Scotland's most prestigious league.

He told BBC Scotland earlier this week: "They may actually go with Rangers. Rangers have still got the share in the league and that might be an option they go for if they believe Rangers in the Third Division is the right decision."

The outcome of the vote now leaves SPL's key members with the responsibility of deciding who will replace Rangers for the 2012-13 season, with Dunfermline and Dundee leading candidates to be promoted, although a final verdict has yet to be confirmed.

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