Scottish football has some major problems to face in the next few days.

First of all, after a 5-1 drubbing by USA, the national team has slumped to 49th in the FIFA rankings.

National coach Craig Levein has had a fairy easy ride from the media so far but as the World cup Qualifiers loom ahead, he will be expected to deliver results.

However the biggest problem is at club level.

Glasgow Rangers, founded in 1872 is one of the oldest clubs in world football but because a lack of financial prudence and risky fiscal practices over more than a decade, it is now in liquidation and will have to re-apply for membership of both the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Premier League.

They will succeed with their application to join the SFA but will not be accepted by the SPL who have memories of being bullied by Rangers in the past and of Rangers winning titles with, as events have proved, players they could not afford.

There is strong opposition to Rangers from opposing supporters who have threatened to boycott their clubs’ matches if the club votes for Rangers and there is no doubt that Rangers must be severely punished, but there is also the financial reality that in the long term, Scottish football needs Rangers.

A suggestion by the SPL that Rangers should drop a division to the Scottish Football League has been opposed by a large number of SFL clubs, many of whom are demanding that Rangers should enter the SFL in the Third Division.

Some even question if Rangers should be admitted to the SFL at all.

It is getting rather messy but the harsh reality is that sporting integrity is one thing but the survival of these smaller clubs is in danger if they do not swallow their pride and recognise that they need Rangers.

Supporters can make loud protest noises against Rangers but the club directors in the SFL clubs will be the ones who will have to dig deep into their own pockets if the money generated by the Sky and ESPN contracts disappears along with the subsidy payments from the SPL.

Could an SPL 2 be formed which many of the clubs presently opposed to Rangers would be desperate to join – and play against them next season under the SPL 2 banner?

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