IS-HIT Scottish giants Rangers could be made to start next season in the fourth tier after a creditors’ deal was sunk by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs.
Their future in the top flight now rests in the hands of other Scottish Premier League clubs, who will vote on the matter, possibly as early as Monday.
HMRC rejected prospective owner Charles Green’s offer of nine pence in the pound, foiling his bid to exit administration with a company voluntary arrangement.
It means Rangers are doomed to liquidation, with Green set to buy the club’s assets from administrators Duff and Phelps for £5.5m and set up a new entity.
A so-called newco Rangers would be banned from European competition for three years and at risk of relegation to the bottom tier of the Scottish league system.
Some fans have urged their clubs to vote against readmitting a newco Rangers to the SPL, with a desire growing for them to be punished for debts of £21m. But chairmen may be reluctant to banish a team who retain huge pulling power to supporters and broadcasters.
HMRC said it hoped its decision would allow it to pursue people through the courts.