Celtic 'integrity' behind no vote

Celtic have released a statement in which they express the integrity of Scottish football as the main reason behind their opposition of newco Rangers entering the Clydesdale Bank Premier League.

Rangers' Old Firm adversaries have also admitted the financial ramifications of losing their main rivals will be 'significant' but that the club can survive, and flourish, without the presence of their Glasgow neighbours.

Clydesdale Bank Premier League clubs voted to reject the newco Rangers application after five hours of talks at Hampden and the Ibrox club will now start their new life in either the First or Third Division with Celtic outlining their reasoning in a statement on the website.

It read: "Celtic Football Club today confirmed that it opposed readmission to the Scottish Premier League by Rangers newco. Today´s decision to refuse access into the SPL was an overwhelming one and demonstrates the depth of feeling amongst everyone involved in Scottish football.

"Fundamentally, the Celtic Board has also been very mindful of the need to take what it believes to be the correct course of action in protecting the integrity of the game in Scotland.

"Throughout the whole sequence of events leading up to today's decision the Celtic Board has been of the singular view that the integrity of the game in Scotland is of paramount importance. Our only other consideration has been to protect the interests and right of the club and our supporters."

Celtic's board have maintained throughout the Rangers fiasco they are not financially reliant on the Old Firm clashes and are protecting the Hoops' best interests.

The statement continued: "Whilst the financial implications of today's vote for Celtic and for the Scottish game as a whole will be very significant, we have already stated that Celtic has a business plan and strategy independent of any other club.

"Our supporters can rest assured that we will continue to fight to protect Celtic's best interests within the Scottish game.

"In addition, we will be working with our other fellow SPL clubs in the days and weeks ahead to take all possible steps to maximise commercial returns, which remain crucial in these economically-challenging circumstances. We will also play an active role in mapping the future of Scottish football."