Blue Brazil v Gers In First SFL Match?
By Alex Horsburgh
Updated Tuesday, 26th June 2012
Newco Rangers are set to be excluded from the SPL next season after Aberdeen, Dundee United, Inverness, Hearts, Hibs and St Johnstone went public on Monday that they will vote against a newco Gers on July 4th when a meeting is held amongst the eleven SPL
Therefore, Rangers destination looks like being one division below the Scottish Premier League with relegated Dunfermline Athletic allowed to keep their place in the top flight.
Dunfermline Athletic Chairman John Yorkston commented on Tuesday afternoon after a Press Conference at East End Park: "Now that it has become clear that a newco Rangers will be voted out of the SPL we fully expect to regain our Scottish Premier League place. Although we would of course rather have stayed up because of results on the pitch we believe it is only right that Dunfermline Athletic FC continue as an SPL club.''
Yorkston also commented that The Pars would probably have voted against a newco Rangers being allowed to continue in the SPL.
This means Rangers would inherit an SPL bound Dunfermline's First Division fixtures for the new season giving them their first ever game outside the top flight at Cowdenbeath, promoted from Division Two to Division 1 as Champions in season 2011-12.
So, it looks like clash of Fife blue v Govan blue at Central Park at the start of league season 2012/13 north of the border. Cowdenbeath FC's chairman is also ex-Rangers vice chairman Donald Findlay and, like the Glasgow giants, Cowden play in blue and white.
The last time the teams clashed in the league was in season 1970-71 when Cowdenbeath spent one season in the top flight of Scottish football as the only part time club in a league of 18 then called Division One.
Rangers won the first league match between the sides at Ibrox 5-0 in September 1970, with a teenage Derek Johnstone netting a Hat Trick, before defeating Cowden in March 1971 3-1 in Fife in the return game which was played as a re-arranged midweek game as it was meant to be Rangers next fixture after the Ibrox disaster on January 1st 1971 when 66 people died at Ibrox after a stairway collapsed minutes after the end of Rangers 1-1 draw with bitter rivals Celtic.
Rangers effectively shut down for a period of mourning after one of the worst football disasters in the UK and Gers players spent time visiting the injured and attending funerals over the next couple of months before getting back to the field of play.
Rangers also beat Cowdenbeath 2-0 with goals from Sandy Jardine and Willie Johnston (penalty) at Hampden in the semi final of the Scottish League Cup in 1970 and then lifted the trophy when teenager Johnstone again scored in a 1-0 win over Celtic in the Hampden final.
It might seem inconceivable that the 51 times Scottish League Champions and 1972 European Cup Winners Cup holders should find themselves playing the likes of Cowdenbeath, Raith Rovers, Dumbarton, Hamilton etc in the new Scottish League campaign but their historic first match outside of Scotland's top division is set to be a slightly surreal affair at a stadium also used as the home of Stock Car Racing in Central Scotland affair with Rangers sporting their new away kit at a ground they last played at in the 1980's when they won a League Cup tie 3-1.
Rangers are also responsible for Central Park's highest ever attendance of 25,000 which was amazingly recorded on a TUESDAY AFTERNOON in 1949 when Rangers reversed a 3-2 First Leg defeat at Ibrox to win a League Cup Quarter Final tie against Cowdenbeath 3-1 after extra time and 5-4 on aggregate.
There will be no repeat of that mammoth attendance in 2012 but an all ticket affair is assured at Cowden's home for the last 95 years.
Cowdenbeath v Rangers is set to be the Glasgow Giants first stop on what they hope will be the road back to the Scottish Premier League.