A new (derby) day

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QUEEN’S Park are all set for at least four southside derbies next season after Glasgow Rangers were voted into the Irn Bru third division.

Last week, all 30 Scottish football league teams voted at Hampden on whether Charles Green’s “newco” Rangers should enter the SFL and, in which division they should be placed in.

For Queen’s Park president Ross Caven, it was an easy decision.

He said: “We have recently seen one of the most challenging times in Scottish football. The general committee of Queen’s Park FC has deliberated long and hard over the complex challenges facing the game at this time.

“The best interest of Queen’s Park FC and Scottish Football as a whole were always paramount in these discussions.

“Queen’s Park FC waited until all the facts had been presented before coming to any conclusions. We listened to the views expressed by Queen’s Park members and supporters, the views expressed by many other supporters of Scottish Football and information from Scottish Football’s governing bodies.

Rangers v St Mirren.  Lee McCulloch scores 2nd goal.  Robert Perry  The Scotsman 6th March 2010

Rangers v St Mirren. Lee McCulloch scores 2nd goal. Robert Perry The Scotsman 6th March 2010

“At the end there was no compromise between a financial decision for Scottish Football as a whole, and a decision based on fairness for the game.

“With this in mind, Queen’s Park FC took the decision to uphold fairness. We wish every club in Scottish Football our best wishes for the challenging times which are no doubt ahead”.

A total of 25 of the 30 member clubs voted for the “newco” entering the bottom tier, while all but one accepted the newco as an associate member of the SFL.

SFL chief executive David Longmuir said: “I’m comfortable today that the Scottish Football League made a very, very decisive decision that was based on sporting fairness and I think the SFL were in the right place to make that decision.

“This decision followed a tried-and-tested process and was taken in cognisance with the other options which were available for consideration.

“Today’s decision has been one of the most difficult for all concerned but it has been taken in the best interest of sporting fairness which is the fundamental principle of the Scottish Football League.

“The Scottish Football League has been entirely consistent with our willingness to work with other bodies to ensure that we focus on rebuilding our game, restoring pride in our game and exploring revenue streams and our willingness to achieve these aims does not alter.”

As a result, the first southside derby of the season will take place on October 20, when Rangers are scheduled to host Queen’s Park at Ibrox.

On December 29, it’s Rangers’ turn to visit Hampden, while, on February 9, it’s back to Ibrox for The Spiders.

The final SFL southside derby of the season takes place on April 6, when Rangers travel to Hampden once more.

The last time the clubs met, it was in the Scottish league cup in 1991, when Rangers won 6-0 thanks in part to four goals by Maurice Johnston.

Queen’s Park last won against Rangers during the 1947/1948 season.

QP defender Richie Sinclair is looking forward to the chance to take on his boyhood heroes.

He said: “We’re the original Old Firm, Queen’s Park and Rangers. Now the two Glasgow teams meet again. It has been a while since we met.

“It’s great for me as I look at the tail end of my career. For the youngsters coming through at Queen’s, to pitch themselves against players who have played at the very top level will be a great test”.

Among those who have committed themselves to the Ibrox club and are set to face the Spiders, is Lee McCulloch, a Scotland international who has played in the English premier league for Wigan.

Spiders’ supporters are excited about the prospect of imminent local derbies.

Ross Stoddart from Newton Mearns told The Extra: “I expect a massive crowd at Hampden for those games, at Ibrox too obviously!”

While Hazel McCarthy added; “I’ll be taking my dad to see QP play Rangers! His childhood team playing the Gers — you’ve got to love it!”