Which will be Club No.12?
When next season's fixtures for the Scottish Premier League are published tomorrow they will include a slot for Club No.12. This formula reflects the difficulties Rangers face as they seek to transfer their Scottish Premier League (SPL) share from the old company (Rangers Football Club plc) to the new company (The Rangers Football Club).
At the moment it is unclear which club will occupy this slot. Dunfermline Athletic could be saved from relegation or Dundee, who took the runners up slot in the division below, could be promoted alongside Ross County.
For Rangers to survive in the top flight they need eight votes. Given that they have a vote, this means that they need to get seven clubs on board. Early indications are that four will agree, three will vote against and the remaining four are up for grabs.
Home games against Rangers are sellouts and clubs will also need to bear in mind that the SPL's television contract allows broadcasters to renegotiate their deals if one of the Old Firm clubs are not there.
If Rangers were relegated to the third division, their supporters would have great difficulty in fitting into many of the grounds. Annan Athletic's Galabank can accommodate 2,007. Only one stadium would be big enough to accommodate their support: Hampden Park which is the home of historic amateur outfit Queen's Park.
The most likely outcome is that Rangers will be let back into the SPL on the basis of meeting a series of conditions, including a reallocation of TV money. There would also be restrictions to prevent other debt ridden clubs using the Rangers case as a precedent.
In The Times on Saturday Keith Wyness, who was chief executive of Aberdeen from 2001 to 2004, fulminated at length on the injustice of treating Rangers as a special case. He argued that unless sanctions were real and meaningful, the SPL would lack sporting integrity and the national game would lose credibility.
However, comparing Rangers to a 'playground bully' doesn't get us anywhere. The fans of Rangers are not to blame for this situation. It is a case for some hard headed pragmatism which avoids punishments that would harm Scottish football as a whole.