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Glasgow Rangers struggle to draw in debut at basement of Scottish football

Rangers fans pack into Balmoor, the home of fourth-tier Scottish club Peterhead.

Story highlights

  • Club which once dominated Scottish Premier League posts a draw against part-time side
  • 'New' Rangers formed after the financial collapse of the old club with debts of $210 million
  • Manager and many players chose to remain but some are fighting to be released
  • New club forced to start in Scottish Football League 3 - dropping almost 40 places

Glasgow Rangers, the one-time giants of Scottish football, have been humbled in their debut at the basement of the country's football league.

The club only managed a 2-2 draw in their first game away at Peterhead, a team without any full-time players which has spent much of its time in the bottom division which Rangers have now joined following their collapse with debts of over $200 million earlier this year.

In what could have been an embarrassing start to Rangers' life in the lower leagues, Peterhead overturned an opening goal against them and lead 2-1 for most of the second half.

The Glasgow side had eight internationals on the pitch and they dominated possession, yet struggled to do anything with the ball until the 90th minute, when Andrew Little tapped home a rebound after Kevin Kyle's header hit the bar.

A record crowd of 4,485 packed into the tiny Balmoor stadium -10 times the average attendance at the ground.

After the game, Rangers manager Ally McCoist told BBC Radio Scotland: "I felt we defended appallingly to be honest. We didn't match their aggression and if our boys at any time thought this was going to be a cakewalk they know where they are now.

    "I am not going to start panicking but overall I still think we will play better and we'll certainly pass the ball better but enormous credit must go to Peterhead."

    Feature: Why Rangers' financial meltdown should worry European football

    Cash-strapped Rangers went into administration earlier this year and a new company was formed to allow them to continue as a professional team.

    They were subsequently expelled from the Scottish Premier League (SPL) and had to turn to the lesser SFL for next season.

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    Rangers have been regulars in the European Champions League since its inception. They won the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1972 and as recently as 2008 were runners-up in the UEFA Cup (Now Europa League).

    SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster and his Scottish Football Association counterpart Stewart Regan both lobbied for Rangers to be placed in the SFL Division One so they could secure a quick return to the top flight, but their pleas were ignored.

    Rangers went into administration on February 14 this year following court action from UK tax officials.

    Businessman Charles Green purchased the assets of the club for £5.5 million ($8.55m) and they were transferred into a new company in June.

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