Jul 20 2012 by Mike WIlson, Ayrshire Post (main ed)
AYR UNITED could struggle to finish the season – after voting to send Rangers to the Third Division.
The stark warning comes from chairman Lachlan Cameron who says the move has cost the club more than £60,000 and left them under 'immediate financial pressure'.
And he added: "We won't make it through the season if we don’t find a way to make up that loss.
"We decided to vote based on what is right but meanwhile are aware that it has the possibility of collapsing us as a club."
Cameron admits the club took a big financial risk by voting to demote liquidated Rangers to the bottom tier.
Now he has appealed for fans to make up the cash shortfall by purchasing season tickets, encouraging people to attend matches and sponsoring the club.
Lachlan’s stance has been applauded by the Honest Men Trust who said it reflects the views of the majority of their members.
Chairman John Dalton said: “It’s important, now more than ever, that fans give the club all the backing they can.”
And other supporters have vowed to back the club’s move by buying tickets and taking up sponsorship packages.
Cameron admitted: “It’s a huge financial risk for us, but I personally think that if we are to make it through this season intact that it is better standing for what is right than selling our souls and the integrity of the game to appease those at the top who have already done their best to dismantle the game since 1998.
"I’m a big Scotland supporter and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we haven’t been to a major finals since the SPL was formed."
Lower league clubs had been offered a £1 million sweetener and the promise of play-offs from the SPL if they voted Rangers into the First Division.
But Ayr were one of 25 clubs who said the stricken Ibrox club should start again in Division Three.
Cameron slammed the SPL for a 'sham of a meeting' for evicting Rangers due to sporting integrity and then passing the buck to the door of the SFL.
He claimed: "Since that point, they have applied considerable pressure threatening the loss of all of our income and emotional blackmail about football collapsing and it being all the SFL’s fault. To be honest, it’s not surprising based on past dealings with the SPL."
The United chairman said the vote was monumental in the history of Scottish football and wasn't taken without a great deal of stress and debate among the directors, input from shareholders, season ticket holders and supporters.
Cameron went on: “A lot has been said about what is right and wrong, but my personal opinion is that Rangers are one of 42 professional football clubs in Scotland and should be treated as any one of the 41 other clubs would be.
"I did not appreciate the bullying and threats that have come from above and part of the problem in our professional game is the unbalanced structure.
"I don’t think anyone believes that if it were any other SPL club besides Celtic that there would be anywhere near this level of pressure etc. and it is partly because of this that we have voted the way we have."
Meanwhile, he says the £60,000 Ayr will lose by the vote has already been spent in this year's playing budget.