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Green cites precedent for allowing cross-border leagues

CHARLES GREEN claimed yesterday he could sue UEFA for sex discrimination if Rangers are blocked from pursuing the option of joining a league outside of Scotland.

Green has said he would look at ways of withdrawing the Ibrox from Scottish football if proposals to introduce a new 12-12-18 set-up were implemented from the start of next season. There would seem no obvious place for the Ibrox club to go but the chief executive believes the introduction of a cross-border women's league featuring teams from Belgium and the Netherlands is a precedent that helps their case.

"As the structures stand now, there are not many options," he said in a radio interview. "People say you can't go into England because you are not allowed cross-border [leagues]. Well, there is now a cross-border [league]. You have a UEFA-sanctioned professional women's league in Belgium and Holland, so we have a precedent there. If there was an opportunity to join a cross-border league and that was challenged by UEFA, then I would go to Strasbourg and challenge the sexual equality."

Green also believes that it would show double standards to deny Rangers a move to England while allowing Swansea City to play in the Barclays Premier League, and Cardiff City to be a part of the npower championship. "People say you are not allowed in the English league – well, let's then kick Cardiff and Swansea out," he said. "People are saying Wales is fine but Scotland is not. We cannot have a situation where one of the Union is annexed by the football bodies but Wales can join. It's rubbish."

Green also claimed that the club's supporters would back any Rangers application to join the English non-league set-up. "I could join the Conference and I would be in a higher league than I'm in," he said. "If the only option is to go into England and start at the lowest level, I believe Rangers fans would support that."

The question of where the Ibrox club will be playing next season has also upset a proposed trial for Mat Ryan, the Central Coast Mariners goalkeeper. The Australian was due to travel to Murray Park on Monday but he has cancelled that plan as he could not be given assurances as to what level he would be playing at next season.

"He wanted to know what league they will play and they won't know yet," said Lawrie McKinna, Mariners' director of football.

That news will assuage some of the discontent that had been brewing within his club over the trial. McKinna had earlier described the prospect of Ryan playing in the lower divisions in Scotland as "not ideal".

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