The Scottish Premier League clubs will convene on Monday to discuss the proposed introduction of a 12-12-18 set-up, although a number of them are known to harbour reservations. Should the change be pushed through in time for next season, though, it would mean Rangers remaining in the bottom tier, and playing against many of the same teams, regardless of whether they win the Irn-Bru Third Division or not.
The length of Rangers' route back to the top would not change at all – they would still have to win promotion three times to return to the top flight – but Black was insistent that it would represent "another punishment for Rangers" should the plans end up being implemented.
"We will be glad to see the back of this division, although there is talk of the SPL changing it and slapping us in the face again," said the midfielder. "So we're not getting our hopes up just yet. Any team in our position would be unhappy if they changed it at this point. We were slapped in the face at the start of the season when we were put where we are, and now we could be hammered again. I just think it's wrong.
"We're playing in this league to win it and then we might have to win it again," he suggested, although there is a valid counter-argument. "You can ask any other team and they would be lying if they said they were happy with it. I just think it's another punishment for Rangers. None of the players are happy about the changes because, if you win the league, you don't want to have to play in the lowest league again. It will be a disappointment if they change it. Just leave it the way it is."
Black was also of the opinion that SPL clubs might be looking to make changes after suffering financially as a result of Rangers' absence. "Maybe teams are being affected because we're not in the SPL but that was the SFA's decision. They chose to put us here. The SPL clubs are going to have to do something because they'll be looking at their books, and if their books aren't right it's because we aren't there."
The former Inverness Caledonian Thistle and Hearts player admitted there were aspects of the top flight that he missed but that he hadn't paid the top division much attention this term. "The standard is much better, and you miss the bigger grounds and atmospheres, as well as the chance to play in Europe. But I've been paying more attention to what's going on around us."
With Rangers cruising to the third division title – victory over Montrose at Ibrox today would extend their lead to 22 points – eyes are already starting to turn to next week's William Hill Scottish Cup tie with Dundee United. Rangers had asked supporters not to travel for the match but around 200 have already ignored that plea and bought tickets. Manager Ally McCoist implored more not to follow that lead.
"We said we weren't going to take any tickets and that decision should have been unanimous," said McCoist. "We either do things as a team, as a support [or we don't]. We either all go or none of us go. I don't even think we're taking . . . in terms of the board and directors, I'm not sure what the set-up is, but we will definitely be there in limited numbers."
There will be some Rangers fans, however, who won't have missed a game for decades, and who cannot see a reason why that unblemished record should be spoiled. McCoist did not tell them directly not to go, but hoped they would appreciate the club's viewpoint. "They have not been told they can't go; they have been advised and asked," he said. "The reason they have not been able to support their team is because they have taken the advice of the club they love. I can understand they want to come, but it's an easy scenario in that respect because the club has asked them not to because they want to make a statement."