Rangers secure title to seal top flight return after four-year exile

Fallen Scottish football giants, Rangers, have ended their four-year absence from the Scottish Premiership after their 1-0 win at home to Dumbarton clinched the Championship.

Rangers secure title to seal top flight return after four-year exile
Russell Cheyne REUTERS

It has been a long wait but now the massive fan base of Glasgow Rangers, one that spans the globe, can look forward to next season knowing that they will be playing in the Scottish Premiership 2016/17.

A goal from James Tavernier sent the Gers 17 points clear of Falkirk in second place with four games remaining while third-placed Hibernian, who have two games in hand, are 20 points adrift.

Tavernier celebrates after scoring what turned out to be the title clinching goal.

Their promotion will see the Glasgow giants compete in the Scottish top flight for the first time since 2012 following their financial meltdown.

Rangers entered administration in February 2012 over an unpaid tax bill during the short, but chaotic, reign of Craig Whyte. Liquidation followed in June 2012 to cap an amazing fall from grace for Scotland's most successful club, who have won a record 54 Scottish top flight championships.

A consortium headed by former Sheffield United chief executive Charles Green then bought the club's assets as the Gers were forced to start life again in the country's bottom tier.

Green's tenure was beset by financial upheaval and boardroom infighting and the controversial chief executive was eventually forced out of Ibrox in August 2013.

Last year, both Whyte and Green were among six individuals indicted on fraud charges linked to the takeover of the club in 2011.

Despite the turmoil off the pitch, the Gers eased to the old Third Division and League One championships under former manager Ally McCoist.

However, their title bid last season was derailed by the form of Hearts whose runaway title win meant Rangers had to settle for a place in the playoffs where they lost out to Motherwell in the final.

A boardroom power battle saw a consortium headed by South African businessman Dave King take control of the club in March 2015.

The subsequent appointment of Mark Warburton and David Weir as the new management team in June 2015 saw the Gers hit the ground running in the current campaign as they won their first 11 league matches in a row, scoring 34 goals in the process.

That run was finally ended following a 2-1 defeat by Hibernian at Easter Road on November 1, but Rangers have lost just two more league matches since to seal promotion and also have a Scottish Cup semi-final with Old Firm rivals Celtic on April 17 to look forward to.

Rangers' fans already looking forward to the friendly rivalry with Celtic which will resume in the league after the summer.

Here's Rangers' journey from Scotland's fourth tier to Championship title in pictures 

In related news, the club that still holds the record as the only team to have a 100% record against FC Barcelona, Dundee United, look doomed to be relegated. A 71st minute goal from Partick Thistle's Kris Doolan condemned the Tannadice club to a 20th defeat of the season leaving them five points adrift at the bottom of the table and nine points off automatic safety. The second bottom team goes into a play off against a 'best of the rest' Championship side to secure their place.