SPL release 'Club 12' fixtures; vote due July 4
Rangers were omitted from the SPL fixture list for 2012-13 ahead of their impending re-application for membership in the division, which will come down to a vote on July 4.
Charles Green's consortium bought Rangers last week, but whether the newco club can remain in the SPL in its predecessor's place will be decided by the other sides who comprise the division in two weeks' time.
The troubled Glasgow outfit would need seven of the other 11 teams in the Scottish top flight to vote positively to participate in 2012-13, with possible replacements including relegated Dunfermline and Dundee, runners-up in the Scottish First Division last season to promoted champions Ross County.
The date of a potential first Old Firm game of the season, should Green secure the vote, is September 22 at reigning champions Celtic.
The Hoops open up their title defence by welcoming Aberdeen to Celtic Park on the weekend of August 4th.
Scottish Premier League secretary Iain Blair explained the omission of the 54-time league champions: "Following the failure of Rangers FC to exit administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement, we have received an application to register the transfer of their SPL share to a newco.
"Should it be rejected, then another club may be invited to join the SPL for season 2012/13."
Blair also explained the rationale behind the league's first winter break since the 2002/03 season, which will take place after the January 2 fixtures.
The break means the Scottish Cup fourth round, when top-flight sides enter the competition, will this season take place on December 1 and 2.
"Supporters have often told us that they favour a winter break," Blair added.
"Indeed, we have always been open to reviving the break but fitting it into the schedule can be a problem.
"With no World Cup or European Championship next summer, we are able to finish our own season slightly later and incorporate a shutdown covering two weekends in January."
The winter break means more midweek fixtures, with a midweek card at the end of November, in late January and in February.
Celtic have been allowed to postpone their home fixture with Dundee United, to a date still to be determined, in order to play in a friendly with Real Madrid in the United States.
The split remains, with the first post-split fixture scheduled for April 20 and the season concluding on the weekend of May 18/19.
SPL OPENING WEEKEND FIXTURES IN FULL:
Saturday 4th August
Celtic v Aberdeen
Hearts v St Johnstone
Kilmarnock v Club 12
Ross County v Motherwell
St Mirren v Inverness CT
Sunday 5th August
Dundee United v Hibernian