A vacancy appears in the league in which the liquidated club operates. That vacuum has to be filled. In the case of Airdrieonians, that was filled by allowing the relegated club, Falkirk FC, to stay in Scotland's Division One (which is actually the second division because the first division masquerades as the Scottish Premier League).
Very little has ever been written, as far as I can see, about the clear conflict of interest between the liquidator, Mr Blair Nimmo of KPMG, and his own personal football preference for Falkirk FC. I'm not for a moment suggesting Nimmo acted from anything other than the purest financial motives (he is, after all, an accountant, with all that that stands for in terms of lack of a soul and any aesthetic sense). But does it not pong slightly of rotting fish?
I am also assured that a KPMG colleague of his, whose name escapes me as I was having a chat rather than interviewing so didn't take notes, was an active referee in Scottish football at the time, and had been involved in some controversial decisions that were unfavourable to Airdrie. The person who told me this also assured me that there would have been outrage in the streets of Airdrie if his KPMG affiliation had been bruited more loudly abroad.
Have you ever, incidentally, wandered through the stadium of a liquidated club? It's like walking through a footballing ghost town. What's left, I kept asking the stadium manager, an old pal. Nothing, he said. Absolutely nothing.
Jim Ballantyne, whose mother and father were supporters of Airdrieonians, created a new club, Airdrie United, with no assets of any kind (I still wish he had called it Airdrie Excelsior rather than United).
But he who pays the piper calls the tune, and he pledged his own money and applied for re-entry to the Scottish Football League at the lowest level (Division Three, or Four, if you prefer using numbers to Jesuitical listings). Plan A failed, with Gretna Town winning the right to take over the vacancy, and we Airdrieonians supporters understood there to be no Plan B.
But there was. Clydebank FC were in administration, with no hope of recovery. That club's sole asset was a place in Division Two (or three, as discussed above). Ballantyne bought Clydebank from ITS administrator, moved it to Airdrie, and changed its name to Airdrie United.
Cue howls of outrage from Clydebank fans, conveniently ignoring the history of their own club's origins in the mid-1960s. Airdrie have established themselves as something of a yo-yo club in the decade since liquidation, and something of a model business model for aspiring football club owners. The club lives within its means, and is developing a reputation as being a good place for younger players to showcase their talents and engineer a move to a bigger club.
I doubt, somehow, that such a future would satisfy Rangers fans. I also doubt that they will be forced to face the full consequences of the club's criminal past. I predict that Scottish football will vote with its wallet rather than its conscience and allow any Rangers newco straight back into the top flight. Football sold its soul to the devil a long long time ago. Its future is fellating Satan and Beelzebub and all their friends from her to eternity.