Rangers returns to Scottish Premiership

Promotion will see the Glasgow giant compete in the Scottish top flight for the first time since 2012 following its financial meltdown.

James Tavernier (L) celebrates after scoring the first goal for Rangers against Dumbarton to seal promotion.   -  REUTERS

Fallen Scottish football giant Rangers has ended its four-year absence from the Scottish Premiership after a 1-0 win at home against Dumbarton clinched the Championship title for the Ibrox club.

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 has two games in hand, is 20 points adrift.

Its promotion will see the Glasgow giant compete in the Scottish top flight for the first time since 2012 following its 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, which has 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, its 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 it 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 has lost just two more league matches since to seal promotion and has a Scottish Cup semi-final with Old Firm rival Celtic on April 17 to look forward to.

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