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SFA Impose Player Trading Sanctions on Rangers

Tue 24th Apr 2012 | Football Club Administration

Rangers’ administrators, Duff & Phelps believe the Scottish FA’s (SFA) decision to impose sanctions on the club will seriously undermine their attempts to rebuild the club.

The punishment, which prohibits Rangers registering any player aged over 17, came with fines totalling £160,000 and Craig Whyte receiving a lifetime ban from Scottish football and a £200,000 fine following a three-day hearing by an SFA judicial panel last week.

Yesterday, it was announced that negotiations between interested parties had been inconclusive and that further time was need to finalise their bids. But the decision by the SFA to impose the penalty has further complicated matters.

Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: "All of us working on behalf of the Club are utterly shocked and dismayed by the draconian sanctions imposed on Rangers in respect of these charges.

"It appears that on one hand the disciplinary panel accepted our central argument that responsibility for bringing the Club into disrepute lay with the actions of one individual - Craig Whyte - as is evident from the unprecedented punishment meted out to him.

"During this hearing the Club produced compelling evidence from a number of sources that following his takeover, Craig Whyte ran the Club in a thoroughly unaccountable manner, rather than adhering to a long-established and proper form of corporate governance.

"The thrust of the charges against the Club focused on non-payment of payroll taxes and evidence was produced that all such decisions in this area were taken by Craig Whyte during his tenure.

"Given this evidence, it is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively punish the Club even more heavily than Mr Whyte. As everyone knows, it has already been decided he is not a fit and proper person to run a football club and any further punishment on him will have little or no impact.

"However, for Rangers, a ban on signing players will seriously undermine the Club's efforts to rebuild after being rendered insolvent.

"Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the Club will react to these sanctions and what affect they will have on their proposals.

"The Club has asked for full written reasons for these decisions and intend to appeal against the findings."

The main interested parties, The Blue Knights Consortium and Bill Miller had asked for more time to consider their bids with the Blue Knights working to resolve issues regarding the structure of their proposed funding partnership with Ticketus.

However the sanctions over the signing of players will further complicate matters. “Both bidders have raised with us their strong desire to attain greater clarity on potential footballing sanctions the Club may face and these remain issues to be resolved, said David Whitehouse, the club’s joint administrator.

“We believe that both bidding parties have the best interests of the Club in mind and, frustrating as though it is for fans, it is better that these complex issues are addressed now rather than later. It is imperative that whichever offer is taken forward can be delivered. For the avoidance of doubt, neither bid involves liquidation.”

Whitehouse added: “Because of what has happened at Rangers, the football authorities too have a difficult task as there are many unprecedented issues to deal with. 

“This is a complicated administration due to recent and historical events at Ibrox and while everyone wants to see a solution brought about quickly there is a need to grasp the reality of the situation.”

Posted by: Aaron Gourley

 

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