Rangers Fined £250,000 But Keep Titles
Thu 28th Feb 2013 | Football Governance
Rangers Oldco have been fined £250,000 for the historic non-disclosure of payments made to players but will not be stripped of its titles.
The Commission established by the Scottish Premier League to investigate allegations of historic non-disclosure of payments made to players found that The Rangers Football Club plc issued letters to players relating to the EBT scheme should have been disclosed under the rules of the SPL and the SFA.
The payments to players were themselves found not to be irregular or in breach of SPL and SFA rules, but breach of disclosure rules required a penalty to be imposed on The Rangers Football Club plc, now in liquidation (Oldco).
In their findings, the Commission, headed by Lord Nimmo Smith, stated: “Rangers FC did not gain any unfair competitive advantage from the contraventions of the SPL rules in failing to make proper disclosure of the side-letter arrangements, nor did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible to play, and for this and other reasons no sporting sanction or penalty should be imposed on Rangers FC.
“The Commission imposed a £250,000 fine on Oldco and this will not have any effect on the operations and activities of the Club and the company as they now stand.”
Upon hearing the verdict Rangers chief executive, Charles Green, issued a statement on the club’s official website, “On behalf of the board of directors at Rangers, I note the findings of the Commission. It is abundantly clear from the ruling there was no attempt by Rangers Football Club secure any unfair advantage or to cheat, as so many people asserted without giving any regard to the actual evidence.
“I would re-iterate that at no stage have I, nor anyone now involved in the running of this club, questioned the integrity of the Commission members. What I did question was the creation of a process which some people had predetermined. Every Rangers fan will be delighted that the Commission refused to get carried away on this agenda.
“It is a matter of fact that people within the SPL wanted me, at first, to surrender titles as part of a deal to enable Rangers to play again as a member of the SFA. I rejected and resisted that suggestion and today’s decision vindicates the position of the Board and the supporters. In particular, I would like to thank the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund for their dedication and commitment on this matter.
“It is fair to say that there was, at one stage, a very unhealthy desire to press on with an investigation into this matter when cool heads and clear thinking was required. Instead, there was a frenzied atmosphere around Rangers caused by the Club’s insolvency situation.
"This issue could have and should have been dealt with by the board of the SPL rather than embarking on an unnecessarily grand and expensive process. At the end of the day I am left with the impression that this has been much ado about very little and a great waste of energy, time and money.
“There are considerable challenges ahead for this club and Scottish football as a whole.
"That is where all efforts and energy should now be focused. We, as a club, will work with all parties who have the good of the game at heart. We are looking forward and I urge all Rangers fans to do likewise. We are rebuilding this Club and are making great strides. The dark days are over and it is time now for all to embrace our ambition for a brighter future.”
Posted by: Aaron Gourley
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