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By Bob Duncan

A judge has ruled that the Scottish Football Association (SFA) acted beyond its powers in imposing a year-long transfer ban on Rangers FC and has overturned the sanction declaring it “unlawful”.

The ban was given, along with a fine of £100,000, after the club, who went into administration in February over unpaid taxes, was charged with bringing the game into disrepute, preventing the club from hiring any new players over 18 years of age for the next 11 months.

At the Court of Session in Edinburgh, Rangers challenged the ban averring that the SFA was ultra vires as the ban was not included among the sanctions listed in the SFA's own regulations and Lord Glennie ruled that the decision should be reconsidered by the ruling body's appeal panel .

The judge set aside the SFA's decision and said he would send it back to the SFA appeal tribunal to look at it again in light of his decision, adding that this did not necessarily mean the club would escape with a lighter punishment.

Aidan O'Neill QC, for the football authorities, argued that the tribunal had sought to find a sanction which would fit the breach committed. He said it was clearly thought that the fine was "simply not enough, given the gravity of the issues".

Mr O'Neill said that if their powers of penalty were restricted to sanctions such as suspension or expulsion then suspension would have to be looked at, adding that the current sanction allowed Rangers to continue to trade and play.

The ruling could see Rangers facing an even bigger penalty from the SFA which could result in the club being banned from all competition, including friendlies.  If the SFA do not take what are considered adequate sanctions against Rangers, they may themselves face a challenge from either EUFA or FIFA, who could also apply stronger sanctions to Rangers, making today's court victory by the club somewhat Pyrrhic.

FIFA are sure to take a dim view of the case, with its own rules forbidding clubs from taking their ruling national bodies to court.

Yesterday also saw the details of the creditor CVA published on the Rangers web site and there has been additional consultation with certain stakeholders.

Duff & Phelps' joint administrator Paul Clark said: "The proposal will offer the best return for all stakeholders given the position the Club is in. If approved by the creditors, the CVA proposal will rescue the Company and finally enable it to exit administration.

“We had hoped the results of this consultation would have enabled us to publish the proposal today but administrative alterations mean the document will be published tomorrow.

“Rangers supporters should be reassured the CVA process is on track. The creditors' meeting to consider, and hopefully approve, the CVA will be held on Thursday 14 June."

When questioned on the morality of avoiding paying millions of pounds in tax, Clark said: "I certainly understand the point and of course this problem isn't just with football clubs, the CVA is a legally-binding deal and it represents the best deal for HMRC and the other creditors and therefore whilst it might mean that some monies are written off by the taxman it really is the best prospect of recovery and therefore we very much hope and believe that HMRC will see the same viewpoint."

Charles Green’s group have pledged £8.5 million with another £3.5 million coming from transfer fees due to the club.  Litigation over Craig Whyte’s takeover deal could provide further funds at a later date. It has also emerged that this £8.5 million is being made available to the club in the form of a loan, which is repayable to Green (with interest) by 2020.

Even if the CVA is agreed, Rangers will not be able to exit administration until July 12th at the earliest, due to the 28-day cooling off period which follows acceptance of a CVA.

However, it seems unlikely that the CVA will be accepted as it offers creditors less than 10% of the £55 million owed, and the total will be reduced by Duff & Phelps' administration fee of £5.5 million, which could be greater than the total available to creditors.

Also, the HMRC are unlikely to give their consent to the deal, particularly if rangers lose their upcoming appeal against the “big tax case”, which would increase the total owed by around £80 million.

A spokesman for Ticketus, one of the major creditors, told Newsnet Scotland that they would make no decision for the time being.

He said: "Ticketus is happy to confirm that we have received the CVA, but we are not commenting further while we review the documents and unlikely before the meeting of creditors."

If no CVA is agreed, Green plans to push through a newco purchase of the assets which would leave him needing to apply to the Scottish Premier League to take the current club’s place in the competition. This option would lead to only about £1 million being available to creditors, and is permitted under the dual contract Green has signed with the administrators.

Comments  

 
# northernshedboy 2012-05-30 07:40
It's time to get this over and done with. I can't remember all this fuss and publicity when Dundee recently went through the same process, losing 25 points and getting a transfer ban, and yes I am aware that the SPL is a big league with real teams and not the same as the other smaller leagues so has different rules.

Time for one association to govern all senior football, then rules are the same for everyone.

Time for Rangers to get real and accept that what they have done has been serious, and threatened the wellbeing of the other clubs in the league. It appears currently Rangers are hanging on until the SPL asks them what sanctions they would consider to be suitable to Rangers.

Time for the employees to come to the front of the queue and get their pension payments made up fully to the levels they should have been at because they have already paid them, plus a small bonus added for the misery they have suffered.

And most of all, time for the players and officials who got LOANS from the club instead of or as well as salary to be ask what their repayment plans are. A loan is not for keeping, it is for paying back with interest. When will the money be paid back to the club so the club can pay their own bills to Dundee United, Dunfermline, Hearts, Arsenal, Rapid Vienna, the tax man .....?
 
 
# brh206 2012-05-30 08:17
Being a Dundee fan the Dees were treated differently but then they are a small club that very few people in the corridors of power at the SFL/SFA care about and certainly no one at the SPL.

However, what it appears Rangers have been up to is far worse than what Dundee, Motherwell, Livingstone etc did. It looks like avoidance on a huge scale which has not only cheated the tax payer, the fans and other clubs but ruined the integrity of Scottish Football. We also have the issue of a newco Rangers being directly admitted into the SPL and the effect that could have across the board. If that happens the SPL are basically saying that one or two clubs can never be relegated so therefor the league is a fix, it's a con. I am a season ticket holder at Dens but if that scenario comes around I know I am finsihed with Scottish Football. Why would I want to pay nearly £1000 in total every season following my team with my son when it's a fix and why would I want to put my hard earned money into a set up that treats the customer like idiots and takes them for granted.
The SPL meets today to decide on sanctions, given their previous record they will probably delay again but you also just know that these Chairmen will not act in the best interested of football, fairness, integrity or justice. As they have mis managed their own clubs they will vote for a Rangers in some form in the top league for the tv money and the twindling away support at their grounds. They will do this knowing that some of their own fans and fans across Scotland will stop attending Scottish Football and will never be back. They don't care, UEFA and FIFA don't care and certainly the big two don't care. They will always find somewhere to play and the rest don't matter. What happens over the next four weeks or so will determine if I continue to follow my team, I want to, it's time spent with my oldest son which I treasure but I have my principles and I imagine it's terrible to be robbed of your money, but to be robbed to your face and told the product is fixed is another matter all together. You have racism in football in Poland, match fixing in Italy and tax avoidance in Scotland. Is it any wonder that people like myself are just questioning the whole thing now. Even the Olympics main sponsors are Coke and McDs and of course the tax payer. I have had enough.
 
 
# northernshedboy 2012-05-30 08:46
Yeh, my lot are across the road from your lot, but I still have a lot of sympathy for Dundee. Probably comes from times when young where one Saturday it was Dens with the pals and the next it was Tanadeechy. Really didn't matter who was at home because some of us always supported the home team and we went for the laugh and the entertainment.

Dundee and Livingstones problems were maybe slightly different in that it was a second offence, but I still think they were treated differently, and particularly Livingstone who were relegated to the bottom of senior football and left to struggle their way back up.

Can't help thinking that a major part of the problems for Dundee stemmed from the Kishnashvilli (however it is spelt?) shambles when Dundee were due a minimum of £400000 for selling the contract of an u24 international and Rangers offered something like £110000, then took it to court and got the fee completely wiped out. How much did they cash in when selling later?

They seem to have no regrets about doing damage to other teams and companies in their own pursuit for glory, and I can't understand the thoughts of current owners, who knowing this still bend over so far backwards to accommodate them.

Fortunately, where I am is close to shinty country so can still get a weekend day of sporting action, untainted by Rangers, and with less of the religious nonsence that comes with them.
 
 
# northernshedboy 2012-05-30 08:49
On a brighter note, its good to see both teams continuing with the derby game agian this year, with the receipts going to the youth teams at each club.

Might find another fee wee gems in that lot and bring a wee bit more sunshine to Dens and Tannadeechy.
 
 
# RJBH 2012-05-30 08:05
those who were on the ... "Tax Avoiding Scams". that Ragers were operating should face the full weight of the law... and hopefully jailed.

I for one have no sympathy for Rangers the club, or those who have lead them to their inevitable demise...if the bus loads of fans that I have bourne witness to... are average every day fans... we will be all the better of being rid of them too
 
 
# Ready to Start 2012-05-30 08:15
Can anyone explain why Administrators don't sell off Ibrox Stadium and training ground to highest bidder as opposed to someone trying to buy the football club and get Rangers or Newco to lease back thereby giving creditors the best return for their money.
 
 
# RevStu 2012-05-30 16:56
See Footnote 1 here:

wingsland.podgamer.com/.../
 
 
# Alibi 2012-05-30 19:01
Good idea that. Might get a better return if the creditors were given Ibrox in lieu of payment and they then rented it out to Rangers. Bit big for the third division though...
 
 
# Briggs 2012-05-30 08:31
I agree Exile.

This stuff should be kept within the pages of the tabloids/BBC and not commented on here.
 
 
# John Lyons 2012-05-30 11:37
If you are not interested in the tax case at Ibrox, then I assume you're not interested in Vodaphones tax avoidance, or tax in general including tax raising powers for Scotland.

You can pick and choose which Tax cases you're interested in, if you want, but you should be aware that's what the Tories do....
 
 
# Suomi 2012-05-30 09:00
I do agree with exile that this stuff should be left to the tabloid media.However,as a Celtic fan (pre Lisbon Lions) I would not streotype all supporters as the same.I value all Scottish clubs and wish them well.I admire Rangers history(playing history)and hope they survive.I was pleased that the honours were shared among three clubs last season,since it is not healthy for the Scottish footbal to be dominated by two clubs.I also recognise the poison within some of the old firm fans,alluded to by Exile.However,as a non Catholic Celtic fan who has admired Celtics history,players and football over decades,I do care about the club,that almost went out of business in 1992.I am sure many good Rangers fans feel the same about their club.

Perhaps I am also atypical in the sense that I used to regularly support Inverness Caley.I was there on that fateful evening when Super Caley went ballistic at Celtic Park and cost John Barnes his job.I had very mixed feelings on the long bus journey back to Inverness.
 
 
# balbeggie 2012-05-30 09:09
very O/T

Found this today - apols if it has been posted before -

dailykos.com/.../...
 
 
# nchanter 2012-05-30 09:40
Quoting balbeggie:
very O/T

Found this today - apols if it has been posted before -

dailykos.com/.../...

Thanks for that item, well worth the read.
 
 
# Jediirnbru 2012-05-30 09:46
The link to the Herald is good, sorry, true to form. only takes them 2 sentences to inform the reader that the Wall Street Journal is part of Rupert Murdochs Empire.
 
 
# xyz 2012-05-30 11:35
It's a wonderful article, I've been linking it here and there.

It gets to the main point of whether we will be better off independent.

Would it be as effective distributed door to door as a pamphlet I wonder .. and would people read it, accept the reality?
 
 
# northernshedboy 2012-05-30 09:10
Re Exile, Briggs and Wansanshoo.

That is fine keeping the reports of the games in the Daily Record or whereever, but surely if a company is actively trying to undermine its opposition by unfair practices of not paying required money to them, not paying taxes to gain an unfair advantage against the others, ruining the pension payment plans of their employees, being treated as a special case above others in the same position amongst other things then it needs to be aired more fully.

In Dundee Uniteds case, not an isolated case but one which I care about, Rangers have failed to pay quite a large amount of money to them making them more likely to suffer financial hardship. They offered to buy two of their players even when knowing that they were in financial difficulties and would not be able to pay the required money, or possible the inflated salaries being offered to tempt them to break their existing contracts.

Dundee United could have been out of pocket by another £3M approximately, without counting the extra costs of paying to replace the lost staff.

As Dundee United have an overdraft of about £3M this would have the potential to more than double their exposure to debt and likely put them into administration.

Surely that is more important than keeping to Chick and Jim at the Record and should be dealt with over a wider discussion.

Is there any other business in Scotland which would have this type of financial management ignored by a wider community and reduced to Chicks 'exclusives' on p70 of Daily Record?
 
 
# bigbuachaille 2012-05-30 09:13
More interesting than Rangers and fitba. Just a mention for Cairngorm. Skiing finally closed today after another great season. Another year when the season was longer than the Alps. Look forward to November, hopefully.
 
 
# Jediirnbru 2012-05-30 09:15
Nothing wrong with the odd football article chucked in. Surely we want as big a readership as possible, no? If folks stumble across the site because of this story and then continue reading others then thats a good thing.

Also the article isn't just about Rangers but all other clubs future participation in europe and also the NATIONAL team being allowed to participate in international competitions. I follow the National Team all round europe and the majority of fans are all for independence, so this story is important to them as it could jepordise some future incredible nights and weekends away watching scotland! 8,000 of us went to lithuania, 8,000! Thats 8,000 people that this story has consequences for.
 
 
# DonaldMhor 2012-05-30 09:53
Football is a massive part of the psyche of Scotland. When the national team does well the moral is lifted, like wise the moral of Rangers supporters is on the floor right now. Which is why this story dominates the BBC, and the unionist media. If they can run this through until 2014, it will be manna from heaven for the unionist campaign. A demoralised people are most unlikely to vote for independence.

This Rangers saga will run and run. Do not rule out the prospect of this being interfered with by the vested interests of the state. HMRC are a great tool to use. The more they can hammer this one the better for them.

And then we have the appalling performance of the national team under Craig Levein, in the run in to the qualifiers for the World cup from which Scotland will once more snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Brazil 2014 and no Scotland? The same year as the referendum on Scottish independence, the unionists must be pinching them selves, it could not be better. This will be a target for the next two years and the BBC will push it for all it's worth.

I hope I am proved wrong and Scotland wins the World cup in Brazil. Woosh, their goes that damn pig again.
 
 
# proudscot 2012-05-30 14:18
Quoting DonaldMhor:
Football is a massive part of the psyche of Scotland. When the national team does well the moral is lifted, like wise the moral of Rangers supporters is on the floor right now. Which is why this story dominates the BBC, and the unionist media. If they can run this through until 2014, it will be manna from heaven for the unionist campaign. A demoralised people are most unlikely to vote for independence.

This Rangers saga will run and run. Do not rule out the prospect of this being interfered with by the vested interests of the state. HMRC are a great tool to use. The more they can hammer this one the better for them.

And then we have the appalling performance of the national team under Craig Levein, in the run in to the qualifiers for the World cup from which Scotland will once more snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. Brazil 2014 and no Scotland? The same year as the referendum on Scottish independence, the unionists must be pinching them selves, it could not be better. This will be a target for the next two years and the BBC will push it for all it's worth.

I hope I am proved wrong and Scotland wins the World cup in Brazil. Woosh, their goes that damn pig again.


DonaldMhor, from the tone and content of the chants of the majority of the said Rangers supporters, and the Union and Ulster flags they fly, most of them appear to be supporters of the union. So if these particular supporters are so demoralised that they don't turn out to vote in the referendum, it'll only mean less "No" voters, to help deny Scotland from regaining its independence. From that standpoint, pile on the demoralising, say I.
 
 
# Chateaulait 57 2012-05-30 15:34
Quoting DonaldMhor:
Football is a massive part of the psyche of Scotland. When the national team does well the moral is lifted, like wise the moral of Rangers supporters is on the floor right now. Which is why this story dominates the BBC, and the unionist media. If they can run this through until 2014, it will be manna from heaven for the unionist campaign. A demoralised people are most unlikely to vote for independence.


I understand your logic Donaldmhor, but as Celtic and their fans will be ecstatic at regularly winning the league without any opposition, then they will also vote no, as most of my Celtic supporting friends are as staunch unionist as my Rangers supporting friends are.
 
 
# heraldnomore 2012-05-30 09:53
O/T - Sheridan again - I guess we really shouldn't be surprised at this, but where will it all end?

order-order.com/.../...
 
 
# Wee-Scamp 2012-05-30 10:23
Have to say I was absolutly appalled that last night's (Tue) BBC Newsnight Scotland programme was dedicated entirely to the Rangers story.
 
 
# Jim1320 2012-05-30 10:29
Probably part of their on-going feud with the Rangers Board.

I was interested so didn't watch.
 
 
# scottish_skier 2012-05-30 11:26
It's funny, I'd have thought the BBC would love Glasgow Rangers what with Ibrox being just about the only place left in Scotland where you see union jacks being waved with fervour. And of course the Labour party have close links to the orange order.
 
 
# scotsgal 2012-05-30 10:31
I do wonder if the transfers sanction was a middle road to avoid taking the more drastic options open to the SFA. It does look like Rangers have shot themselves in the foot, I am not a great lover of the game but do understand the repercussions will have an effect on the other teams and the economy.
 
 
# SolTiger 2012-05-30 10:46
I am of that very opinion.

The SFA needed to be seen to be taking a fair line as all too often they are seen going easy on the two big Glasgow teams, and usually that view is correct.

As such they knew a fine wasn't enough, but didn't want to have to boot Rangers out the league. So they decided on this transfer ban, which as you say was a middle road.

Now however Rangers could have shot themselves in the head more than the foot. Not only have they "escaped" the transfer ban, but also they took the case outside of the footballing circle something which is always looked down upon.

In doing this they have shamed and run over the SFA putting whatever passes for integrity there to the sword and making it personal.

I am no great lover of Rangers, and I'm very sad at the sorry state of Scottish football. Totally agree that this story has been given far far too much coverage, especially when it comes to those of the opinion that "Football can't survive without Rangers".
 
 
# lochside 2012-05-30 11:54
On Newsnicht last night, some London Financier noted that Rangers like the Banks was 'too big to fail'. That alone convinced me that the sooner this institution which certainly was a football team, and only a football team,a long time ago (pre1912), but since become a bastion of intolerant bigotry and now steadfast gutter unionism deserves to be put to sleep.
 
 
# Mako 2012-05-30 12:06
OT - Can the behaviour of the BBC with their clear bias and hostility toward one party be viewed as a breach of my human rights? Seeing that they are funded by extorting a fee from myself under the threat of legal action.
 
 
# Fungus 2012-05-30 12:17
O/T
bbc.co.uk/.../...

Good stuff now what about the rest, like the people who supplied the police interview tapes to the BBC and the people in the BBC who used them?
 
 
# pmcrek 2012-05-30 12:35
This whole things a mess, while I certainly feel sorry for Rangers fans watching their club go to the dogs, no club is bigger than the integrity of the sport. Nor should it be.
 
 
# Magua 2012-05-30 16:25
Rangers' successful challenge to the "ultra vires" sanctions imposed by the SFA, exposes the hypocrisy at the heart of this fiasco. The SFA and SPL, dearly want to give Rangers a serious kicking - "to the endangerment of their life" - but, not quite. These defenders of Scottish football still want to maintain the funds that Rangers promote through television rights and ticket sales. Thus, "The Middle-Way" of a transfer ban and £100,000 fine, rather than a fine and disqualificatio n from the Scottish Cup - that would affect everyone else's finances, wouldn't it? So, now we find ourselves at an RBS or HBOS moment - are Rangers to be saved or allowed to fail and risk infecting other SPL clubs with insolvency? SPL fans obviously want retribution and, are demanding Rangers' blood - let's see what their "altruistic" Chairmen think!
 
 
# Mad Jock McMad 2012-05-30 17:25
The problem with this argument is that many of the SPL are also Rangers creditors who have yet to see a penny of transfer fees, share of gates and the rest, not to mention all the small businesses owed money by Rangers FC and then there is the illegal contracts Ranger's and their players used to duck income, national insurance and capital gains tax which is at the heart of the problem and impacts on every Scottish tax payer.

So apart from all this and the rank corruption, shady dealing by Murray and Craig Whyte - Rangers should be let off ...?

Here's what is: Rangers FC are bankrupt, their adminstrator's legitmacy is under serious legal challenge, Rangers FC Ltd are alleged to have acted illegaly in accounting and company law, yet you think folk should just say 'poor Rangers' and leave it at that?

FIFA rules say if the club goes into liquidation they have to be demoted to the lowest tier of their national league - the current SPL discussions are looking for a fudge to get around this and whether a CVA is or is not a liquidation under FIFA rules.

If this was Gretna or Livingston, Rangers fans would already be pencilling in visits to Stranrear, East Stirling et al and it is time Rangers fans understand that.
 
 
# Gaavster 2012-05-30 23:26
MJM, there is also the small matter of all clubs who request permission to play in the SFL (Div3) having to submit 3 years worth of accounts along with their application...

How would a Newco circumvent this article of Association rules, I wonder?

A lot of people are starting to realise where this is going to end and where it has been destined to end for a long time

The CoS ruling only concerned itself with the charge of bringing the game into disrepute...

On top of this they will now be punished for taking a national association ruling to the law courts as well as the direpute charge...

And let's not get started on the Dual contracts debacle which is being investigated

There's much more to come if some rumours are true
 
 
# civgw 2012-05-30 22:47
BBC Sport mentions this article www.bbc.co.uk/.../18265663
It's listed in the "This story around the web"
BBC Scotland won't be happy with their Sport colleagues giving Newsnet a mention.
 

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