Rangers facing disciplinary action as Whyte deemed unfit to own club

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By a Newsnet reporter

Glasgow Rangers FC are facing disciplinary action as a result of failing to pay Dundee United after last month’s Scottish Cup tie.  The club also face charges of bringing the game into disrepute.

In a statement released today by the SFA, the club’s current owner was also deemed by the governing body as not being a fit and proper person to hold a position within association football.

A statement by the SFA’s Chief Executive Stewart Regan said: “Principally, it is the belief of the board, taking into account the prima facie evidence presented today, that Mr Craig Whyte is not considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a position within Association Football.

“We will be writing to Mr Whyte in relation to those findings and shall seek a response within seven days.

“The report submitted by Lord Nimmo Smith, having been considered fully by the board, highlights a number of other potential rule breaches by the club and its owner.

“The report will now be used as evidence and forwarded to a judicial panel for consideration and determination as per the protocol.”

In a statement for Duff and Phelps, Paul Clark immediately sought to distance the club from Mr Whyte and said: “We note the findings and announcement by the Scottish Football association, we look forward to stating the club’s case to the judicial panel.

“In broad terms we believe there are mitigating factors and we hope to demonstrate the distinction between the club and the actions of any individual.”

The new revelations follow news that the club may only be days away from going into liquidation and ceasing to exist altogether.

Despite negotiations with players in a bid at reducing a huge wage bill no agreements could be reached.  Tomorrow is expected to see an announcement of redundancies amongst the playing staff.

The administrators have already conceded that there is virtually no possibility of European football next season and there are fears that Rangers may not be able to complete their obligations for this season’s SPL.

Many analysts believe that liquidation is now the most likely outcome for the club which is facing mounting debts and faces massive penalties should it lose the ongoing tax case with the HMRC.

Former owner Sir David Murray is himself facing the prospect of a £20 million lawsuit from former Rangers Director Dave King.

Mr King claims that Murray, who was responsible for introducing the controversial EBT’s that led to non-payment of tax to HMRC, deceived him by not disclosing fully the club’s financial position 12 years ago when he invested £20 million.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland one analyst, Stephen Morrow, said that the decision by the SFA on Craig Whyte was not a surprise.

Commenting on the financial situation he said the club was currently “haemorrhaging cash” and added that a takeover was simply not possible due to the club’s unstable financial state.

Mr Morrow said that liquidation was the most likely outcome and added: “If you look at the things that we know.  We know that the previous chairman continues to  think he has a claim on some of the assets.  We know that there is still a tier one tax tribunal to rule on a potential liability on the organisation.  We know that there is an issue around the former sale of season tickets.

“When you look at that kind of level of uncertainty it is difficult how to see you chart a way out of that, which gets the agreements of creditors and doesn’t simply create a monster for whoever takes over this organisation.”