Transfer ban won’t stop newco Rangers signing new players

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By a Newsnet reporter
 
A transfer embargo slapped on newco Rangers as a condition of their entry into the Scottish Football League will be delayed in order to allow the team to buy in new players for the forthcoming football season.
 
The ban, handed down by an SFA panel after the oldco Rangers were found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, will not kick in until after the transfer window closes.

The 12-month transfer embargo will begin on 1 September and end on 31 August 2013, and was described as “a primary condition” of gaining membership of the SFA.

However critics will argue that the ban is effectively worthless as the delay in enforcement leaves the new team free to sign players and strengthen Ally McCoist’s squad, weakened by the departure of many former key players.

The Ibrox manager has lost several players such as Allan McGregor, Steve Davis, Steven Naismith, Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker.  

The ‘suspended’ ban gives McCoist five weeks to find new players to help him strengthen his squad as his team get ready to face their first season in the Scottish Third Division.

The embargo was re-applied despite a judge ruling that the SFA did not have the legal authority to do so.  Two members of the original SFA panel who imposed the bans have since resigned from their panel roles.

However there was uncertainty over the agreement, after reports suggested that SPL clubs were seeking further sanctions against the Ibrox club.  It also emerged that any deal to allow a newco Rangers to play in the Third Division needed the approval of those same SPL clubs as well as other interested parties.

Administrator Duff and Phelps, which still controls the oldco Rangers, Sevco, the Scottish Football League, the SPL and SFA must all agree the package to allow the new Rangers to play in the coming season.

Last night the SFA released a statement which read: “The Scottish FA can tonight clarify the position surrounding the outstanding Appellate Tribunal related to Rangers FC Oldco.  It has been agreed with Sevco Scotland Ltd that the registration embargo will be accepted as a primary condition of a transfer of membership.

“It is necessary to complete the judicial process following the determination by Lord Glennie in the Court of Session that required the Independent Appellate Body to revisit available sanctions relating to Oldco, having been found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute.

“The Scottish FA indicated to Sevco Scotland Ltd that they had to accept responsibility for any sanctions arising out of this case as a condition of transfer of membership.

“Rather than convening the Appellate Tribunal to determine from the sanctions available to it, the company directors of Sevco Scotland Ltd have chosen to accept the 12-month registration embargo. This embargo will begin on 1st September 2012 and end on 31st August 2013.”

“Sevco Scotland Ltd have also undertaken to accept all other outstanding conditions relating to Oldco’s charges of bringing the game into disrepute.  The conditional offer of transfer will now be submitted to the Appellate Tribunal for its consideration.

“This will form part of the approval process for the transfer of membership which, once approved, will enable Rangers FC to take a considerable step towards participating in Irn Bru Division Three.

“In addition to the above, the Scottish FA has also received the necessary financial information requested and this is being considered as part of the application process.  Subject to the completion of all legal documentation, we anticipate transfer of membership next week.”