May 17 2012
Rangers have lost their appeal against a 12-month transfer embargo and £160,000 fine but administrators Duff and Phelps have suggested they could explore further ways of challenging the sanctions.
Rangers were punished by an Scottish Football Association judicial panel last month but had hoped to overturn the decision at an appellate tribunal hearing. But in findings released on Wednesday night by the SFA, the club were told they had no grounds for reversing the decision.
Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: "The decision by the appellate tribunal to uphold the sanction, namely the suspension of registration of players for one year, is not competent in the view of the club and its legal advisers. Such a sanction was not available to the tribunal and should not have been imposed and it is the intention of the club to challenge the determination."
The Duff and Phelps man continued: "The club will consider seeking review of this most disappointing decision and it is a matter of regret that the certainty and finality Rangers sought on this matter has not been achieved. Everyone at Rangers is bitterly disappointed and dismayed at this outcome."
Charles Green, the former Sheffield United chief executive at the head of the consortium that has agreed to purchase the club, was frustrated by the developments but backed any future appeal.
"Our group went into the purchase of the club with this sanction in place but we hoped the decision would at least be commuted," he said. "We fully support the club as it considers an appeal against this latest decision."
The hearing, which was chaired by Lord Carloway and also included Spartans chairman Craig Graham and former Partick Thistle chairman Allan Cowan, heard the Ibrox club's representations through Richard Keen QC.
The tribunal's full report will be published at a later date but it released several key points by way of summary. They included the following: "It was competent for the disciplinary tribunal to impose the additional sanction of prohibiting registrations of any new players of 18 years or older for a period of 12 months.
"The disciplinary tribunal was correct to determine that the conduct involved - especially the deliberate non-payment of very large sums, estimated in excess of £13m of tax in the form of PAYE, NIC and VAT - was attributable to the club as a member of the Scottish FA.
"Although the appellate tribunal has listened carefully to the representations from Rangers FC about the practical effects of the additional sanction, it has concluded that this sanction was proportionate to the breach, dissuasive to others and effective in the context of serious misconduct, bringing the game into disrepute."