Glasgow based football club Rangers must defend an accusation of bringing Scottish football into disrepute after being hit with the charge by the country’s Football Association.
The decision by the FA came after the independent enquiry that it set up to investigate events at Ibrox reported its results on Thursday.
In the mean time, the association’s board has deemed that Rangers chairman and majority shareholder, Craig Whyte, is not fit to serve within Scottish football.
Rangers’ administrators, Duff and Phelps, hope to convince the Scottish FA’s judicial panel at a hearing this month that the club should not be heavily punished for offences committed under an earlier regime.
Paul Clark, Rangers’ joint administrator commented that ”In broad terms, we believe there are mitigating factors and we hope to demonstrate the distinction between the club and the actions of any individuals.
Stewart Regan, the Scottish FA’s chief executive, said: “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.” This refers specifically to the lack of submitted audited accounts for the last financial year and failing to disclose to the game’s governing body at the time of his appointment as chairman that Whyte had served a ban from being a company director between 2000 and 2007.
A four-day hearing from 30 March will determine whether Rangers are due £3.6m, earlier controlled by Whyte, which was seized last week at the insistence of a court from a lawyer’s account. Other parties, including two companies linked to Whyte, are also claiming all or part of those funds.
The three companies in total are hoping that the money could help save the financially stricken club with Duff & Phelps saying that the £3.6million is the club’s money and is vital to secure its future.
In other related news, Rangers players Steven Whittaker and Steven Naismith have agreed to take a 75% wage cut which it has been suggested made the decision to help administrator Duff and Phelps avoid major redundancies at the Scottish champions. Clarke said,”We’re looking to deliver cost-cutting of around £1m per month. ”
As it is however, the club will not be able to participate in European competition next season because they will be unable to meet UEFA’s March 31 accounts deadline.