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SPL EBT Commission Statement


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SPL EBT Commission Statement

THE Commission established by the Scottish Premier League to investigate allegations of historic non-disclosure of payments made to players announced its findings.

The Commission found that The Rangers Football Club plc issued letters to players relating to the EBT scheme and these should have been disclosed under the rules of the SPL and the SFA, even though the existence of the scheme was a matter of public record having been disclosed annually in the company’s accounts and professional advice had been obtained by the Murray Group.

The payments to players were themselves found not to be irregular or in breach of SPL and SFA rules, but breach of disclosure rules required a penalty to be imposed on The Rangers Football Club plc, now in liquidation (Oldco).

In their findings, the Commission, headed by Lord Nimmo Smith, stated: “Rangers FC did not gain any unfair competitive advantage from the contraventions of the SPL rules in failing to make proper disclosure of the side-letter arrangements, nor did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible to play, and for this and other reasons no sporting sanction or penalty should be imposed on Rangers FC."

The Commission imposed a £250,000 fine on Oldco and this will not have any effect on the operations and activities of the Club and the company as they now stand.

Charles Green, chief executive, issued the following statement.

“On behalf of the board of directors at Rangers, I note the findings of the Commission. It is abundantly clear from the ruling there was no attempt by Rangers Football Club to secure any unfair advantage or to cheat, as so many people asserted without giving any regard to the actual evidence.

“I would re-iterate that at no stage have I, nor anyone now involved in the running of this club, questioned the integrity of the Commission members. What I did question was the creation of a process which some people had predetermined. Every Rangers fan will be delighted that the Commission refused to get carried away on this agenda.

“It is a matter of fact that people within the SPL wanted me, at first, to surrender titles as part of a deal to enable Rangers to play again as a member of the SFA. I rejected and resisted that suggestion and today’s decision vindicates the position of the Board and the supporters. In particular, I would like to thank the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund for their dedication and commitment on this matter.

“It is fair to say that there was, at one stage, a very unhealthy desire to press on with an investigation into this matter when cool heads and clear thinking was required. Instead, there was a frenzied atmosphere around Rangers caused by the Club’s insolvency situation.

"This issue could have and should have been dealt with by the board of the SPL rather than embarking on an unnecessarily grand and expensive process. At the end of the day I am left with the impression that this has been much ado about very little and a great waste of energy, time and money.

I think I speak for all Rangers fans in saying now, enough is enough. I have said before and will say again it is time everyone moved on. There are considerable challenges ahead for this club and Scottish football as a whole.

"That is where all efforts and energy should now be focused. We, as a club, will work with all parties who have the good of the game at heart. We are looking forward and I urge all Rangers fans to do likewise. We are rebuilding this Club and are making great strides. The dark days are over and it is time now for all to embrace our ambition for a brighter future.â€

Manager Ally McCoist said: “I am delighted in many ways by the decision today. As a former player, I know how hard it is to achieve success on the pitch and the suggestion that somehow Rangers sought to gain unfair advantage was deeply insulting to me and others who had worn the Rangers jersey with immense pride.

“I found the whole approach to this matter by the SPL utterly bizarre and misguided.

“Our fans will take great heart from this and hopefully now – after all that we have been through – there will be a widespread realisation that it is time to move on. Rangers have a huge amount to offer Scottish football and we have always been more than willing to do our bit for the good of the game.â€

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From STV:

Charles Green has reacted to the decision of an SPL commission to not strip titles from Rangers.

The chief executive said there was nothing for the club to apologise for following the verdict, which found the old company did not declare EBT payments in player contracts sent to the league.

A fine of £250,000 was imposed on the oldco, with Green's new company given no punishment.

The Ibrox chief executive also spoke of his decision not to agree to allow the league, Scottish FA and SFL to strip trophies from the club as part of an agreement to transfer the club's membership of the SFA from the oldco to the newco.

He also called for those responsible for suggesting title stripping to stand up and apologise to Rangers fans for prejudging the decision of Lord Nimmo Smith's commission.

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More from Ally McCoist on today's verdict:


Ally: We Are Vindicated


ALLY McCOIST says he is thrilled for the supporters and everyone who fought fairly and squarely to bring glory to Rangers after today’s verdict by the SPL Commission.

Even although everyone at Rangers knew there had been no attempt to gain an unfair advantage, there were fears that titles were under threat.

The manager, of course, was at the hub of three of those – the Championship successes of 2009, 20010 and 2011 as assistant to Walter Smith.

Now he feels a huge cloud had been blown away and Rangers can continue their recovery process after 12 months of turbulence and trauma.

Speaking exclusively live to RangersTV McCoist said: “I think the result of the Commission has totally vindicated the entire club and the playing staff throughout that period.

“We always felt and hoped it would be the case and it goes without saying that we are delighted with the outcome. We feel that common sense has prevailed thankfully.

“It’s been niggling away at all our minds for a long time now – and it has been the same for players and ex-players and certainly supporters.

 â€œIt was worrying because we always hoped for the right outcome but you never know.

“It’s great that we have some closure on it now.

“We were 100 per cent sure in our own minds that there had been no wrong-doing in terms of trying to seek an unfair advantage or to take it more bluntly cheat because that is the worst crime you can ever level at a sportsman.

“To have something like that levelled at you is pretty outrageous and I’m thrilled for all the fans, for the staff and all the players that a sensible outcome has been reached.â€

The manager reiterated the importance of Rangers’ victories in the last decade when he said: “These titles were won on the park. You set out at the start of every season to win the title and I think it was unanimous from every ex-player that I read in that they said there was no unfair advantage being sought during this period.

“I’m just hopeful we can out this saga behind us. We have come a long way but this cloud was hanging over us. Now it has gone and we can move forward.

“I have spoken to supporters who haven’t sleep at night - that’s how much it means to them.

“We take satisfaction with what we feel is the correct result but now it’s time for us to move on as a club.

“The recovery has started and we want to continue our efforts to get the club back to where we want to get to.â€

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