Celtic 'surprised' by Rangers commission ruling

 

Celtic have stated 'surprise' at the verdict reached by the Scottish Premier League-appointed commission on Rangers.

"We are surprised by the parallel conclusion that no competitive advantage was gained from these arrangements," said a club statement.

The commission fined the company that previously ran Rangers £250,000 for non-disclosure of payments .

However, the judgement ruled that no sporting sanction, such as removing titles, should be applied.

The Lord Nimmo Smith-chaired commission was set up to establish if Rangers had broken player SPL rules in relation to its Employee Benefits Trust scheme run between 2001 and 2011.

"The implications of this verdict are for the Scottish football authorities to address since the rules breached were specifically intended to defend 'sporting integrity'," the statement continued.

"We note yesterday's decision that Rangers FC has been found guilty of contravening the SPL rules on disclosure of payments over 11 years between 2000-2011.

"The scale of this amounts to a deliberate non-disclosure of £47 million in payments to players and staff."

Earlier, Celtic manager Neil Lennon was guarded over whether Rangers enjoyed a competitive advantage over alleged undisclosed payments.

"I believe they were found guilty of paying £47m over 11 years in non-disclosed payments," Lennon said.

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I don't want to take anything away from what my team and club are doing

Neil Lennon

He declined to share his "own views" on whether they enjoyed a competitive advantage.

"I will save that for another time," the Celtic manager added.

Asked if the Ibrox club should feel vindicated by not having titles stripped, he said: "They probably feel they've got their own way".

"It wasn't our fight, it was the SPL, they brought up the tribunal against Rangers, it doesn't affect us. We have the quarter-final to prepare for and we're playing Juventus in the last 16 of the Champions League, we're not renting out a training ground."

The Celtic manager added: "I don't want to take anything away from what my team and club are doing.

"The way we behave, the way we do our business has been impeccable and that's the reason why we are in the position we are in now."