Scottish FA charges Rangers and Craig Whyte over rule breaks

Rangers owner Craig Whyte

The Scottish Football Association has charged Rangers and owner Craig Whyte with seven breaches of its rules.

The club is charged with five offences and the former chairman two more between 6 May 2011 and 6 March 2012.

The alleged offences include bringing the game into disrepute and not acting in the best interests of football.

The hearing has been set for 29 March. It follows an inquiry by William Nimmo Smith that found Whyte "not a fit and proper person" to own a football club.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan warned when announcing Lord Nimmo Smith's findings last week that the club could be charged with bringing the game into disrepute.

And he said Rangers faced disciplinary action unless they paid money owed to Dundee United for a Scottish Cup tie at Ibrox.

However, Paul Clark of the club's administrator Duff & Phelps said he would "look forward to stating the club's case to the judicial panel", arguing there are "mitigating factors" and stating his intention to "demonstrate the distinction between the club and the actions of any individuals".

The notices of complaints issued to Rangers and Whyte allege breaches of rules concerning compliance with the SFA articles, insolvency, bringing the game into disrepute and "acting in the best interests of association football".

The rules alleged to have been breached are:

"Rule 1 (b): All members shall: (b) be subject to and comply with the Articles and any statutes, regulations, directives, codes, decisions and International Match Calendar promulgated by the Board, the Professional Game Board, the Non Professional Game Board, the Judicial Panel, a Committee or sub-committee, Fifa, Uefa or the Court of Arbitration for Sport;

"Rule 2: Each member shall procure that its officials, its Team Staff and its players act in accordance with Rule 1.

"Rule 14 (g): Full membership or associate membership may be suspended or terminated, or a fine may be issued, in any of the following circumstances:- (g) where a full member or an associate member suffers or is subject to an insolvency event.

"Rule 66: No recognised football body, club, official, Team Official or other member of Team Staff, player, referee, or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall bring the game into disrepute.

"Rule 71: A recognised football body, club, official, Team Official, other member of Team Staff, player or other person under the jurisdiction of the Scottish FA shall, at all times, act in the best interests of Association Football and shall not act in any manner which is improper."

Rangers: What next? BBC Radio 5 live, Monday 19 March, 1900-2100 GMT.