Rangers: Conditional membership allows cup tie to go ahead

Ibrox Stadium

Rangers have been granted a conditional Scottish FA membership, which will allow Sunday's Ramsdens Cup tie with Brechin City to go ahead.

The relaunched Ibrox club have been trying to obtain the old Rangers' licence to play after the latter headed for liquidation.

But agreement between all interested parties, including the Scottish Premier League, had not been forthcoming.

The permanent transfer of membership is due to take place next week.

A joint statement on behalf of the SFA, SPL, SFL and Sevco Scotland Ltd - the company relaunching Rangers - read: "Following the completion of all legal documentation, the Scottish Premier League will conduct the formal transfer of the league share between RFC (IA) and Dundee FC on no later than Friday 3 August 2012.

"At this point, the transfer of Scottish FA membership will be complete."

Dundee have replaced the old Rangers in the SPL after the SFL agreed to place the new Ibrox team in Division Three.

But the new Rangers needed membership to play any competitive matches in Scotland and negotiations over inheriting the old club's licence were protracted.

The club agreed to incur punishments handed to the old club over disrepute charges, including a year-long transfer ban.

But issues relating to media rights and an SPL investigation into how the old Rangers paid players in the previous decade were holding up the process.

The key points of the joint statement are:

  • The Scottish FA has received all necessary information and documentation from Sevco Scotland Ltd, including details of the company structure, shareholders, financial projections and business plan
  • Sevco Scotland Ltd has agreed to accept all conditions relating to RFC (IA)'s charges of bringing the game into disrepute, namely the 12-month transfer embargo, beginning at 0.01a.m on 1st September 2012, and payment of all outstanding fines and costs
  • Sevco Scotland Ltd has agreed to settle all outstanding football debts to other members of the Scottish FA plus clubs under the jurisdiction of other football associations
  • The SPL and SFL have reached agreement on the purchase of a package of broadcasting rights which will allow the former to include The Rangers FC matches in contracts with broadcast partners
  • The SPL has reserved its position in relation to the on-going investigation into employee benefits trusts
Brechin City's Glebe Park stadium
Brechin's Glebe Park will host Rangers on Sunday

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "There were a number of complex and challenging issues involved but, primarily, the Scottish FA had to be satisfied that the new owners of Rangers would operate in the best interests of the club, its fans and Scottish football in general.

"In the months ahead, the Scottish FA will resume discussions on the subject of league reconstruction.

"We remain committed to this process in order to re-energise the national game and will work closely with the SPL, SFL and all other relevant affiliated bodies to provide a dynamic product appealing to our supporters."

SPL counterpart Neil Doncaster said his organisation "expect to be in a position to make a further announcement next week on broadcasting rights and the on-going EBT investigation".

Rangers chief executive Charles Green says membership "finally enables the club to move forward".

"The board has had to take some very difficult decisions to gain SFA membership, including accepting the delayed transfer ban and paying outstanding financial penalties," he said.

"There remains, however, an outstanding issue with the SPL regarding EBTs. As we have proved in the last couple of months we will stand up to any challenges that face Rangers and will continue to fight for the club's best interests."


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