Rangers: Reaction to the SPL Commission ruling

Ibrox Stadium

The commission appointed by the Scottish Premier League to rule on alleged undisclosed payments by Rangers has delivered its verdict.

The financial arrangements under investigation concerned certain players involved in an Employee Benefit Trust scheme between 2001 and 2011.

Below are the main points of the commission's outcome and reaction from some of those involved.

  • Rangers will not be stripped of any of the five SPL titles won during the period in question
  • The company that formerly ran the club have been fined £250,000 for not disclosing payments to relevant authorities
  • The commission found that the 'oldco' management did not take professional advice on disclosing the payments
  • It was ruled Rangers did not gain any unfair competitive advantage from the contraventions of the SPL rules
  • The non-disclosure of the payments did not mean any of the registered Rangers players were ineligible to play
  • As the players were still eligible to play, no sporting sanction or penalty is to be imposed upon Rangers
  • Rangers' current owners will not be held responsible for any breaches made by the previous company

Rangers chief executive Charles Green

"It is abundantly clear from the ruling there was no attempt by Rangers Football Club secure any unfair advantage or to cheat, as so many people asserted without giving any regard to the actual evidence.

Rangers chief executive Charles Green
Green's consortium bought Rangers' assets in 2012

"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.

"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.

"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."

Rangers manager Ally McCoist

Rangers manager Ally McCoist
McCoist has led Rangers to the top of Division Three

"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 Supporters Association's John Macmillan

"I'm sure Charles Green and Ally McCoist are delighted that we're not losing the titles. And, after all, that was the main thing we were concerned about.

"I think the 'newco' have held their hands up and said 'yes, we appear to have had an administration problem here'.

"I'm led to believe there's only a handful of players involved, up to five, certainly no more than that I believe. It had nothing to do with evading tax or evading penalties.

"What I would like to see now is a line drawn in the sand."

Former Rangers chairman Sir David Murray

"The decision not to strip Rangers of titles is satisfying.

Sir David Murray
Murray stepped down as Rangers chairman in 2009

"The problems arising at Rangers brought no credit to Scottish football and have been a tragedy for the club and its fans. They cannot be condoned. Similarly, however, and as stated previously, efforts to bayonet the wounded are equally unjustified and of no benefit to the club or Scottish football.

"Despite knowledge of the existence of EBT arrangements for 10 years, the SPL has never explained why this was only raised as an issue last year.

"The imposition of an irrecoverable fine on an entity which is now in liquidation is futile and only prejudices the ability of existing creditors to recover any money.

"It is saddening that so much time, effort and money has been expended in pursuing a retrospective witch hunt against an entity in crisis, as opposed to seeking to promote and further Scottish football for the benefit of the game and country as a whole."

Former Rangers striker Billy Dodds

"This is from the past. You can't look at people and question people that are at the club just now; it's a whole new ball game.

Billy Dodds
Dodds played for Rangers between 1999 and 2003

"What has it got to do with Charles Green? What's it got to do with the guys who are backing him? What's it got to do with the playing staff there? Absolutely nothing.

"The Rangers supporters have been through enough.

"The players were worried but also quite confident to be honest.

"This is a country that looks to pick the bones out of everything. If Rangers had lost this, the fans would've been in uproar.

"Scottish football has enough to sort out just now with so many clubs in financial disarray. We have to move on."

Scottish Premier League statement

"The SPL board appointed the independent commission to consider all aspects of the above matter and at no point provided any direction to the commission on any aspect of the case.

"The SPL board notes that the commission has upheld a number of complaints against Rangers oldco and that Rangers oldco has been found to have breached SPL and Scottish FA rules over an 11-year period in relation to the non-disclosure of financial arrangements involving many of its players.

"The SPL board are assured by the integrity of the process followed and thank the Rt Hon Lord Nimmo Smith and his colleagues, Nicholas Stewart QC and Charles Flint QC, for their time and effort.

"The board wishes to give the detail of the decision further consideration at its next meeting."

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