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Rangers FC administrators hit back at SFA

DUFF & PHELPS administrators to Rangers FC have hit back at the Scottish Football Association over its decision to fine the club £160,000 and slap it with a 12 month transfer embargo for entering into administration.

The administrators have claimed the decision is “quite extraordinary” and will “hinder” any future sale process they are trying to achieve.

Last night the SFA announced it would charge Rangers FC £160,000 for failing to observe statutes and directives (£10,000), entering into an insolvency process (£50,000) and for bringing the game into disrepute (£100,000). It has also issued the club with a 12 month transfer embargo on anyone over the age of 19.

Paul Clark and David Whitehouse, both partners at Duff & Phelps, were appointed on 14 February.

Whitehouse said he was not sure whether the judgement was lawful. This is the first time a club has been fined for entering insolvency proceedings.

“We are unsure as to whether the judicial panel fully understood or considered the commercial impact upon both the Club and Scottish Football of these measures, nor are we satisfied at this stage as to whether these sanctions are indeed lawful,” he said.

“The decision of last night’s judicial panel is in our opinion quite extraordinary. Not only in our opinion do the panel fail to have properly apportioned culpability between the Club and Craig Whyte, [majority owner of the club] they appear to have rendered a penalty which could have a very detrimental effect on the ability of the administrators to achieve a sale of the business.

“This, in turn, cannot be in the interests of Rangers Football Club or Scottish football in general.”

He also likened the decision to enforce a transfer embargo to an administrator of a collapsed company trying to sell the business on without it being able to buy stock for a year.

A source close to the case confirmed the administrators would appeal the landmark decision with the expectation that the case would be heard as early as next week. 

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