Rangers hit with transfer embargo

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Rangers hit with transfer embargo

GLASGOW - Crisis club Glasgow Rangers suffered a fresh blow Monday when they were hit with a 12-month transfer embargo by the Scottish Football Association, as the SFA also issued a lifetime ban to owner Craig Whyte from any involvement in Scottish football.

The Rangers were also fined a total of 160,000 pounds ($257,984) while Whyte, who had already been deemed unfit to hold an official position by the SFA, was handed fines totalling 200,000 pounds.

The SFA said their judicial panel would issue reasons for their findings in “early course” while both parties have three days to appeal following receipt of those reasons.

But with Rangers in administration for more than two months and desperate for a new owner, it is the transfer ban which, according to their administrators, threatens to “seriously undermine the club’s efforts to rebuild.”

Administrator Duff & Phelps also slammed a “draconian” decision, saying the club had suffered a greater punishment than the controversial Whyte had.

The firm was called in on Feb.14 after British tax authorities went to court to seek payment of an unpaid bill of 9 million pounds built up since Whyte took charge at Ibrox in May.

But according to a report by the administrators released earlier this month, Rangers’ total debt could amount to 134 million pounds, with the 140-year-old club awaiting the outcome of a tax tribunal case that could cost them 75 million pounds.

Paul Clark, joint administrator, reacted to the SFA’s latest move by saying, “All of us working on behalf of the club are utterly shocked and dismayed by the draconian sanctions imposed on Rangers in respect of these charges.

“It appears that on one hand the disciplinary panel accepted our central argument that responsibility for bringing the club into disrepute lay with the actions of one individual - Craig Whyte - as is evident from the unprecedented punishment meted out to him.

“Given this evidence, it is difficult to comprehend the disciplinary panel has seen fit to .?.?. punish the club even more heavily than Mr. Whyte.

“As everyone knows, it has already been decided he is not a fit and proper person to run a football club and any further punishment on him will have little or no impact.

“However .?.?. a ban on signing players will seriously undermine the club’s efforts to rebuild. Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the club will react.”

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