Rangers Owner Whyte Receives Life Ban from SFA

By Community | April 24, 2012

The Scottish Football Association (SFA) have banned Rangers owner Craig Whyte for life from any involvement in Scottish football following a hearing into their financial affairs.

The club has also been hit with a 12-month embargo on signings.

The series of punishments follows a Scottish Football Association hearing into the crisis-hit club’s financial affairs.

Rangers, who went into administration earlier this year, have been fined £160,000 and Whyte – already deemed unfit to hold an official position in the game – was fined a total £200,000.

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.

Whyte, who failed to notify the SFA that he had been disqualified as a director for seven years in 2000, said he “couldn’t care less” when he was asked for his reaction.

“Tell me how it is going to affect me? I couldn’t care less,” he said. “It makes no difference to my life whatsoever – and good luck collecting the money.

“It’s a joke. It is very harsh on Rangers. I am surprised at how harsh the SFA have been on a club which is going through tough times at the moment.

“Stewart Regan (chief executive) and Campbell Ogilvie (president) should resign and get out of Scottish football.

“The SFA want to kick Rangers when they are down and I hope people remember that. They are playing to the media.”

In a statement, joint administrators of Rangers FC, Duff and Phelps, joint administrators of Rangers Football Club, condemned the ruling as “draconian”.

Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: “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.

“It is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively 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, for Rangers, a ban on signing players will seriously undermine the Club’s efforts to rebuild after being rendered insolvent.”

“Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the Club will react to these sanctions and what affect they will have on their proposals.”

Whyte was fined £50,000 for bringing the game into disrepute but a charge of not acting in an improper manner and against the interests of football was not proven and was handed three more identical fines on separate counts of failing to follow directions from an SFA tribunal.

Whyte, who has been told to pay his fines within 30 days, was also expelled for life from “any participation in Association Football in Scotland.”

by Ismail Uddin