Rangers handed 12-month transfer ban by Scottish FA

Rangers have been hit with a 12-month transfer embargo, while owner Craig Whyte has been banned for life from any involvement in Scottish football.

The Scottish Football Association also fined the Glasgow club, who are in administration, £160,000.

Whyte, who was charged with not being a fit and proper person to be a director, faces fines of £200,000.

"It doesn't affect my life, I'm just disappointed what it does to Rangers. It's an outrage," Whyte told BBC Sport.

He was charged with three different rule breaches and found guilty of two, with the other "not proven".  Rangers were charged with six breaches, with five guilty verdicts and one "not proven".

Rangers in administration

  • Process began on 14 February
  • Club deducted 10 SPL points
  • Players and management agreed wage cuts to enable season's fixtures to be fulfilled
  • Deadline for securing Uefa licence was missed but club have applied to play in Europe next season
  • Celtic confirmed as SPL champions on 7 April
  • Rangers eight points clear of third-place Motherwell with five games to play

The transfer embargo means they can only sign players under the age of 18 for the next year.

Rangers received the embargo and £100,000 fine for breaching rule 66 - bringing the game into disrepute.

A £50,000 fine was handed out for going into administration and £10,000 for failing to ensure that Whyte acted within rules concerning fit and proper officials.

The Gers chairman failed to notify the SFA that he had been disqualified as a director for seven years in 2000.

The club were also found guilty of acting in an improper manner/against the best interests of football and also of failing to pay Dundee United gate receipts from their Scottish Cup meeting. They were "censured" on both counts.

Whyte was fined £50,000 for bringing the game into disrepute but a charge of acting in an improper manner and against the interests of football was not proven.

He was handed three more identical fines on separate counts of failing to follow directions from an SFA tribunal.

Fans reacted angrily, with the Rangers Supporters' Trust tweeting:  "Why punish the club more than the man responsible?"

Analysis

"The transfer embargo will come very close to crippling the club. It's very difficult to see what consequence this can have other than pushing the club right to the brink."

On Whyte, the trust tweeted:  "We will never forget the way you have tried to destroy our club."

An SFA panel had met on Friday, with Whyte refusing to appear, but they delayed an announcement until this week.

The SFA adjourned the original hearing on 29 March after Whyte's lawyers asked for more time to prepare a case but the owner failed to attend a procedural hearing on 6 April set for him to "lodge a substantive response and for representations to be made as to state of preparation".

Administrators Duff & Phelps have been running the Scottish Premier League club since 14 February.

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

Whyte added: "It's a joke, a complete joke. They've never spoken to me.

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We do not know how bidders for the club will react to these sanctions

Administrators Duff & Phelps

"[Chief executive] Stewart Regan and [president] Campbell Ogilvie had dinner with me in November and they told me it wouldn't be a problem.

"Now they're just reacting to all of the publicity since February.

"Rangers fans can see where the SFA are coming from. We're Scotland's biggest club. They should be helping us, not kicking us when we're down. Rangers fans will remember this for a long time."

Asked whether the SFA could force him to pay the fine, he added: "Of course they can't. It's farcical."

A statement from Rangers' joint administrator Paul Clark, of Duff & Phelps, read: "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.

"During this hearing, the club produced compelling evidence from a number of sources that, following his takeover, Craig Whyte ran the club in a thoroughly unaccountable manner, rather than adhering to a long-established and proper form of corporate governance.

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

Earlier on Monday, the administrators said they had yet to receive an offer for the club that would enable them to name a preferred bidder.

They added: "We do not know how bidders for the club will react to these sanctions and what effect they will have on their proposals.

"The club has asked for full written reasons for these decisions and intend to appeal against the findings."