More bad news for Rangers
Following the rejection of their appeal against fines and a transfer embargo, there is more bad news for Rangers. The Scottish Premier League (SPL) have got their legal team scrutinising every contract issued to players between 1998 and 2010 for evidence of non-permissible payments. Any sanctions imposed would transfer to any newco that was set up.
The SPL justifies its actions on the grounds that the rules are there and all clubs have to be treated equally. Nevertheless, the Scottish football authorities have been quite zealous in their pursuit of Rangers. Perhaps they think they have been made to look foolish by the way in which former owners have mismanaged the club.
On the question of the transfer ban, the appeal tribunal took the view that it was a proportionate sanction. They point out that it would not prevent Rangers extending the contracts of existing players or calling back players loaned elsewhere, pointing out that there were over 40 players in these categories.
However, this overlooks three considerations. First, because they agreed to reduced wages, the existing players, particularly the better ones, could choose to go elsewhere. Second, players sent out on loan are generally either players that have disappointed or development players. Third, transfers are the means by which a squad is refreshed or renewed for a new season.
Angry Rangers fans have suggested that steps that could be considered include not cooperating with the national team or withdrawing from the Scotish Cup as well as not going to away matches, depriving smaller clubs from an important source of income. However, such measures need to be carefully thought through as they could undermine sympathy for the plight Rangers fans find themselves in through no fault of their own.
More details have emerged of the consortium headed by venture capitalist Charles Green. Investors include Jude Allen from Indonesia and a Middle East lawyer, Mazew Hussami, who may well be acting on behalf of others. A Singapore family trust is also involved.
The administrators, Duff & Phelps, have attracted some criticism for the way in which they have handled the administration process. This has been reinforced by the leaking of a document issued by them to prospective investors which gives a relatively optimistic view of the club's recovery prospects, particularly in terms of its ability to get back into and progress in the Champions League.
However, the administrators can hardly be blamed for putting the prospects for recovery in the best possible light and any sensible investor (not that all of them appear to have been) would know they are taking on a challenge which will be an uphill struggle at first.