9:34am Thursday 26th April 2012
© Press Association 2014
Rangers manager Ally McCoist has defended his calls for transparency regarding the Scottish Football Association's judicial panel and insists his comments were not a signal for fans to engage in threatening behaviour.
The SFA revealed on Wednesday night that Strathclyde Police have given security advice to the three members of the independent panel after their identities were revealed.
McCoist had demanded the trio be named after the administration-hit club were handed a £160,000 fine and a 12-month embargo on signing players for bringing the game into disrepute since owner Craig Whyte's takeover last May.
In a statement, McCoist said: "I would not for one moment want anyone to interpret my remarks as a signal to engage in any form of threatening behaviour.
"Such activity disgusts me and anyone who engages in it does Rangers Football Club nothing but harm. No Rangers supporter should get themselves involved in it - not now nor at any time."
On Monday, Rangers were found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances and the appointment of Whyte as chairman.
Speaking after the ruling, McCoist claimed the sanctions could kill the stricken Glasgow giants and demanded to know who had delivered the verdict. However, the SFA said that the three panel members in question had been subjected to "abusive and threatening communication" after their identities were "compromised".
Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps have already called for a swift appeal hearing and fear the punishment could further hamper hopes of naming a preferred bidder, with American tycoon Bill Miller and the Blue Knights still in the running to take over the club.
McCoist added: "Our focus has got to be firmly on ensuring that the club's case in appealing the sanctions imposed on us is put forward robustly and in the appropriate manner. Rangers Football Club was a victim of what happened during the tenure of Craig Whyte. The club was not an accomplice, a co-conspirator nor a perpetrator of wrongdoing.
"We suffered from it and still are. I hope that our appeal can be dealt with by the SFA as quickly as possible as the situation for the club and the possible ramifications for Scottish football are very serious."
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