Bournemouth EchoSFA panel rejects Rangers' appeal (From Bournemouth Echo)

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SFA panel rejects Rangers' appeal

Bournemouth Echo: Ibrox Stadium Ibrox Stadium

Rangers have lost their appeal against a £160,000 fine and 12-month transfer embargo.

Administration-hit Rangers were hit by the sanctions by an Scottish Football Association judicial panel last month but had hoped to overturn the decision at Wednesday's appellate tribunal hearing.

But in findings released by the SFA, the club were told they had no grounds for reversing the decision.

The hearing, which was chaired by Lord Carloway and also included Spartans chairman Craig Graham and former Partick Thistle chairman Allan Cowan, heard the Ibrox club's representations through Richard Keen QC. The tribunal's full report will be published at a later date but it released several key points by way of summary.

They included the following observations: "It was competent for the disciplinary tribunal to impose the additional sanction of prohibiting registrations of any new players of 18 years or older for a period of 12 months.

"The disciplinary tribunal was correct to determine that the conduct involved - especially the deliberate non-payment of very large sums, estimated in excess of £13m of tax in the form of PAYE, NIC and VAT - was attributable to the club as a member of the Scottish FA.

"Although the Appellate Tribunal has listened carefully to the representations from Rangers FC about the practical effects of the additional sanction, it has concluded that this sanction was proportionate to the breach, dissuasive to others and effective in the context of serious misconduct, bringing the game into disrepute."

Rangers fear the inability to sign and register senior players for a full year would be debilitating to their on-field prospects, but the panel concluded that they had sufficient resources already at their disposal to remain viable.

"The appellate tribunal recognises that the disciplinary tribunal decision does not affect Rangers' ability to extend the contracts of existing professional players, including those whose contracts will expire at the end of this season and including also those currently on loan to other clubs," the statement continued.

"The appellate tribunal observes that Rangers FC have over 40 professional players in this category."

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