SANCTIONS COULD 'KILL' CLUB - McCOIST

Ally McCoist says sanctions imposed by the SFA's judicial panel could "kill" Rangers.

Last Updated: 24/04/12 at 19:27 Post Comment   

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Ally McCoist: 'Shocked and absolutel

Ally McCoist: 'Shocked and absolutel

Rangers manager Ally McCoist has claimed that sanctions imposed by the Scottish Football Association's judicial panel could "kill" the club.

The Glasgow giants were hit with a £160,000 fine and 12-month embargo on signing players aged over 17 after being found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances and the appointment of Craig Whyte as chairman.

Administrators Duff and Phelps have requested an immediate expedited appeals process, saying the punishment could further hamper their hopes of naming a preferred bidder.

McCoist fears the SFA sanctions could prove to be the fatal blow to the stricken club's hopes of survival.

He told www.RangersTV.tv: "Plain and simply, I think it is an absolutely shocking decision. Like everyone else involved - our team, our supporters, our staff and a lot of neutrals - I am staggered at the severity of the punishment.

"This decision could kill our football club, simple as that. Make no mistake about it.

"This panel is not totally to blame for the death of our football club, if it happens, but this particular decision could kill our football club.

"You would hope there would be sympathetic ears within the SFA over an appeals process, but you just don't know what is coming next. It is complete and utter guesswork."

McCoist also called for the three members of the judicial panel tribunal to be named, while claiming the SFA must share responsibility for the verdict with the independent body.

He said: "I was shocked and absolutely appalled by the way this supposedly independent judicial panel was coming down on us in this form. Who are these people? I want to know who these people are.

"I'm a Rangers supporter and the Rangers supporters and the Scottish public deserve to know who these people are, people who are working for the SFA.

"Make no mistake about it, this is an SFA decision. They have appointed the panel so therefore they are working for the SFA, but who are they?

"I think we have a right to know who is handing out this punishment to us, I really do."

The Ibrox boss added: "In terms of our supporters, again they have received another kicking and we just feel it's time to start fighting back.

"You can guarantee we will be fighting back."The Scottish Premier League are set to meet on Monday to vote on financial fair play proposals relating to clubs in administration and clubs who face the prospect of liquidation.

And McCoist admits, as a result of tougher sanctions which could be imposed by both the SFA and the SPL, he is now more open to the idea of a 'newco' Rangers playing in the Irn-Bru Third Division, rather than re-applying to the top-flight.

He said: "Some fans have been suggesting this and I am leaning towards it myself.

"Make no mistake about it, it would be an unbelievably drastic measure and it will have an incredible impact on Scottish football - and not for the good.

"But if they are going to continue to impose sanctions on us and make things extremely difficult for us to defend ourselves then maybe, just maybe, it might be the right thing.

"We are hanging by our fingertips. We're really at the do-or-die stage and I can't reinforce that opinion enough.

"This is unbelievably serious. We do not have any time and we now have a problem where we must appeal this but that again is going to take time which we don't have."

McCoist also wants answers over outstanding issues relating to Whyte's takeover of the club last May, which was completed with the help of money from investment firm Ticketus, which was used to clear bank debt.

He added: "The people within the club - the supporters and the staff - deserve answers and I believe there is a police inquiry going on into the purchase of our football club.

"As a supporter, I want to know about that. I want to know the results of the inquiry and about the dealings with Ticketus, Craig Whyte and Lloyds Bank.

"I certainly want to know about the dealings with one or two members of the previous board and what their involvement was.

"We need answers, we deserve answers and it's time we got them."Rangers received their registration embargo and a £100,000 fine for bringing the game into disrepute, a charge which appears to relate to unpaid taxes accrued since Whyte took control of the club.

His withholding of tax payments sparked Rangers' descent into administration in February, with the bill now more than £14million.

McCoist is furious Rangers are being punished for what he claims are the actions of one individual, with Whyte indicating last night he has no intention of paying his own fine.

McCoist said: "I think Mr Whyte had been fined £200,000.

"Call me an old cynic but I would like a phone call from Mr Regan (SFA chief executive) when he receives it.

"He has also been banned for life from being involved in any Scottish football club.

"Again, call me an old cynic but I don't think he will be taking any sleeping pills to get to sleep tonight.

"We are suffering from the actions of an individual - the playing staff, the workforce within this great football club.

"That's the reason we are being punished - there is no other reason.

"It seems as though the non-payment of PAYE is the main bone of contention.

"None of us were aware that this was not being paid, everyone was stunned when we learned this.

"Deductions were made from the salaries of everyone at the club and no-one at the club did anything wrong, to my knowledge.

"But we have been made to suffer for it - it's an incredible situation.

"There are already one or two nails in our coffin - through no fault of this judicial panel and indeed the SFA - but this might be the final one."

Rangers' administrators warned the SFA that the sanctions could have a detrimental effect on Scottish football as a whole.

Duff and Phelps claim news of the punishment could delay further their attempts to named a preferred bidder to take over the administration-hit club, with American businessman Bill Miller and the Blue Knights both still in the running.

David Whitehouse, joint administrator, said: "We have today written to the chief executive of the Scottish Football Association requesting an immediate expedited appeals process over the sanctions imposed on Rangers by the Association's judicial panel last night.

"The decision of last night's judicial panel is in our opinion quite extraordinary.

"Not only in our opinion do the panel fail to have properly apportioned culpability between the club and Craig Whyte, they appear to have rendered a penalty which could have a very detrimental effect on the ability of the administrators to achieve a sale of the business or a Company Voluntary Arrangement.

"This, in turn, cannot be in the interests of Rangers Football Club or Scottish football in general."

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said: "The sanctions imposed by the judicial panel tribunal last night are subject to appeal.

"As the Scottish FA is the appellate body, it is inappropriate to discuss the findings of this particular tribunal at this stage.

"I can fully understand the fear and frustration felt by all Rangers fans throughout the most difficult period in the club's history.

"The Scottish FA has a responsibility to all its members and must implement its rules without fear or favour."

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