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Craig Whyte, Rangers' Former Owner, Banned For Life By SFA And Fined £200,000

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Craig Whyte's May 2011 takeover has had disastrous consequences for the financially-stricken Gers | PA

Rangers Football Club's previous owner, Craig Whyte, has been banned for life by the Scottish Football Association from holding any position at a team north of the border.

The Gers have also been forbidden from signing players for 12 months by the SFA after they were found to have brought the game into disrepute during Whyte's era in charge of the club.

A judicial panel was convened to investigate the club's conduct during Whyte's tenure. Under his ownership they plunged into administration and Whyte was deemed "not fit and proper" to hold a position at a football club on 14 March.

Further punishments of fines totalling £160,000 for the Blues - payable over 12 months - and £200,000 for Whyte – due within 30 days - were also meted out.

Rangers said they were "shocked" at the fine imposed, labelling the censure "draconian", and suggested an appeal will inevitably be lodged by the club's administrators, Duff & Phelps.

Paul Clark, joint administrator, said in a statement: "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.

"It appears that on one hand the disciplinary panel accepted our central argument that responsibility for bringing the Club into disrepute lay with the actions of one individual - Craig Whyte - as is evident from the unprecedented punishment meted out to him.

"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.

"It is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively punish the Club even more heavily than Mr Whyte. As everyone knows, it has already been decided he is not a fit and proper person to run a football club and any further punishment on him will have little or no impact."

Already faced with a probable summer exodus, the impact of the transfer penalty on the Teddy Bears arguably makes the club less desirable for possible bidders for Whyte's 85 per cent stake.

Nikica Jelavic left for Everton in the January transfer window for a knockdown fee of £5.5m and has already scored eight goals for the Premier League team. Other players meanwhile had clauses inserted into their contracts when agreeing wage cuts after administration was confirmed in February.

Clark continued: "For Rangers, a ban on signing players will seriously undermine the Club's efforts to rebuild after being rendered insolvent.

"Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the Club will react to these sanctions and what affect they will have on their proposals.

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

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