Rangers will not play football this season unless they accept signing ban

Rangers’ prospects of playing in Scottish football this season remain uncertain because of a stand-off between the Scottish FA and the club’s owners.

According to reports, Sevco Scotland – led by Charles Green – is currently unwilling to accept the re-imposition of a 12-month signing embargo, originally placed upon the club by the governing body on May 11.

The Scottish FA has made clear it will only transfer Rangers’ membership to the new company if it either agrees to the imposition of the registration ban or elects to again go before the governing body’s appellate tribunal.

Lord Glennie previously ruled in a hearing at a Court of Session that the Scottish FA had acted outwith its powers in imposing the ban on the Ibrox club.

The court ordered the Scottish FA to reconvene its appellate tribunal to impose a different sanction from its rule book, but this is currently on hold until Sevco chief executive Mr Green either accepts the original punishment or demands an alternative by forcing the tribunal to sit again.

The two parties must reach an agreement before Rangers’ season starts in 12 days time. Ally McCoist’s side are due to play a Ramsdens Cup tie away to Brechin City on July 28.

If the newco owners, who bought over Rangers’ assets in a £5.5m deal, refuse the proposal, the governing body will be left one further option involving the transfer of membership.

It could transfer the membership but allow its appellate tribunal to reconvene, leaving open the possibility of Rangers either being suspended from the game for an indefinite period or being thrown out of the game altogether.

The sanctions available to the panel are unlikely to be palatable to the club, as they include the potential suspension or expulsion of the club from the Scottish game, as well as possible ejection from the Scottish Cup.

Should Sevco refuse to meet the Scottish FA’s demands, it will be forced to apply for a completely new membership not tied to the former club.

Should those conditions be declined by Mr Green’s company, the Scottish FA will refuse to transfer the membership and, as the newco does not meet the necessary requirements, Rangers will not play professional football in Scotland for at least the next year.

If the company led by Mr Green accepts the imposition of the signing ban, Rangers will take up a place as an associate member of the Scottish Football League and will play in the Third Division this season. Clubs must have membership of the national association to play in a league.

The Scottish FA also want Mr Green to agree to pay all outstanding football debt as another condition of the membership being transferred. It is also insisting on the new company taking responsibility for any sanctions later imposed by the Scottish Premier League following its investigation into alleged non-contractual payments to players.

At a meeting on Monday, Sevco chief executive Mr Green told Ibrox employees there would be a “staffing review” following the decision of the Scottish Football League to place the club in the Third Division for the 2012/13 season.