Rangers owner Craig Whyte ‘is not considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a position within association football’, according to the Scottish Football Association following an independent inquiry.
Whyte took over the SPL champions less than a year ago, but saw the club plunged into administration last month.
The situation has led to real fears for Rangers’ survival, with two players having already left the club and the threat of further redundancies on the horizon.
An independent inquiry was recently set up to investigate Rangers’ plight and the findings were heard at a Special Board Meeting at Hampden Park on Thursday and will now be referred to the Judicial Panel.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan also confirmed that Rangers face a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
he SFA confirmed on 17th February – three days after Rangers went into administration – that it would conduct a full independent inquiry into the activities of the club and investigate whether there had been any potential breaches of their Articles of Association.
The football governing body said at that time attempts to obtain information relating to its “fit and proper person” requirement had been restricted by the club solicitors’ failure to share information.
Regan said in a statement: “I can confirm that the Scottish FA convened a Special Board Meeting at Hampden Park today to discuss the findings of the Independent Inquiry into Rangers FC, prepared by the Chair, The Right Honourable Lord William Nimmo Smith.
“Principally, it is the belief of the Board, taking into account the prima facie evidence presented today, that Mr Craig Whyte is not considered to be a Fit and Proper person to hold a position within Association Football.
“We will be writing to Mr Whyte in relation to those findings and shall seek a response within seven days.
“The report submitted by Lord Nimmo Smith, having been considered fully by the Board, highlights a number of other potential rule breaches by the club and its owner.
“The report will now be used as evidence and forwarded to a Judicial Panel for consideration and determination as per the protocol.
“As such, the report’s contents will not be published at this time. Nevertheless, I can confirm that the club is facing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
“Specifically, areas of potential breach to be considered by the Judicial Panel include: Obligations and duties of members, Official return, Financial records, Division of receipts and payment of expenses (Scottish Cup).”
Regan added: “We have sent a letter to the Rangers administrators, Duff and Phelps, advising them that failure to pay monies owed to another member constitutes a breach of the Cup Competition Rules.
“Consequently, the club faces disciplinary action unless they make payments due to Dundee United from their recent William Hill Scottish Cup tie.
“A Notice of Complaint has been issued to that effect.”
Rangers joint-administrator Paul Clark said: “We note the findings and announcement by the Scottish Football Association.
“We look forward to stating the club’s case to the Judicial Panel.
“In broad terms, we believe there are mitigating factors and we hope to demonstrate the distinction between the club and the actions of any individuals.”