Rangers launch legal action against SFA over transfer ban
Published: 25th May 2012 15:41:42
Rangers have asked the Court of Session to overturn a transfer ban imposed on the club by the Scottish Football Association.
Lawyers acting for the financially-stricken Ibrox club said the ban would cause them "utterly irretrievable" prejudice if it was upheld.
They claim the embargo is unlawful and outside the powers of the SFA tribunal.
The club's administrators are seeking to have the ban suspended in a judicial review.
The sanction was imposed on Rangers along with a £160,000 fine after it was charged with bringing the game into disrepute.
Richard Keen QC, acting for Rangers FC plc, said an agreement which saw senior players accept substantial pay cuts is due to expire next month.
In return for agreeing to the pay cuts, the players will be able to seek a transfer from Rangers for only about 25% of their perceived market value.
If the additional sanction was to remain in place for all or the material part of the transfer window the prejudice on the petitioners would be utterly irretrievable”
Mr Keen said the players would have "every incentive to go" because they would likely be able to secure a "golden hello" from buying clubs signing them for a knock-down transfer fee.
"If this sanction is in place they cannot be replaced by players over 18 years of age," he told the court, adding: "If the additional sanction was to remain in place for all or the material part of the transfer window the prejudice on the petitioners would be utterly irretrievable."
Mr Keen said an appeal tribunal held to review the original SFA decision had heard the suggestion that Rangers had a squad of more than 40 players. However, he said 25 of those players were aged 18 or under.
"If the additional sanction was to be suspended they would be able to sign replacement players for those who are in all probability leaving," he added.
Mr Keen pointed out that administrators Duff and Phelps were also seeking to finalise arrangements for the takeover of the club with Charles Green, a former Sheffield United chief executive.
"The indications from him are that he would be willing to proceed even if the additional sanction is in place", Mr Keen said.
"However, the preferred route for any resolution of the present difficulties is a CVA (company voluntary arrangement) and it is not clear all other creditors would take the same view of the company's prospects if the additional sanction was in place."
Administrators were called in at Rangers in February following an unpaid tax bill and the club was charged by the SFA for bringing the game into disrepute.
Mr Keen argued that it was not competent for the tribunal to impose the additional sanction on the club and that it was outside its powers.
He said that a fine, suspension, expulsion and termination of membership were available, but added: "The sanction of suspending the registration of players is not available under the general disciplinary rules to the tribunal in respect of an alleged breach.
'Suspension or expulsion'
"It follows in my submission that the purported additional sanction imposed by the tribunal and confirmed by the appeal tribunal was not a competent sanction and was not one available to the tribunal.
"My understanding is that those representing the SFA at the original hearing were as surprised as we were when the tribunal came back to impose such a sanction, or I should say purported sanction."
Aidan O'Neill QC, for the SFA, said the tribunal had sought to find a punishment or sanction which would fit the breach.
"They did not want to be in a situation of giving a sanction which is not effective and not dissuasive, or a disproportionate sanction - which is suspension or expulsion," he said.
He said it was understood within the sport that a transfer ban preventing the registration of new players was a sanction.
"We don't want a clunky reading of these rules which means either we have a useless sanction or a nuclear option. That is just nonsensical," he said.
Mr O'Neill argued that the tribunal had properly applied its mind to come up with what it considered to be an effective and proportionate outcome.
"This club brought the game into disrepute because it did not pay its taxes, among other things," he said.
The hearing is due to continue next week.
At 22:00:37 in EnglandThe man cleared of killing PC Keith Blakelock has said he would feel "angry and disappointed at the system" if he was a member of the police officer's family.
At 21:56:43 in BusinessA 19-year-old Canadian became the first person to be arrested in relation to the Heartbleed security breach.
At 21:55:17 in SportGloucester pair Tavis Knoyle and Sila Puafisi have been banned after being sent off during Saturday's 18-17 Premiership defeat at home to Bath.
At 21:54:33 in ScotlandA power cut has left large areas of northern Scotland without electricity.
At 21:51:51 in WalesThe remains of 19th Century country house that was gutted by a blaze more than 30 years ago has been hit by fire again.
At 21:51:03 in BusinessShares in Google have dropped 5% despite the technology giant reporting a first-quarter profit rise of 32%.
At 21:32:10 in EnglandA Royal Marine drowned during a training exercise in a "freak accident" when his boat was hit by a large wave and capsized, an inquest has heard.
At 21:29:58 in BusinessVirgin Media has apologised after some of its customers received hundreds of unwanted emails because of a distribution list error.
At 21:07:07 in SportSouthampton's new chairman says that key players will not be sold to pay off club debts.
At 21:05:39 in EnglandLetters revealing the friendship between the sculptor Henry Moore and his patron Sir Robert Sainsbury are to go on display for the first time.
Harvard CitationBBC News, 2012. Rangers launch legal action against SFA over transfer ban [Online] (Updated 25th May 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1430940/Rangers-launch-legal-action-against-SFA-over-transfer-ban [Accessed 16th Apr 2014]
News In Other Categories
With the doors to its brand new £1million training centre officially open, one of the UK's leading apprentice training providers, Bristol based S&B Automotive Academy, is showcasing its world-class facilities by launching a series of foreign student exchanges for the first time in its 41-year history. To get a flavour of what life is like as an apprentice in the UK, the Academy hosted 16 apprentice engineers and bus drivers from the G9 Automotive College in Hamburg, Germany, as part of a Europe-wide vocational training initiative called the ‘Leonardo Programme’ with support from the European Social Fund. In a reciprocal arrangement, S&B will be sending nine apprentices to Germany during February 2012 so that they can get an appreciation of life in the automotive industry on the Continent. A further three German exchange groups are being planned for next year. Designed to assist the development of vocational skills and training across Europe, including work placements for trainees, the Leonardo Programme has a budget of €1.75bn, which is helping to encourage UK organisations to work with their counterparts abroad. In what is expected to be another challenging year for employers in the UK automotive sector, S&B’s Chief Executive, Jon Winter, claims that the exchange initiative will bring many benefits to the Academy and its apprentices: “In a world of global automotive brands, it’s important for our learners to understand the international context of the industry they have chosen to make their career. This new exchange programme will enable apprentices and Academy staff alike to achieve a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities within the automotive arena in Europe. With the Academy’s influence also extending to the USA and Asia, there’s every possibility that this initiative could move further afield in the future.” Continued Winter: “The need for skilled technicians across the world is on the increase and we actively encourage our apprentices to look at broader horizons during their training. Many of them have already learned the phrase ‘Vorsprung durch Gelehrtheit’, quite simply, ‘Advancement through learning.” In the 2010/11 academic year, S&B doubled the number of successful Apprenticeships over the previous year with some 350 apprentices graduating from the Academy. At the same time, achievement levels reached an all-time high with an overall success rate of 85%. For those learners on the Advanced Apprenticeship three-year programme, success rates were even higher, at over 98%. PHOTO CAPTION: As part of their exchange visit, S&B Automotive Academy arranged for the German apprentices to visit Hampshire bus operator, Bluestar, at its Barton Park depot. The students are pictured with S&B’s Andy West (3rd right) and Steve Prewett, Bluestar’s Area Engineering Manager (2nd right). Ends http://www.sandbaa.com
A power cut has left large areas of northern Scotland without electricity.
Men prefer to watch film adaptations of books than read the original novel, according to a new study, which found the opposite is true for women.
The ebb and flow of men's beard fashions may be guided by Darwinian selection, according to a new study.
A 19-year-old Canadian became the first person to be arrested in relation to the Heartbleed security breach.
The veteran Labour MP Austin Mitchell has announced he will step down at the next general election.