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SFA panel rejects Rangers' appeal

ESPN staff
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Rangers' 12-month transfer embargo will remain in place after a Scottish Football Association judicial panel rejected their appeal against the punishment handed down for financial irregularities.

The club were fined £160,000 and blocked from making any transfers for the next two windows by the SFA last month. And on Wednesday evening the club were told there are no grounds for appeal.

A statement read: "It was competent for the disciplinary tribunal to impose the additional sanction of prohibiting registrations of any new players of 18 years or older for a period of 12 months.

"The disciplinary tribunal was correct to determine that the conduct involved - especially the deliberate non-payment of very large sums, estimated in excess of £13 million of tax in the form of PAYE, NIC and VAT - was attributable to the club as a member of the Scottish FA.

"Although the Appellate Tribunal has listened carefully to the representations from Rangers FC about the practical effects of the additional sanction, it has concluded that this sanction was proportionate to the breach, dissuasive to others and effective in the context of serious misconduct, bringing the game into disrepute.

"The appellate tribunal recognises that the disciplinary tribunal decision does not affect Rangers' ability to extend the contracts of existing professional players, including those whose contracts will expire at the end of this season and including also those currently on loan to other clubs,'' the statement continued.

"The appellate tribunal observes that Rangers FC have over 40 professional players in this category.''

Administrators Duff and Phelps have suggested they could explore further ways of challenging the sanctions.

Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: "The decision by the appellate tribunal to uphold the sanction, namely the suspension of registration of players for one year, is not competent in the view of the club and its legal advisers.

"Such a sanction was not available to the tribunal and should not have been imposed and it is the intention of the club to challenge the determination.

"The club will consider seeking review of this most disappointing decision and it is a matter of regret that the certainty and finality Rangers sought on this matter has not been achieved. Everyone at Rangers is bitterly disappointed and dismayed at this outcome.''

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