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Rangers’ Charles Green called before SFA to answer over SPL commission comments

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The three man commission, which will be made up of Lord Nimmo Smith and two QCs, is investigating allegations that Rangers’ former owners used dual contracts to sign and reward players for over a decade.

Now the Scottish FA have charged Green with calling into question the integrity of the commission. A hearing has been scheduled for the 4th October. Green has until the 24th September to respond to the notice of complaint made by the SFA compliance officer, Vincent Lunny.

Green is alleged to have suggested in a media interview with BBC Radio Scotland, that the outcome of the commission investigating Employee Benefit Trust player payments from 2000-2011 and its sanctions had already been decided by the SPL.

The SFA compliance officer ruled that this breached the Scottish FA disciplinary rules, by ‘bringing the game into disrepute and by not acting in the best interests of football’.

The SPL independent commission ruled that it would continue with its inquiry, despite the boycott from Rangers and the next hearing has been set for 13th November.

After the announcement, Charles Green commented via the official Rangers website: “We made very clear in the statement that we made that we have never questioned the integrity of the panel. That is beyond reproach. What I do have an issue with is the fact that the SPL has relentlessly been pursuing a fixed and predetermined agenda on EBTs from the moment they realised that they would not be able to get Rangers back into the SPL without a fan revolt.

“Until that moment, the SPL were looking to trade SPL status for an admission of guilt on EBTs and a sanction of stripped titles. We couldn’t and didn’t give them that.

“You need look no further than the initial draft of the five-way agreement. There is reference in that to EBTs and the outcome was stripping titles, but if I make a statement that the SPL is pursuing a predetermined outcome then I’m bringing the game into disrepute. From the moment that SPL status for Rangers was off the agenda, we’ve been heading for stripped titles.

He added: “What I’m doing is using free speech to tell the fans exactly what has happened and I am now on disrepute charges for matters of fact. The words that seem to have upset the SFA so much are that ‘the SPL appoint the jury, set the outcome and set the punishment before the trial’ – those things are true and I stand by them.

“Whether or not the commission works to that agenda remains to be seen, but let’s be clear there was a predetermined outcome. If their chief executive and lawyers were drafting agreements that contained definitions of titles that would be stripped in late June/early July long before a commission was even thought about, how can anyone say they are not pursuing an agenda and a predetermined outcome?

“I would ask the SFA and the SPL to release the first draft of the five-way agreement put together by their lawyers to reveal all of the sanctions. Stripping of titles was definitely within that document. In terms of this commission, if the SPL agenda prevails then Rangers will be found guilty and being found guilty we will lose five titles.

“What I said before is that this commission is not independent because the SPL have set it up. Saying that they are not independent is not saying that they are not impartial. That’s what I have an issue with and I will make these points when I go to see the SFA.”

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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