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KING SANCTION MAY URGE SFA ACTION

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DAVE KING’S “fit-and-proper” status could be discussed at the next SFA board meeting after the Rangers chairman was sanctioned by the Takeover Panel for the way he took control at Ibrox in 2015.

The Ibrox supremo has been “cold-shouldered” for a four-year period, meaning UK financial firms are barred from acting for him on other takeovers.

The Takeover Panel insisted King had been guilty of an offence of the “utmost gravity” and that a lesser sanction, such as a public censure, would not have been sufficient.

It is only the FOURTH time such a punishment has been issued.

While it is applied only to King and does not implicate Rangers, the Ibrox club are obliged to inform the SFA. King’s sanction is not included in the issues mentioned under article 10.2 of the governing body’s regulations, although that list is “illustrative and not exhaustive”.

Approval of individuals included on a club’s official return — such as directors — is at the discretion of the SFA board.

King is confident the Takeover Panel ruling will not impact on his position — or Rangers — and released a statement saying his actions had been found to be motivated “solely for the love of the club”.

The South Africa-based businessman is also adamant he had no regrets about the method used to oust the previous unpopular regime at Ibrox.

King, in a Daily Mail report, said: “In terms of its practical impact, the ruling of the Hearings Committee does not impact upon my personal or business activities – including RIFC (Rangers International Football Club). ‘It applies solely to dealings in companies that are or are to be listed on the UK exchanges. For that reason, I decided — even though I consider I have strong grounds for appeal — not to appeal this ruling.

PENSIVE…Dave King and Paul Murray chat.

“This now allows myself, RIFC and its shareholders to draw a line under this long and much-protracted saga.

“Rangers supporters already know that my problems with the Takeover Panel arose directly as a result of the steps I took to protect and safeguard Rangers Football Club from the forces that were bent on destroying it at that time.

“Indeed, the complaint against me was initiated by the RIFC board at that time (chaired by David Somers) in an attempt to prevent my efforts — along with other notables — to bring about regime change.

“It is important to note that in its findings, the Hearings Committee found no evidence of detriment to RIFC’s shareholders and further noted that any non-compliance by me with the rules of the Takeover Panel was not motivated by financial gain or commercial advantage.

“My investment was motivated — to quote the Hearings Committee — ‘solely for the love of the club’.

“RIFC and Rangers Football Club are not affected by the Hearings Committee’s ruling and the ruling does not impact upon my position as chairman and a director of RIFC.”

King was deemed to have acted “in concert” with George Letham, George Taylor and Douglas Park to acquire more than 30 per cent of club shares in 2015. Legislation dictates that those holding such a stake in a business are compelled to make an offer to other shareholders to buy their stock.

Following a long-running legal dispute, King made an unsuccessful 20p-per-share offer to buy remaining shares in Rangers in March of this year.

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Editor

Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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