Rangers' fans threaten protest campaign against SFA's 'shameful' punishments

Angry supporters ready to launch boycott ofleague sponsors over 12-month signings ban

The Rangers Supporters Trust has accused the Scottish Football Association judicial panel of trying to "cripple" their club as they consider a series of protests and boycotts. On Monday, Rangers were hit with a £160,000 fine and 12-month embargo on signing players aged over 17 after being found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances and the appointment of Craig Whyte as chairman.

Fans' groups will now consider protests including a boycott of the SFA's sponsors and the national team.

The club's administrators have warned the sanctions could seriously undermine attempts to rebuild, with the two interested parties still to submit finalised bids. Duff and Phelps also said they would appeal the sanctions.

A statement from the trust read: "This is a shameful decision that has been taken with the sole purpose of crippling Rangers Football Club. It is completely unacceptable and fans' groups will be meeting to explore how we jointly express our opposition to this decision in the strongest possible terms.

"This could include protesting at Hampden on on the day of the Scottish Cup Final as well as boycotting SFA sponsors William Hill, Carling and Vauxhall. All options are on the table and no Rangers player or supporter can credibly play in or support the national side until this ridiculous decision is reversed."

The trust also hit out at the timing of the SFA action. The governing body wrote to Rangers on 1 December, asking for clarification over Whyte's declaration 24 hours earlier that he had previously been disqualified as a director, a fact which emerged almost six weeks previously in a BBC documentary. The SFA announced it was launching a full independent inquiry on 17 February, three days after the club went into administration. The findings of the inquiry led to several charges against the club and Whyte, who has been banned for life from Scottish football and fined £200,000.

The trust statement read: "Despite calls to delay this action, the SFA persisted with this case while the club was not in a position to adequately defend itself and had the SFA done its job in the first place on Craig Whyte then this entire saga could have been avoided. Rangers supporters are appalled by this decision, which brings shame on the SFA and the national game."

The Rangers Supporters Assembly made a similar point: "Just when the club needs the SFA to help it... they kick us when we are down. Why did the SFA not investigate when they said they had suspicions before Christmas rather than wait until the club went into administration?"

Duff and Phelps, have requested an immediate expedited appeals process over the sanctions. David Whitehouse, the joint administrator, said: "The decision of [the] judicial panel is in our opinion quite extraordinary. Not only in our opinion do the panel fail to have properly apportioned culpability between the club and Craig Whyte, they appear to have rendered a penalty which could have a very detrimental effect on the ability of the administrators to achieve a sale of the business or a Company Voluntary Arrangement. This, in turn, cannot be in the interests of Rangers Football Club or Scottish football."

Administrators said news of the sanctions could delay further their attempts to named a preferred bidder to take over the club. The former Rangers director Paul Murray's Blue Knights have requested more time to finalise their plans prior to any announcement on a preferred bidder, while the American businessman Bill Miller had asked for written assurances that there would be no football sanctions next season.

Whitehouse, who fears the process could be hampered further by last night's verdict, said it had already been held up by the Scottish Premier League's plans to vote on Monday on financial fair-play proposals. He added: "The football authorities are fully aware that we are in the throes of an extremely complex insolvency situation. There has been widespread support across the political spectrum and in the football world for Rangers to be saved as a club and a viable business, and last night's decision can only hinder rather than help."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth: Would people co-operate to face down a global peril?

How to stop an asteroid hitting Earth

Would people cooperate to face a global peril?
Just one day to find €1.6bn: Greece edges nearer euro exit

One day to find €1.6bn

Greece is edging inexorably towards an exit from the euro
New 'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could help surgeons and firefighters, say scientists

'Iron Man' augmented reality technology could become reality

Holographic projections would provide extra information on objects in a person's visual field in real time
Sugary drinks 'are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year'

Sugary drinks are killing 184,000 adults around the world every year

The drinks that should be eliminated from people's diets
Pride of Place: Historians map out untold LGBT histories of locations throughout UK

Historians map out untold LGBT histories

Public are being asked to help improve the map
Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

Lionel, Patti, Burt and The Who rock Glasto

This was the year of 24-carat Golden Oldies
Paris Fashion Week

Paris Fashion Week

Thom Browne's scarecrows offer a rare beacon in commercial offerings
A year of the caliphate:

Isis, a year of the caliphate

Who can defeat the so-called 'Islamic State' – and how?
Marks and Spencer: Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?

Marks and Spencer

Can a new team of designers put the spark back into the high-street brand?
'We haven't invaded France': Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak

'We haven't invaded France'

Italy's Prime Minister 'reclaims' Europe's highest peak
Isis in Kobani: Why we ignore the worst of the massacres

Why do we ignore the worst of the massacres?

The West’s determination not to offend its Sunni allies helps Isis and puts us all at risk, says Patrick Cockburn
7/7 bombings 10 years on: Four emergency workers who saved lives recall the shocking day that 52 people were killed

Remembering 7/7 ten years on

Four emergency workers recall their memories of that day – and reveal how it's affected them ever since
Humans: Are the scientists developing robots in danger of replicating the hit Channel 4 drama?

They’re here to help

We want robots to do our drudge work, and to look enough like us for comfort. But are the scientists developing artificial intelligence in danger of replicating the TV drama Humans?
Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

Time to lay these myths about the Deep South to rest

'Heritage' is a loaded word in the Dixie, but the Charleston killings show how dangerous it is to cling to a deadly past, says Rupert Cornwell
What exactly does 'one' mean? Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue

What exactly does 'one' mean?

Court of Appeal passes judgement on thorny mathematical issue