Rangers hearing to begin in November


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The Independent Online

A Scottish Premier League-appointed commission is set to proceed with its inquiry into alleged undisclosed payments by Rangers.

A hearing will commence on November 13 and will continue if required until November 16, with additional dates of November 20 and 21 also allocated if needed.

The news came on the same day the SPL confirmed no action would be taken against rivals Celtic in relation to Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs).

The decision to proceed with the inquiry into oldco Rangers was made after all the preliminary issues were considered over two days of initial meetings.

The commission was appointed following initial assessment of EBT transactions to Rangers players from 2000 to 2011 under the previous Ibrox regime, which could breach SPL rules over declaring payments in contracts.

Rangers have already refused to co-operate and did not attend the initial hearings which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

A statement released by the SPL read: "The commission has considered all the preliminary issues raised in the list submitted by Newco and points raised in letters from solicitors acting for Newco and for Oldco.

"It has decided the commission will proceed with its inquiry in the terms of the Notice of Commission and will now set a date for a hearing and give directions.

"Oldco and Rangers FC, who are named in the Issues contained in the Notice of Commission and alleged to have been in breach of SPL rules, will continue to have the right to appear and be represented at all hearings of the commission and to make such submissions as they think fit.

"Newco, as the current owner and operator of Rangers FC, although not alleged by the SPL to have committed any breach of SPL Rules, will also have the right to appear and be represented at all hearings of the commission and to make such submissions as it thinks fit."

Charles Green's company bought the assets and business of the soon-to-be liquidated oldco Rangers in the summer and secured the club's Scottish Football Association membership but was denied entry to the SPL.

Green has claimed the SPL has no legal authority over his Irn-Bru Third Division club and has threatened legal action if SPL titles are stripped from Rangers.

In a radio interview this week, Green also claimed "more than two" SPL clubs have used EBTs but would "rather not say" who they were.

The SPL responded to those claims last night in a statement which read: "The Scottish Premier League notes the recent statement by Charles Green suggesting that a number of other clubs may have used EBTs.

"If anyone has any evidence that any SPL Rule has been broken by any club in relation to the use of EBTs, they should pass that evidence to the SPL or to the Scottish FA so that their claims may be investigated."

Following reports of an EBT being in use while Juninho was at Celtic, the statement continued: "Separately, we have seen reports regarding an EBT in relation to a former player of Celtic FC.

"The SPL has investigated the arrangements and documentation in that case and has determined that there is no evidence of any breach of SPL Rules.

"The SPL has therefore decided that no further action should be taken."