The Scottish Football Association yesterday said that the Rangers owner Craig Whyte was “not considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a position within association football”, following an independent inquiry.
The news came with the stricken club braced for large-scale redundancies today if a substantial reduction in wages cannot be agreed with the players. The SFA chief executive, Stewart Regan, also confirmed that Rangers face a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
On 17 February, three days after Rangers went into administration, the SFA confirmed it would conduct a full independent inquiry into the activities of the club. The governing body said at that time attempts to obtain evidence relating to their "fit and proper person" requirement had been restricted by club solicitors' failure to share information.
Yesterday, Regan said: "I can confirm that the SFA convened a special board meeting at Hampden Park to discuss the findings of the independent inquiry into Rangers FC, prepared by Lord William Nimmo Smith. Principally, it is the belief of the board that Mr Craig Whyte is not considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a position within football.
"We will be writing to Mr Whyte in relation to those findings and shall seek a response within seven days. The report submitted by Lord Nimmo Smith, having been considered fully by the board, highlights a number of other potential rule breaches by the club and its owner.
"The report will now be used as evidence and forwarded to a judicial panel for consideration and determination as per the protocol. As such, the report's contents will not be published at this time. Nevertheless, I can confirm that the club is facing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute."
Regan added: "We have sent a letter to the Rangers administrators, Duff & Phelps, advising them that failure to pay monies owed to another member constitutes a breach of the rules. Consequently, the club faces disciplinary action unless they make payments due to Dundee United from their recent Scottish Cup tie. A notice of complaint has been issued to that effect."
Meanwhile, the administrators will deliver "significant" redundancies among the Rangers playing squad today if there is insufficient progress in talks over wage cuts and a quick sale.
Duff and Phelps resumed talks with players' representatives yesterday after failing to finalise an agreement over wage cuts on Tuesday night, despite all players accepting cuts of up to 75 per centin principle.
The corporate recovery team have also been holding talks with potential buyers after moving to accelerate a possible sale.