Ex-Rangers owner Murray hits back

06 August 2012 05:17

Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray has denied cheating took place during his stewardship of the club after the Scottish Premier League appointed an independent commission last week to investigate alleged undisclosed payments to players.

Murray said: "During my stewardship of Rangers no rules were breached or circumvented and I reject and resent any suggestion that anything was done which amounted to cheating. I cannot be anything other than angered at the suggestion Rangers should be stripped of titles or other competition victories."

He added: "It would appear that the SPL is once again seeking to invest itself with a power of retrospective penalty beyond that prescribed in its own rules."

The commission will determine whether the club breached SPL rules in relation to Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) payments and arrangements for players between 2001 and 2010. One of the sanctions which could be faced by the Glasgow giants is the stripping of league titles, a punishment the club have said they would strenuously challenge.

Murray sold his majority shareholding in Rangers to Craig Whyte for £1 in May 2011, before the club was forced into administration in February of this year over an unpaid tax bill accrued during Whyte's tenure.

Failure to exit administration via a Company Voluntary Arrangement meant the club were consigned to liquidation, before a consortium fronted by Charles Green purchased the business and assets of Rangers. The Ibrox side will play in the Irn-Bru Third Division this season after SPL clubs rejected the newco's application for entry to the top-flight.

Murray said: "I have decided to issue this statement because of the concerns which I have at the continuing attempts to inflict further punishment on Rangers Football Club.

"While the "Newco" Rangers was rejected for membership of the SPL on the publicly stated grounds of sporting integrity, I would question whether this was the underlying motive for many who took this decision. I am not totally convinced by the explanation that they were reacting to the opinions of the supporters of their individual clubs.

"This, in my opinion, is a suitable answer to cover many other agendas. I applaud the decision of the SFL to accept Rangers for membership and respect the decision of the member clubs of the SFL to admit Rangers to its Third Division."

The SPL said they would not be commenting on Murray's statement for now, when contacted by Press Association Sport.

Source: PA