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Gers fans now on 'final warning'
Published : 13 Nov 2009 09:49:24
The Gers endured a troubled day on Thursday with the release of a depressing set of financial results and the rejection of a proposal to allow the Old Firm to join the English Premier League. However, the £18,000 fine imposed by UEFA's control and disciplinary body - and the requirement to pay the cost of damage to the Steaua Stadium as a result of the improper conduct of fans during the Champions League match against Unirea Urziceni - was seen as something of a let-off. The Light Blues were fined £13,300 for discriminatory chanting and £9,000 for attacking their opponents' team bus during an away game against Villarreal in 2006. The following year they were fined £8,280 for fans' behaviour at a UEFA Cup game against Osasuna and it was feared that a more severe punishment may have been imposed for the most recent misdemeanour. Edgar said that while UEFA was correct to take into consideration the lack of organisation at the match, for which Unirea were fined £7,195, the Gers fans must not push their luck. "There is no room for any more bad behaviour," Edgar said. "We got the lighter end of the punishment scale but I think UEFA took into account the circumstances in Bucharest last week. "But we have to take it as a warning. "We can't keep being brought before disciplinary committees or one day we will get a serious punishment." The cash-strapped club, who are up for sale, posted financial results which showed net debt to June 2009 had increased by around £10million to £31.1million. Despite winning the Scottish Premier League, the Scottish Cup and reaching the final of the Co-operative Insurance Cup, the club showed a loss for the year of £12.7million, compared to a £7.2million profit for the previous year. "The figures were no surprise but it is a shocking indictment on the way the club has been run," Edgar said. "It is a poor state of affairs to have £30million of debt with a turnover of £40million and we have to make sure that, whoever the new owners are, it never happens again." One escape hatch out of the financial mire appeared to be closed when Premier League clubs overwhelmingly rejected a plan to allow Celtic and Rangers to join the English top flight. A proposed overhaul of the current Premier League, the brainchild of Bolton chairman Phil Gartside, would have seen the Glasgow giants invited into an English Premier League Two. However, the idea was rejected as neither "desirable or viable". Edgar insists it is now time to put aside, once and for all, the notion of moving to England. "It is never going to happen," he said. "Rangers and Celtic are Scottish clubs who play in the Scottish league and that is not going to change. "There is nothing in it for English clubs, turkeys are not going to vote for Christmas so we have to stop looking south. "The English clubs don't want us and we have to accept that." Scottish Premier Winner 2009/10 Win Outright: Rangers 5/4