Green in the clear

04 October 2012 05:19

The Scottish Football Association's judicial panel has delivered a verdict of not proven after Rangers chief executive Charles Green was accused of bringing the game into disrepute and failing to act in the best interests of football.

Green faced the two charges after allegedly questioning the integrity of an independent commission appointed by the Scottish Premier League, which will determine whether oldco Rangers broke rules in relation to alleged undisclosed payments to players.

He welcomed the outcome of Thursday's meeting at Hampden, saying: "I am pleased the judicial panel accepted that I had not brought the game into disrepute."

Green declared his club would take no part in the "fundamentally misconceived" process in a lengthy statement issued on September 10, days before the commission was due to hold procedural hearings.

The Ibrox chief questioned the independence of the three-man panel, which is chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith and includes two QCs, and threatened legal action if SPL titles are stripped from Rangers.

The commission, which will reconvene on November 13, was appointed following initial assessment of Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) transactions to Rangers players from 2000 to 2011, which could breach SPL rules over declaring payments in contracts.

Green said at the time: "Although the SPL goes to great lengths to emphasise the independence of its commission, the commission is not independent of the SPL. It has been appointed by the SPL. It follows SPL rules and its process is managed by SPL staff. I don't question the impartiality of the individual panel members but whatever decision they reach is a decision of the SPL."

In a statement released on Thursday, Green said: "What I said, I said in good faith and I was speaking up for the interests of Rangers. To be critical of the SPL's handling of the EBT issue does not mean that I am showing disrespect for the game and that view appears to have been shared by the judicial panel.

"It is my hope that we can all move on and start working constructively for the good of the game.

"The creation of the EBT Commission by the SPL following the events of the summer and the club's attempts at constructive discussion has been particularly difficult for those of us who are new to Rangers and are trying to rebuild the club. It appears for all the world to be yet another obstacle being placed in our path as we try to rebuild a great Scottish sporting institution."

Source: PA