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Murray: No final agreement with SFA
Published : 20 Jul 2012 23:16:57
Rangers chairman Malcolm Murray has insisted no final agreement has been reached over the club's transfer embargo despite the Scottish Football Association's earlier announcement that the newco have accepted a 12-month ban.
Scottish football's governing body said Charles Green's newco - owned by Sevco Scotland Ltd - had agreed to a ban beginning on September 1 as a "primary condition" of gaining membership of the SFA, and therefore appeared to give Gers manager Ally McCoist the green light to add to his threadbare squad ahead of the embargo coming into force.
But in a fresh twist to the Rangers saga, the club this evening released a statement on the club's website saying: "Board members, the manager and senior executives from the club have been meeting with the SFA this week with the sole purpose of ensuring the long-term future of Rangers."
The statement continued: "For clarity, we have not signed any agreement yet and therefore believe the SFA's statement to be premature."
The embargo - plus a Â£160,000 fine - was handed down to Rangers by the SFA's independent appellate tribunal for a range of offences, chief among which was the club's failure to pay tax under former owner Craig Whyte.
The Ibrox club successfully challenged the ban in the Court of Session, who ruled the sanction was not open to the SFA, who referred the matter back to the tribunal.
Punishments available to the tribunal included expulsion from the game and termination of membership of the SFA, and the SFA said such sanctions persuaded the newco to accept the embargo.
"The Scottish FA can tonight clarify the position surrounding the outstanding appellate tribunal related to Rangers FC Oldco," the SFA statement read. "It has been agreed with Sevco Scotland Ltd that the registration embargo will be accepted as a primary condition of a transfer of membership."
Murray added: "It is important for everyone, but most importantly our fans, to understand that the SFA said it would only transfer the membership to play football if we accepted some form of additional sanctions for the sins of previous regimes," he said.
"The choice is stark - take sanctions or risk not playing football at all. We do not wish to gamble with the club's future so, under duress, we have taken the difficult decision to accept some sanctions in order to move forward. A delayed transfer ban would be a bitter pill to swallow and will only be agreed to if the alternative is no football."