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Rangers SFA hearing adjourned
The Scottish Football Association have adjourned their hearing into Craig Whyte and Rangers after Whyte's lawyers asked for more time to prepare a case.
The hearing, which was to take place in front of a three-man judiciary panel at Hampden on Thursday, followed Lord Nimmo Smith's independent inquiry which ended with the SFA charging the administration-hit Ibrox club and owner Whyte with seven breaches of its rules.
The club is charged with five offences, including failing to abide by SFA regulations over the 'fit and proper person's test, and Whyte, ruled unfit by the SFA to be a club official, with two more. Rangers claim there are mitigating factors and will hope to persuade the panel to distinguish between the actions of one man and the actions of the club.
The SFA released a statement which read: "At today's Judicial Panel Tribunal at Hampden Park, representatives for Mr Craig Whyte submitted a request by letter for further time to prepare their response to alleged breaches of the Scottish FA disciplinary rules.
"The panel adjourned the hearing, with three days set aside for both Mr Whyte and Rangers FC to attend on April 17, 18 and 20. A procedural hearing has also been assigned for April 6 for Mr Whyte to lodge a substantive response and for representations to be made as to state of preparation."
A statement released by Paul Clark, of Duff and Phelps, said: "We are disappointed the hearing has been adjourned.
"The club's legal representatives were ready to make the club's case today which in essence is that there are extenuating and unprecedented circumstances in this case and we hope to demonstrate the distinction between the actions of the club and the actions of individuals.
"We look forward to making our case at the earliest opportunity."
Rangers and Whyte have both been hit with two identical charges - allegedly breaching rule 66 by bringing the game into disrepute and rule 71, which decrees that clubs and officials should "act in the best interests of Association Football and shall not act in any manner which is improper".
The inquiry had already judged that Rangers should face disrepute charges on four counts - obligations and duties of members, official return, financial records, and division of receipts and payment of expenses (Scottish Cup). Rangers have not submitted audited accounts, required by the end of last year.
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