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SFA: Clubs must assess owners
Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan has told Rangers' administrators - and other Scottish football clubs - they must take responsibility for carrying out a detailed and thorough investigation into any potential new owners.
The SFA members unanimously approved a resolution addressing the change of control at football clubs at Wednesday's annual general meeting at Hampden.
Outgoing board of directors will now be required to submit documentation confirming that due diligence has been undertaken regarding the prospective purchaser, with a change of control certificate to be lodged with the SFA before any sale is finalised.
The move is effectively an attempt to prevent a repeat of the ill-fated Craig Whyte tenure, after the Rangers owner was ruled not to be 'a fit and proper person' to run a Scottish football club in March. In February, Rangers were forced to call in administrators over unpaid taxes accrued since Whyte took over Sir David Murray's majority shareholding last May.
Speaking after the meeting, Regan said: "It effectively puts the onus for carrying out very thorough and detailed research on the outgoing regime, on those who are selling the club. It means we get greater disclosure, greater clarity, before that sale is finalised.
"As far as Rangers are concerned, the administrators, who are effectively the selling regime currently, will have to comply with the new Article. We will be expecting full disclosure from the administrators in regard to the information requested."
Charles Green is leading a consortium to buy the club and he has yet to disclose the identities of all those involved with the bid. Regan added: "It's important to stress that there is a difference between the directors of the football club, who will be clearly stated on the official return, and the investors, who are putting money in.
"We are here to govern football. We can have disclosure on people who are directors of the football club and essentially that's what the Article gives us the power to do."
Rangers are embroiled in a battle with the SFA over a 12-month transfer embargo imposed for bringing the game into disrepute. The Glasgow giants overturned the ban in the Court of Session last Tuesday and the issue has been sent back to the SFA's appeal process, which is set to comprise the same members as the original appeal panel.
Regan said: "As a board, we recognise the independence of the process and we will not interfere. There won't be and can't be any deals, as has been highlighted in the press recently. There is no need for guidance as such. In terms of the appellate tribunal themselves, they will deal with the matter as they see fit."
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