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Start date set for Rangers hearing

12 Sep 2012 16:38:00

Start date set for Rangers hearing

A SPL-appointed commission has set a date of November 13 for a hearing regarding alleged undisclosed payments by Rangers to commence.

The commission will proceed with its inquiry after considering all the preliminary issues over two days of initial meetings.

The three-man panel was appointed following initial assessment of Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) transactions to Rangers players from 2000 to 2011 under the previous Ibrox regime, which could breach SPL rules over declaring payments in contracts.

Rangers have already refused to co-operate and did not attend the initial hearings which took place on Tuesday and Wednesday.

The hearing will continue from day to day as required until November 16, with additional dates of November 20 and 21 also allocated should any further continuation be required.

Solicitors for the SPL have been directed to lodge any additional documents, together with an outline argument and a list of witnesses, by 4pm on October 19.

Oldco and Newco Rangers have been told to lodge their own documents, outline argument and a list of witnesses by 4pm on November 1.

A statement released by the SPL read: "The commission has considered all the preliminary issues raised in the list submitted by Newco and points raised in letters from solicitors acting for Newco and for Oldco.

"It has decided the commission will proceed with its inquiry in the terms of the Notice of Commission and will now set a date for a hearing and give directions.

"Oldco and Rangers FC, who are named in the Issues contained in the Notice of Commission and alleged to have been in breach of SPL rules, will continue to have the right to appear and be represented at all hearings of the commission and to make such submissions as they think fit.

"Newco, as the current owner and operator of Rangers FC, although not alleged by the SPL to have committed any breach of SPL Rules, will also have the right to appear and be represented at all hearings of the commission and to make such submissions as it thinks fit."

Charles Green's company bought the assets and business of the soon-to-be liquidated oldco Rangers in the summer and secured the club's Scottish Football Association membership but was denied entry to the SPL.

In a lengthy statement released earlier this week, the Ibrox chief executive claimed the SPL had no legal authority over his Irn-Bru Third Division club.

Green also 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.

In the statement, he said: "The club ceased to be subject to the SPL's rules when it was ejected from its league.

"Our lawyers have made that point repeatedly to the SPL in correspondence and yet our requests for an explanation from the SPL have been completely ignored. The SPL's silence on these issues is deafening.

"The outcome of the SPL's process will have no legal effect."

In a radio interview this week, Green also claimed "more than two" SPL clubs have used EBTs but would "rather not say" who they were.

The SPL tonight responded to those claims, while confirming no action will be taken against Celtic amid reports of an EBT being in use while Juninho was at the club.

A statement from the SPL read: "The Scottish Premier League notes the recent statement by Charles Green suggesting that a number of other clubs may have used EBTs.

"If anyone has any evidence that any SPL Rule has been broken by any club in relation to the use of EBTs, they should pass that evidence to the SPL or to the Scottish FA so that their claims may be investigated.

"Separately, we have seen reports regarding an EBT in relation to a former player of Celtic FC.

"The SPL has investigated the arrangements and documentation in that case and has determined that there is no evidence of any breach of SPL Rules.

"The SPL has therefore decided that no further action should be taken."


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