Administrators angry at Rangers ban

Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps warned attempts to rebuild the crisis club had been seriously undermined by a 12-month signing embargo handed out by the Scottish Football Association.

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The punishment, which prohibits them registering any player aged over 17, came with fines totalling £160,000 following a three-day hearing by an SFA judicial panel last week.

Meanwhile, owner Craig Whyte was handed fines totalling £200,000 and was also banned from Scottish football for life, although he said he "couldn't care less" about the decision and had no intention of paying the fine.

The SFA said their judicial panel would issue reasons for their findings in "early course" while both parties have three days to appeal following receipt of those reasons.

Rangers vowed to appeal but the decision creates another obstacle to completing the sale of the club with the party apparently closest to a bid, American Bill Miller, having stated his offer was dependent on his new club receiving no penalties.

Duff and Phelps reacted with "utter shock and dismay" to what they labelled "Draconian" sanctions arising from the SFA's independent inquiry into the club's finances and appointment of owner Craig Whyte as chairman.

Administrator Paul Clark said: "The thrust of the charges against the club focused on non-payment of payroll taxes and evidence was produced that all such decisions in this area were taken by Craig Whyte during his tenure.

"Given this evidence, it is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively punish the club even more heavily than Mr Whyte."

Whyte was defiant when asked for his reaction to the punishment on him and Rangers.

He told Press Association Sport: "Tell me how it is going to affect me? I couldn't care less.

"It makes no difference to my life whatsoever - and good luck collecting the money."

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