17 Apr 2012

Rangers owner ‘will not attend disciplinary hearing’

As the Scottish Football Association begins a three-day hearing into alleged breaches of the rules by crisis-hit Rangers, owner Craig Whyte says he will not be there.

Rangers owner says he will not attend disciplinary hearing (R)

Rangers is in administration and is accused of failing to comply with the laws of the game’s governing bodies and bringing the game into disrepute.

Revenue and Customs says the Glasgow-based club owes almost £50m in unpaid taxes.

The SFA board has said that Mr Whyte could not be considered “a fit and proper person to hold a position within association football”.

Speaking from the south of France on Monday, Craig Whyte laughed when asked by Press Association Sport if he would be at the Hampden hearing, saying: “Not a chance. The SFA is a farcical organisation. The whole thing is a farce.

“I will absolutely play no part in it and I will have no representation at Hampden. I will have more to say about it all in the next couple of days.”


The hearing, which begins on Tuesday, follows Lord Nimmo Smith’s independent inquiry which ended with the SFA charging Rangers and Mr Whyte with seven breaches of its rules.

The SFA is a farcical organisation. The whole thing is a farce. Craig Whyte, Rangers owner

The SFA adjourned the original hearing on 29 March after Mr Whyte’s lawyers asked for more time to prepare a case, but the businessman failed to attend a procedural hearing on 6 April, which was set for him to “lodge a substantive response and for representations to be made as to state of preparation”.

Mr Whyte will be tried in his absence by the three-man judiciary panel if he fails to turn up or be represented.


He has not yet spoken to Bill Miller, one of the three bidders in the race to take over the club.

The US businessman is competing with former Rangers director Paul Murray’s Blue Knights consortium and a Singapore-based group headed by Bill Ng.

Rangers’ administrators Duff and Phelps were expected to name the chosen bidder last week, but claimed that the publication of Scottish Premier League proposals on sanctions for clubs going into administration and liquidation had caused interested parties to seek more information.

The proposed rule changes would see a Rangers “newco” hit with big financial penalties and 10-point deductions over each of its first two seasons.

Rangers and political interference - the MSPs. Read Chief Correspondent Alex Thomson's blog.

Mr Murray warned Rangers’ administrators on Saturday that time is running out to save the club from liquidation.

Mr Whyte said: “I have spoken to two of the bidders, the Singaporean bidders and the Blue Knights. But I have not spoken to Bill Miller and I have no plans to speak to him. He has not made contact with me.

“I am happy to have a conversation with him or anyone who is interested, but it is my understanding, through third parties, that they (Bill Miller’s consortium) want liquidation and that is no good for the club. But anyone who is named the preferred bidder will have to talk to me and thrash out a deal.”