Rangers' future in 'grave doubt' after transfer ban
Scottish club fined and banned from signing new players for 12 months
SCOTTISH football's crisis club Rangers has been banned from signing new players for 12 months and fined £160,000 after being found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute during the reign of disgraced owner Craig Whyte, who has been banned from Scottish football for life.
The administrators who were brought in to run the club in February have made it clear they will appeal against the ruling and described the sanctions as "draconian". The Daily Mail even claimed that the punishment "casts the club's hopes of survival into grave and significant doubt".
Meanwhile, Whyte, who was fined £200,000 as well as being banned from football, laughed off the penalties. "I couldn't care less," he said. "It makes no difference to my life whatsoever - and good luck collecting the money. It's a joke."
But he agreed it was harsh on the club he brought for £1 from Sir David Murray in May last year and put into administration in February.
He told the BBC: "It doesn't affect my life, I'm just disappointed what it does to Rangers. It's an outrage."
The Guardian reports: "The transfer penalty will have a clear impact on Rangers' search for new ownership. Despite having control of affairs at Ibrox since mid-February, the club's administrators are still to declare the preferred bidder for Whyte's 85 per cent stake.
"As well as being unable to sign new players, any new owner of Rangers will inherit a scenario where a clutch of first-team members can depart Ibrox for knockdown transfer fees this summer. Leading players had such contract clauses inserted when agreeing to take substantial wage cuts shortly after the onset of administration."
And according to the Mail: "A number of key first-team players already look certain to leave and, if [the transfer ban is] upheld, the club will be barred from replacing them, making the fielding of a team of youth players all but unavoidable."