Ally McCoist says SFA fine and ban could kill Rangers

Ally McCoist hits out at SFA saying fine and ban could kill Rangers

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UPDATED:

00:02 GMT, 25 April 2012

Ally McCoist has launched a ferocious attack on the SFA, insisting the transfer embargo imposed by the governing body could kill Rangers.

Found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute, an independent SFA judicial panel imposed a 12-month ban on signing players and fines totalling 200,000.

Owner Craig Whyte was also banned from holding further office in Scottish football.

Hitting out: Ally McCoist says the SFA transfer ban and fine could kill Rangers

Hitting out: Ally McCoist says the SFA transfer ban and fine could kill Rangers

Demanding that the anonymous members
of the judicial panel be named, however, the Rangers manager could
barely restrain his fury at the prospect of a takeover being delayed
further and claims he is now 'leaning towards' the club beginning next
season in the SFL's Third Division.

Potential owners Bill Miller and Paul
Murray's Blue Knights now seem certain to await the outcome of an
appeal before taking their bids forward, prompting McCoist to say of the
SFA verdict: 'Plain and simply, I think it is an absolutely shocking
decision. I found out the decision last night and I was shocked and
absolutely appalled by the way this supposedly independent judicial
panel was coming down on us in this form.

'Who are these people I want to
know who these people are. 'I'm a Rangers supporter and the Rangers
supporters and the Scottish public deserve to know who these people are,
people who are working for the SFA.

'Make no mistake about it, this is an
SFA decision. They have appointed the panel, so therefore they are
working for the SFA – but who are they 'I think we have a right to know
who is handing out this punishment to us, I really do.'

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan
defended his body's decisions in a statement, insisting Whyte was the
real villain of the piece. As Rangers fans bombarded the SFA by e-mail
and phone and planned a protest march from Glasgow's Queen's Park to the
steps of Hampden this Saturday, however, McCoist was having none of it.

'Like everyone else involved – our
team, our fans, our staff and a lot of neutrals – I am staggered at the
severity of the punishment,' McCoist told Rangers TV. 'This decision
could kill our football club, simple as that. Make no mistake about it.
This panel is not totally to blame for the death of our football club if
it happens, but this particular decision could kill our football club.

'You would hope there would be
sympathetic ears within the SFA over an appeals process, but you just
don't know what is coming next. It is complete and utter guesswork. In
terms of our supporters, again they have received another kicking and we
just feel it's time to start fighting back. You can guarantee we will
be fighting back.'

Defending the judicial panel system
after it was unanimously backed by the member clubs, Regan welcomed news
of a Rangers appeal and defended the integrity of the process.

'The judicial panel tribunal is an
independent body made up of three members appointed from a list of more
than 100. The sanctions imposed by the judicial panel tribunal last
night are subject to appeal.

Happier times: McCoist with Whyte before the club hit rock bottom

Happier times: McCoist with Whyte before the club hit rock bottom

'As the Scottish FA is the appellate
body, it is inappropriate to discuss the findings of this particular
tribunal at this stage. But I can fully understand the fear and
frustration felt by all Rangers fans throughout the most difficult
period in the club's history.

'The Scottish FA has a responsibility
to all its members and must implement its rules without fear or favour.
It was entirely right that the original inquiry into Rangers FC and
Craig Whyte was conducted independently and chaired by the Right
Honourable Lord Nimmo Smith. These findings were presented to the
judicial panel tribunal, who returned their verdict last night.

'It is important the Scottish FA, as
the governing body, works in association with the Scottish Premier
League and Scottish Football League to reinvigorate the national sport.
Rangers have been part of the fabric of Scottish football's history and
are integral to its future prosperity.

'The Scottish FA must act with
integrity and with the best interests of the game at heart. It is with
this in mind that we await any appeal from the club.'

Turning his fire on Whyte, Regan
added: 'We have noted the comments of Craig Whyte, which merely reaffirm
his failure to accept any responsibility for the condition the club
currently finds itself in. Suffice to say, he has been selective in his
use of facts.'

Rangers still face the prospect of stringent new rules regulating a newco company being introduced by the SPL on Monday.