Rangers in crisis: Administrators blame Craig Whyte

Whyte must 'take blame on his own' for Rangers crisis, claim administrators

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UPDATED:

21:45 GMT, 28 March 2012

Rangers administrators will plead for SFA clemency by pinning the blame for the club’s mismanagement solely on owner Craig Whyte.

The Ibrox club will appear before a Hampden hearing charged with five offences of breaching SFA rules. Whyte, who retains the majority shareholding in the club, is also charged with two individual breaches following his takeover last May and could be banned from Scottish football indefinitely.

The charges follow the finding of an independent enquiry, chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith, that Whyte was not a ‘fit and proper person’ to run a football club.

Blame game: Rangers administrators consider Craig Whyte to be responsible

Blame game: Rangers administrators consider Craig Whyte to be responsible

While the discredited owner is not expected to appear in person, administrators Duff & Phelps will present signed evidence from former directors claiming they warned of possible consequences unless bills were paid and the club was run properly.

The aim is to prove that Whyte, rather than Rangers, should bear the responsibility for failing to meet their responsibilities — including the failure to pay Dundee United the outstanding sum of 61,000 for Scottish Cup ticket sales.

The other SFA charges concern breaches of compliance with SFA articles, entering administration, bringing the game into disrepute and failing to act ‘in the best interests of association football’ as a club and via individual officials.

Legal representatives for Duff & Phelps will claim, however, that there was a ‘clear distinction’ between the actions of individuals and the actions of the club. No decision is expected on Thursday.

On the field: Rangers beat Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday

On the field: Rangers beat Celtic at Ibrox on Sunday

Meanwhile, money raised by Rangers fans will be used to settle a debt owed to Dunfermline — but no cash will be forwarded to Dundee United.
The Rangers Fans Fighting Fund (RFFF) has raised around 250,000 and have agreed to pay 22,000 still owed to the Pars from ticket sales for an SPL meeting between the clubs at East End Park last month.

However, they have decided not to settle the 61,000 owed to the Tannadice outfit from the Scottish Cup tie.

Andrew McCormick, chairman of the RFFF, said: ‘It was agreed we should use some of the money collected by our fans to pay off this outstanding debt (to Dunfermline). This is a debt of honour to a club of honour.

‘Consideration was also given to using some more of the funds to pay off money owed to Dundee United. But that was rejected as there were strong views that, in recent times, Dundee United had treated Rangers and their fans with disdain.

‘Rangers fans were angry when Dundee United levied an extra charge on Rangers ticket holders if they wished to attend an abandoned game at Tannadice.’