Gers and Whyte face SFA action

Chorley Citizen: Craig Whyte Craig Whyte

Rangers and owner Craig Whyte will have their disciplinary charges heard on March 29 after the Scottish Football Association's compliance officer processed the findings of the independent inquiry into the club.

Whyte has been issued with notices of complaint over breaches of two disciplinary rules, a week after he was ruled unfit to be a club official. Rangers have been hit with notices of complaint over five alleged breaches of rules, including failing to abide by SFA regulations over the 'fit and proper person' test.

The cases will be heard by an SFA judicial panel along with a previously announced notice of complaint over the club's failure to pay Dundee United money owed from last month's William Hill Scottish Cup clash at Ibrox.

The compliance officer has spent a week studying the findings of the inquiry team, which was led by former judge Lord Nimmo Smith, and awaiting any response from Whyte. It is understood there has been no response as of yet.

The club and Whyte have both been hit with two identical charges - allegedly breaching rule 66 by bringing the game into disrepute and rule 71, which decrees that clubs and officials should "act in the best interests of Association Football and shall not act in any manner which is improper".

The inquiry had already judged that Rangers should face disrepute charges on four counts - obligations and duties of members, official return, financial records and division of receipts and payment of expenses (Scottish Cup). Rangers have not submitted audited accounts, required by the end of last year.

The Scottish champions have also been accused of failing to comply with the laws of the game's governing bodies - specifically rule 10.2(g) of the SFA's own articles of association, which highlights club officials who have been disqualified as a director within the previous five years.

Whyte was disqualified for seven years in 2000 and did not declare this until November 31 - six months after buying out Sir David Murray's majority stake. A separate rule potentially breached states that member clubs shall procure that officials, team staff and players act in accordance with the above Rule 1. Rangers have also been accused of a breach in relation to their descent into administration.

Rule 14(g) states that membership may be suspended or terminated, or a fine may be issued, where a club suffers or is subject to an insolvency event. Although Whyte has been named in the charge sheet, individuals are not required to attend in normal circumstances as cases can be heard in their absence.

Whyte has divided his time between Monaco, London and his castle in Grantown-on-Spey in the Highlands since leaving Glasgow on the day Rangers went into administration on February 14. Rangers still await the outcome of a Scottish Premier League investigation into the alleged non-disclosure of payments to players since 1998.

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