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Rangers boss Ally McCoist hits out at Scottish Football Association after transfer embargo decision

Updated: Saturday, 21 Jul 2012 15:57 | Comments

Ally McCoist said that he would never accept talk of Rangers losing the titles they won between 2001 and 2010
Ally McCoist said that he would never accept talk of Rangers losing the titles they won between 2001 and 2010

Rangers boss Ally McCoist is "extremely disappointed" with the Scottish Football Association over their decision to enforce a transfer embargo on the club.

Scottish football's governing body last night said Charles Green's newco had agreed to a transfer ban beginning on 1 September as a "primary condition" of gaining membership of the SFA, and therefore being granted permission to play in the Irn-Bru Third Division next season.

The agreement, which remains subject to final ratification, appeared to give McCoist the green light to add to his threadbare squad ahead of the embargo coming into force.

However, Rangers quickly released a statement in which chairman Malcolm Murray claimed the SFA's announcement was "premature" and McCoist has today reacted strongly to the proposed sanctions.

"I am extremely disappointed that the SFA chose to release a statement last night when the club has not actually signed any agreement," the Gers boss told the club's website.

"The club is trying to get to a position where we can plan for the season, which starts in only eight days.

"We have had meetings with the SFA all week to discuss membership but I had to leave the final meeting as I could not support the sanctions they were trying to impose.

"The decision has already been taken to place Rangers in Division Three and we have accepted that, along with many more punishments.

"However, operating with an embargo on an already depleted first-team squad - even with a window to sign players - will make the task ahead an extremely difficult one.

"It is important to remember we have already had a ten-point deduction from the SPL, lost our Champions League place for finishing second last season, had a £160,000 fine, been refused entry to the SPL, been relegated to Division Three and lost the majority of our first-team squad - yet still the governing body has chosen to impose further sanctions.

"The transfer ban has been strongly resisted by me, the management team, the directors and supporters.

"From a business point of view I can understand the position the board has been placed in and ultimately they felt they had no choice but to accept some sanctions in order to move forward - as one of the alternatives could have led to the extinction of the club.

"I can also assure every Rangers fan I will not be accepting any talk of stripping the club of titles. That is something we will never accept and everyone at the club shares this view.

"This is still Rangers Football Club and the supporters will continue to back us as they have always done. There will be difficult times ahead but I know with the support of our fans we can emerge stronger and rise to the challenge.

"Talks will continue next week and we all hope common sense will prevail to allow us to get back playing football."

The embargo - plus a £160,000 fine - was handed down to Rangers by the SFA's independent appellate tribunal for a range of offences, chief among which was the club's failure to pay tax under former owner Craig Whyte.

The Ibrox club successfully challenged the ban in the Court of Session, who ruled the sanction was not open to the SFA, who referred the matter back to the tribunal.

Punishments available to the tribunal included expulsion from the game and termination of membership of the SFA, and the SFA said the threat of such sanctions persuaded the newco to accept the embargo.

Rangers chairman Murray said that while the club had indeed provisionally accepted the transfer embargo, it was a decision taken in a bid to ward off even sterner sanctions.

"A delayed transfer ban would be a bitter pill to swallow and will only be agreed to if the alternative is no football," he said.

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