• Scottish football

Rangers could be stripped of titles as probe begins

ESPN staff
September 7, 2012
Rangers could be stripped of SPL titles © PA Photos

The commission investigating alleged undisclosed payments to players by Rangers will meet for its first two days of hearings next week, the Scottish Premier League has said.

The commission must decide whether Rangers broke SPL rules by making payments to players through its Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) scheme between 2000 and 2011.

If it concludes that the rules were broken, Rangers could be stripped of titles won during that period - although other forms of sanction are possible.

An SPL statement said: "The Scottish Premier League today announced that the independent commission to inquire into alleged EBT payments and arrangements made by Rangers in relation to players during the period from 2000 until 2011 will sit on Tuesday 11 and Wednesday 12 September.

"The hearing will be chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith and will consider submissions from parties on various procedural matters. It will not be a hearing of the merits of the case."

The three-man panel also includes Charles Flint QC and Nicholas Stewart QC.

A tax tribunal will also rule on the payments on a date yet to be decided. It will have no impact on the current Ibrox regime, which bought the assets and business of the club after its liquidation.

Meanwhile, Rangers have announced the appointment of Cenkos Securities to investigate options for a potential share issue.

Green explained: "From the day the consortium I led became owners of Rangers, we have repeatedly stated our intention to raise additional capital for the club and would explore all avenues, which may or may not include a stock market listing.

"We are still in the preliminary stages of this process, and will make further announcements once the club has been able to consider its plans in further detail."

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