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article imageEx-Glasgow Rangers Owner Banned For Life From Scottish Football Special

By Tom Head     Apr 24, 2012 in Sports
The bitter fiscal fiasco that has engulfed Glasgow Rangers took another dramatic turn this week, when the Scottish FA handed a lifetime ban to the former owner that has been held responsible for the turmoil, Craig Whyte.
His involvement in the crisis has been heavily criticised, particularly by the Scottish football hierarchy, who have already labelled him as 'not a fit and proper person' to run a football club. The misery was heaped on Rangers even further when they were handed a £160,000 fine and placed under a transfer embargo for the next twelve months - effectively ruling that they cannot sign any players over the age of 18 for another year.
Whyte, who had bought the club for £1 in May 2011 (inheriting the debts left by previous owners), has been typically bullish since the ruling. He has stressed it only jeopardizes Rangers' future, and not his. When asked what he thought of the decision, he stated he 'couldn't care less', and was very quick to turn a media fire-storm onto the SFA:
"It makes no difference to my life whatsoever - and good luck collecting the money. It's a joke. It's very harsh on Rangers. I am surprised at how harsh the SFA have been on a club which is going through tough times at the moment."
Writer of , Scott Johnston, sees Whyte as a 'very dishonest man', but believes he isn't solely accountable for Rangers' plight:
"He deserved his fine, but how can the SFA get that money from him? If legally they can't, it proves the whole process is flawed and that they are all willing to let Rangers take full blame, and probably let Rangers as they stand now die.
"It should also be noted that Sir David Murray can't get away with not doing his due diligence properly. He mismanaged Rangers FC long before all this and seems to have received no punishment whatsoever."
It all adds to the tapestry of woe that is being woven at Ibrox. Since going into administration in February this year, the Scottish giants have been dogged by extensive problems on, and off the field. Immediately after entering administrative measures, they were deducted 10 points, and a number of star players had to take an eye-watering 75% pay cut. In one case, promising young winger Greg Wylde voluntarily had his contract terminated, to help cut costs at the ailing club.
It remains unclear whether Rangers will even be allowed to play in European competition next year, such are the cavernous depths of their financial worries. Although failing to retain the SPL title for a fourth consecutive year is the least of their worries - considering at one point it looked unlikely there would be a Glasgow Rangers FC in existence - watching fierce city rivals Celtic romp home to domestic league glory has been an exercise in futile struggle.
As it stands, the future looks relatively unpromising. Takeover bids have been subject to little more than rumour or unfounded claims, and Johnston shares this bleak disposition:
"As I see it now, liquidation of the football club is the only outcome from here on in. Lots of people will have to look at themselves and accept responsibility. From the old regime, Craig Whyte, the SFA, the media and even the Rangers support. We have all helped Rangers to this point."
"Will anyone want to buy the club and pay off the debts, take all the punishments from the SFA & SPL? I doubt it.
I believe in fair and proper punishment and only in the future can we see if other teams are treated the same, as we know they weren't in the past."
Though liquidation is indeed a harrowing process, Rangers are a huge club, with an even bigger fan base. In their current form, the team may cease to exist, but the club will never die. They may have to restart, from the lowest possible level of grass roots football, but nevertheless, Glasgow Rangers FC will come roaring back... one day.
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