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Green: ruling vindicates my refusal to 'surrender' titles

Rangers chief executive Charles Green claims his refusal to "surrender" Scottish Premier League titles has been vindicated by the outcome of an investigation into undisclosed payments to players.

An SPL-appointed independent commission today fined oldco Rangers £250,000 for failure to disclose side-letter arrangements to the football authorities in relation to Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) payments.

However, the Ibrox side avoided the most severe sanction of losing titles after the commission found that Rangers did not gain any unfair competitive advantage and that players were not ineligible to play.

The probe centred on the period 2000-2011, during Sir David Murray`s stewardship of the Glasgow giants.

Green previously claimed he was offered a deal to trade titles for membership of the Scottish Football Association after the club was consigned to liquidation in the summer.

Responding to today`s findings, he said in a statement: "It is abundantly clear from the ruling there was no attempt by Rangers Football Club secure any unfair advantage or to cheat, as so many people asserted without giving any regard to the actual evidence.

"It is a matter of fact that people within the SPL wanted me, at first, to surrender titles as part of a deal to enable Rangers to play again as a member of the SFA.

"I rejected and resisted that suggestion and today's decision vindicates the position of the board and the supporters.

"In particular, I would like to thank the Rangers Fans Fighting Fund for their dedication and commitment on this matter."

The probe was launched before the original Rangers company was consigned to liquidation in the summer.

In full: the commission's report into Rangers use of EBTs

Green`s consortium subsequently purchased the business and assets of Rangers and the newco club refused to recognise or co-operate with the investigation, although oldco were represented at the hearing.

Green added: "I would re-iterate that at no stage have I, nor anyone now involved in the running of this club, questioned the integrity of the commission members.

"What I did question was the creation of a process which some people had predetermined.

"Every Rangers fan will be delighted that the commission refused to get carried away on this agenda.

"It is fair to say that there was, at one stage, a very unhealthy desire to press on with an investigation into this matter when cool heads and clear thinking was required.

"Instead, there was a frenzied atmosphere around Rangers caused by the club's insolvency situation.

"This issue could have and should have been dealt with by the board of the SPL rather than embarking on an unnecessarily grand and expensive process.

"At the end of the day I am left with the impression that this has been much ado about very little and a great waste of energy, time and money."

Green called for his new regime to be allowed to look to the future now.

He said: "I think I speak for all Rangers fans in saying now, enough is enough.

"I have said before and will say again it is time everyone moved on.

"There are considerable challenges ahead for this club and Scottish football as a whole.

"That is where all efforts and energy should now be focused.

"We, as a club, will work with all parties who have the good of the game at heart.

"We are looking forward and I urge all Rangers fans to do likewise.

"We are rebuilding this club and are making great strides.

"The dark days are over and it is time now for all to embrace our ambition for a brighter future."

Rangers boss Ally McCoist said: "I am delighted in many ways by the decision today.

"As a former player, I know how hard it is to achieve success on the pitch and the suggestion that somehow Rangers sought to gain unfair advantage was deeply insulting to me and others who had worn the Rangers jersey with immense pride.

"I found the whole approach to this matter by the SPL utterly bizarre and misguided.

"Our fans will take great heart from this and hopefully now - after all that we have been through - there will be a widespread realisation that it is time to move on.

"Rangers have a huge amount to offer Scottish football and we have always been more than willing to do our bit for the good of the game."

Rangers EBT timeline

The titles Rangers faced losing

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