THE Court of Session judge who upheld Rangers' case against the Scottish Football Association has warned them they could yet face a stiffer punishment, including being thrown out of football.

Herald Sport has obtained a copy of Lord Glennie's 10-page findings after Rangers succeeded in a judicial review of the SFA's decision to hit them with a 12-month signing ban.

The case will now be considered again by the SFA's own Appellate Tribunal under Lord Carloway, at a date yet to be set.

Rangers were punished by the SFA for bringing the game into disrepute for, among other things, non-payment of PAYE and National Insurance contributions. They contested the punishment, rather than the verdict, and took the SFA to court. That action could yet have repercussions for the club and the governing body from the world ruling body, FIFA, but Lord Glennie ruled that their case was sound.

The SFA's general disciplinary rules lay out "sanctions available to the tribunal" and "scale of sanctions". On charges of bringing the game into disrepute, the only stated sanctions are a fine, suspension, expulsion from participation in the game, ejection from the Scottish Cup and termination of membership.

Lord Glennie said the decision he had to make was on whether the imposition of a 12-month transfer ban was ultra vires, in other words whether the SFA's disciplinary tribunal had the power to impose any additional sanction.

He found flaws in the SFA's protocol and said there was no point specifying certain punishments for offences if tribunal panels had the power to impose any penalty they wanted to, up to the specified maximum.

Lord Glennie said the SFA's QC at the Court of Session hearings, Aidan O'Neill, had effectively said "so what if it does not mention that", in relation to a transfer ban.

The findings said: "It is to be noted that nowhere in the list of available sanctions is there any reference to a ban for any period on registering new players.

"Mr O'Neill, on behalf of the SFA says, in effect: 'so what if it does not mention that. A fine would be ridiculously low for the conduct here complained of. Suspension or expulsion, or termination of membership, would be too harsh. There must be room, reading the rule sensibly, for something in between which is proportional and effective'. The Appellate Tribunal took a somewhat similar view.

"Their interpretation therefore appears to be this: that the tribunal can award anything which is a lesser penalty than the maximum suspension or termination of membership. I regret that I cannot accept that view. If that was the true view there would, in my opinion, be no point in identifying specific sanctions in the columns headed 'sanctions available to the tribunal'.

"It seems to me to be clear that the protocol is laying down a specific range of sanctions which the tribunal may impose, depending on upon the particular offence with which the club or other member of the SFA is charged. The tribunal cannot impose sanctions not given to it in Annex A.

"It follows that the disciplinary tribunal and the appellate tribunal were, in my view, wrong to hold that they had power to impose the additional sanction in this case. In imposing and affirming that sanction they acted ultra vires.

"The fact that I find the imposition of the additional sanctions to be ultra vires does not necessarily mean that the petitioners will escape to a lighter and ineffective punishment. That is entirely a matter for the appeal tribunal and not for this case."

Rangers, who were represented at the Court of Session by Richard Keen QC, Dean of the Faculty of Advocates, did not contest the merits of the case itself or the appropriateness of any sanction which is specified in the SFA's articles of association. Nor did the club dispute a £100,000 fine, nor the fact it had brought the game into disrepute.

 Read Lord Glennie's full findings here