Rangers’ administrator, Paul Clark, last night released an utterly bizarre statement in response to the SFA punishment for breaking a lengthy list of rules in the lead up to and since Craig Whyte’s takeover of the club 11 months ago. Clark said:
“It appears that on one hand the disciplinary panel accepted our central argument that responsibility for bringing the Club into disrepute lay with the actions of one individual – Craig Whyte – as is evident from the unprecedented punishment meted out to him.
“During this hearing the Club produced compelling evidence from a number of sources that following his takeover, Craig Whyte ran the Club in a thoroughly unaccountable manner, rather than adhering to a long-established and proper form of corporate governance.
“The thrust of the charges against the Club focused on non-payment of payroll taxes and evidence was produced that all such decisions in this area were taken by Craig Whyte during his tenure.
“Given this evidence, it is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively punish the Club even more heavily than Mr Whyte. As everyone knows, it has already been decided he is not a fit and proper person to run a football club and any further punishment on him will have little or no impact.
“Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the Club will react to these sanctions and what affect they will have on their proposals.”
Mr Clark should know better. Companies, including football clubs, are responsible for the corporate acts of their directors. Also, Craig Whyte owns 85% of Rangers and should he sell it in the weeks ahead, his sale price could be directly enhanced by a lesser punishment.
Moreover, Mr Whyte is also the secured creditor for Rangers. Whatever bids prospective buyers of the club submit, up to around £30m, will go directly to Craig Whyte. If this punishment reduces the value of Rangers it reduces the money Whyte will receive as a shareholder and as a creditor.
There is no point in Duff and Phelps squealing now. If they wanted to separate club from owner they should have brought more focus to the sale process weeks ago. This punishment is measured and appropriate.
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