Regan insists ruling on Rangers protects ‘integrity’ of Scottish FA

The Scottish Football Association have stressed they need to implement rules “without fear or favour” following a backlash from Rangers fans and administrators over sanctions against the club.

SFA chief executive Stewart Regan stressed the club’s punishment – a 12-month transfer embargo and £160,000 fine – was decided by an independent three-member panel in conjunction with the disciplinary procedures approved unanimously by members less than a year ago.

Rangers have called for an immediate appeal to the judicial panel’s punishment, which centred on a disrepute charge relating to their financial affairs, and Regan vowed the SFA would act with “integrity” and the game’s best interests as they await an official appeal.

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In a statement, Regan said: “I can fully understand the fear and frustration felt by all Rangers fans throughout the most difficult period in the club’s history.

“The Scottish FA has a responsibility to all its members and must implement its rules without fear or favour.”

Administrators Duff and Phelps claim the punishment seriously hinders chances of achieving a sale of the club and accused the panel of acting against the interests of the national game.

Regan said: “It is important the Scottish FA, as the governing body, works in association with the Scottish Premier League and Scottish Football League to reinvigorate the national sport.

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“Rangers have been part of the fabric of Scottish football’s history and are integral to its future prosperity.

“The Scottish FA must act with integrity and with the best interests of the game at heart. It is with this in mind that we await any appeal from the club.”

Rangers fans’ groups have accused the SFA of having an “agenda” against their club.

And manager Ally McCoist has claimed the sanctions imposed by the Scottish FA’s judicial panel could “kill” the club.

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McCoist faid: “Plain and simply, I think it is an absolutely shocking decision.

“Like everyone else involved – our team, our supporters, our staff and a lot of neutrals – I am staggered at the severity of the punishment. This decision could kill our football club, simple as that. “

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