Rangers may have attained full membership of the Scottish Professional Football League and regained voting rights on issues affecting the new organisation but their new status won’t affect their European exile.
Even if Ally McCoist’s side wins the Scottish Cup next season – and Jon Daly, Nicky Law, Cammy Bell, Nicky Clark, Richard Foster and Steven Smith haven’t been signed on big wages just to win the Second Division – there will be no Europa League slot for them.
Contrary to popular myth, that is not the result of any ban handed down by the authorities. It is, instead, a direct result of not having published audited accounts.
Rangers were last able to do that in June 2010. When Craig Whyte replaced Sir David Murray as owner in May, 2011 his failure to provide accounts led to the Plus Stock Exchange suspending trading in the club’s shares.
While the old club descended into administration and then liquidation, the consortium fronted by Charles Green bought the business and assets for £5.5m 12 months ago.
However, while the newco issued unaudited accounts in March which revealed that the club lost £1m per month between June and December last year they have yet to produce audited accounts.
Uefa rules stipulate that any club wishing to compete in Europe must be able to have provided these details over a three-year period. “Rangers can’t compete in Europe for three seasons,” said a spokesman for the SFA. “That is due to their failure to obtain a default on the Uefa European licence, which came about due to their inability to produce financial statements. Assuming the club will now produce accounts on time, then the three-year period which began last summer should conclude in 2015. The fact that they are full members of the SPFL is irrelevant.”