Charles Green stands by comments after the SFA issue charges
RANGERS chief executive Charles Green has been issued with a notice of complaint by the Scottish Football Association, but he insisted last night he was exercising his right to freedom of speech and stood by his comments.
He also claimed: “If the SPL agenda prevails then Rangers will be found guilty and, being found guilty, we will lose five titles.”
Green was charged for alleged comments made regarding the integrity of the commission, chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith, which will investigate the Ibrox club’s use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs). The three-man panel was set up by the Scottish Premier League to discover if Rangers had broken any rules in using the EBTs during the tenure of former owner Sir David Murray from 2000 to 2011.
Green refused to recognise or co-operate with the commission, set to meet on 13 November, and was reported as saying: “That’s what we’re going to spend our time doing, not turning up at supposedly independent hearings where the SPL appoint the jury, set the outcome, and set the punishment before we have the trial.”
Responding to yesterday’s SFA charges, Green said in a statement released during Rangers’ match against Queen of the South in the Ramsdens Cup: “We’ve made very clear in the statement that we made that we have never questioned the integrity of the panel. That is beyond reproach. What I do have an issue with is the fact that the SPL has relentlessly been pursuing a fixed and predetermined agenda on EBTs from the moment they realised that they would not be able to get Rangers back into the SPL without a fan revolt.
“Until that moment the SPL were looking to trade SPL status for an admission of guilt on EBTs and a sanction of stripped titles. We couldn’t and didn’t give them that. You need look no further than the initial draft of the five-way agreement. There is reference in that to EBTs and the outcome was stripping titles but if I make a statement that the SPL is pursuing a predetermined outcome then I’m bringing the game into disrepute. From the moment that SPL status for Rangers was off the agenda we’ve been heading for stripped titles. What I’m doing is using free speech to tell the fans exactly what has happened and I am now on disrepute charges for matters of fact.
“The words that seem to have upset the SFA so much are that “the SPL appoint the jury, set the outcome and set the punishment before the trial” - those things are true and I stand by them. Whether or not the commission works to that agenda remains to be seen but let’s be clear there was a predetermined outcome.”
Green called on the SFA and SPL to release the first draft of the five-way agreement so the facts could be known.
He added: “In terms of this commission, if the SPL agenda prevails then Rangers will be found guilty and being found guilty we will lose five titles. If I’m wrong then it will be a different outcome. What I said before is that this commission is not independent because the SPL have set it up. Saying that they are not independent is not saying that they are not impartial. That’s what I have an issue with and I will make these points when I go to see the SFA - not unless I’m in jail before then because there will no doubt be 50 odd charges by then.
“We want to focus on what’s happening at the club in terms of filling the stadium, going to Annan and filling the town - they are the good things.”
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