Aberdeen chairman noncommittal over SPL sanctions on Rangers

ABERDEEN chairman Stewart Milne today said that the club have not committed to a policy on a ‘newco’ Rangers and they only intend to act in the best interests of the club and Scottish football.

• Aberdeen FC issue statement highlighting the uncertainty surrounding Rangers

• Stewart Milne ‘aware’ of pressure from fans

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• SPL clubs to vote on Rangers from next Wednesday

• BBC documentary to expose ‘truth behind Rangers tax scheme and Craig Whyte’s takeover’

Charles Green’s consortium plan to form a new company for Rangers, which would buy the assets of the current club, if creditors reject their Company Voluntary Arrangement offer to come out of administration.

That newco club would need to apply to the Scottish Premier League to acquire Rangers’ share with all clubs getting a vote on the matter from next Wednesday.

Many Scottish football supporters do not feel a new Rangers should secure entry to the top flight and Milne responded to Aberdeen fans’ concerns today.

Milne said in a statement: “We are aware of the issues, concerns and opinions raised by our supporters with regards to the ongoing situation.

“These issues have taken up a great deal of my time, Duncan Fraser, the chief executive’s time, and that of our board of directors.

“The issues are complex and the situation remains extremely fluid.

“Events continue to move on a daily basis and therefore we feel it has been, and remains, inappropriate to comment publicly on what might arise out of this.

“We will continue to give this matter our full attention and will do what we believe is in the best interests of Aberdeen Football Club and Scottish football and will communicate this to our supporters at the appropriate time.”

Milne’s vague comments mirror a previous statement by Celtic but other chairmen have been more explicit.

Hibernian’s Rod Petrie last week claimed “sporting integrity is beyond purchase” while St Johnstone chairman Steve Brown yesterday insisted he would demand sanctions on any newco Rangers.

However, Kilmarnock chairman Michael Johnston argued Rangers have been punished enough following this season’s 10-point deduction, failure to secure a UEFA licence and 12-month transfer embargo imposed by the Scottish Football Association.

And SPL chief executive Neil Doncaster has consistently claimed he sees little difference between a newco and a CVA exit from administration.

Milne issued his statement ahead of tonight’s BBC Scotland documentary entitled Rangers - The Men Who Sold the Jerseys.

The BBC publicity says the story is based on “dozens of secret emails, letters and documents which uncover the truth behind the tax scheme which threatens the club’s very existence, and reveals what went on behind the scenes in the run up to Craig Whyte’s infamous takeover”.

Investigative reporter Mark Daly, who uncovered Whyte’s disqualification as a director in a programme aired in October, revealed more details of his programme on Twitter.

He said: “Biggest EBT beneficiaries named, did Whyte really “dupe” Sir David (Murray) and questions over the administrators.”

The SPL are still investigating alleged undisclosed payments relating to the club’s Employee Benefit Trusts, which are the subject of a multi-million pound tax tribunal.