Stretford 'assisting' Rangers newco
Controversial football agent Paul Stretford is "assisting" Rangers newco, the Ibrox club have confirmed.
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Gers chief executive Charles Green is using the services of the agent, who was banned in 2008 for 18 months and fined £300,000 for a number of misconduct charges relating to how he acquired the right to represent Manchester United and England striker Wayne Rooney six years earlier.
A spokesman for Rangers told Press Association Sport: "Paul Stretford is assisting the club."
Stretford's link with the Ibrox club is revealed as Ally McCoist prepares to bolster his squad for life in the Irn-Bru Third Division next season.
On acceptance of Scottish Football Association membership, still to be ratified, the Light Blues' boss will have until September 1 to sign players before a 12-month transfer embargo begins.
Rangers fans may wonder about Stretford's remit given the club's new league status and the apparent lack of cash available at Ibrox to bring players in, but confirmation of the Englishman's involvement comes while Green continues to challenge the decisions of the players who walked away from the club this summer.
On Saturday, Rangers confirmed that they and Southampton had come to a financial agreement over the transfer of Steven Davis.
The two clubs agreed an undisclosed fee for the Northern Irishman, reported as £800,000, although that is disputed by the English club.
On the advice of the players union, PFA Scotland, Davis, Steven Naismith, Jamie Ness, Kyle Lafferty and Steven Whittaker rejected the opportunity to the transfer of their contracts to Green's newco.
Naismith joined Everton, Lafferty signed for Sion, Ness moved to Stoke City and Whittaker signed for Norwich.
On Friday night FIFA gave provisional clearance to Ness to commence his career at Stoke before the SFA confirmed clearance had also been granted to Lafferty, Whittaker and Naismith, who made his Toffees debut as a second-half substitute in the 1-1 draw with Motherwell at Fir Park on Saturday.
A "delighted" Green told Rangers official website: "Southampton have acted in good faith during the process."
Press Association Sport understands that Southampton were unwilling to wait a month or more to get Davis' move completed.
Consequently, Saints paid a nominal fee although they dispute the reported figure.
However, dismissing claims that other clubs are likely to pay a fee to Rangers newco, PFA Scotland Solicitor Margaret Gribbon, of Bridge Litigation, said: "Those clubs who have already signed former Rangers players are unlikely to pay any fee to the newco.
"I say this because FIFA has made clear that provisional International Transfer Certificates (ITCs) will be granted enabling the players to play football with their new clubs.
"Prior to Friday's rulings by FIFA, a new club may have been minded to pay a fee in exchange for newco agreeing to immediate release of the player's registration, but there seems no reason for them to do so now.
"Secondly, newco has elected to refer the breach of contract disputes to the SFA.
"It is important to note that Rangers oldco and newco have not cited any other club as a party to the dispute; they cannot do so in any event since the SFA has no jurisdiction to make any ruling against a club outwith Scotland.
"Thirdly, and as matters currently stand, a club would not be able to pay any fee directly to newco since it is not a member of the SFA.
"I have been working closely with the solicitors for all of the English clubs involved and Sion FC, and they all share our view that no fee or compensation was due to the newco."
However, Rangers remain convinced that Naismith, Ness, Lafferty and Whittaker have "unlawfully terminated their contracts."
A statement released by the Ibrox club on Saturday read: "Contrary to what has appeared in sections of the press, FIFA has not granted a free transfer to players who have, the club believes, unlawfully terminated their contracts.
"FIFA has not made any ruling whatsoever on the merits of the dispute and stressed that this was a matter for the SFA.
"It has simply allowed the players to be registered with new clubs on a provisional basis pending resolution of the contractual dispute through the SFA arbitration.
"The reason that FIFA made the decision is that it felt that damages was a sufficient remedy for the club in the event that it proves its case.
"The club has now reached agreement with two of the players and their new clubs in respect of financial recompense in relation to the contractual dispute.
"It has also instigated the SFA's arbitration process in relation to the remaining players with whom no agreement has yet been reached."
Rangers also concluded a deal with Coventry for John Fleck earlier in the month although that involved a sell-on fee.