SPL commission starts Gers probe

  • Last Updated: September 11 2012, 18:50 BST

The commission set up by the Scottish Premier League to investigate the alleged use of dual contracts by the company that formerly ran Rangers sat for the first time on Tuesday.

Rangers: No representatives at the meeting

The meeting ran from 10am until around 5pm at Hampden, despite the Ibrox club refusing to send a representative.

The three-man panel is chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith as the SPL step up the investigation into transactions from the Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) scheme run by former Rangers owner Sir David Murray.

As expected, the meeting finished ahead of Scotland's World Cup qualifier against Macedonia at the national stadium, with the commission set to make use of Wednesday's scheduled second day of talks.

Rangers could be stripped of league titles if found guilty of making undeclared payments to players between 2000 and 2011.

What is an already contentious issue took a dramatic twist on Monday when Rangers chief executive Charles Green revealed the Govan club were snubbing the hearings, arguing the SPL has no jurisdiction.

Green's company bought the business and assets of the soon-to-be-liquidated Rangers - now called RFC 2012 - for £5.5million in June.

He said: "Neither the SPL, nor its commission, has any legal power or authority over the club because it is not in the SPL."

Green added intrigue to the issue when he claimed in a BBC Radio Scotland Good Morning Scotland interview that "more than two" SPL clubs have used EBTs but would "rather not say" who they were before adding: "I have put my hand up and they should do the same."

Green continued: "This should have been done when the SPL had jurisdiction, and they didn't do it.

"You are allowed to have an EBT, you have to disclose it, and of course there is a whole raft of information that when these EBTs were being used they were disclosed.

"They were in the accounts, it's public knowledge, Rangers were a public company, you can go on the internet and see the disclosures."

Green also suggested that Rangers may not seek re-entry to the top flight if they are successful in climbing all the way out of the Irn-Bru Third Division, into which they were relaunched.

He said: "Unless the SPL welcome us with open arms, why would we go back there?

"Ten clubs voted Rangers out of that league, what makes you think they would want Rangers back in?

"It begs the question, will the league still be there in three years' time?"