Charles Green in the clear
The Scottish Football Association's judicial panel has delivered a verdict of not proven after Rangers chief executive Charles Green was accused of bringing the game into disrepute and failing to act in the best interests of football.
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Green faced the two charges after allegedly questioning the integrity of an independent commission appointed by the Scottish Premier League, which will determine whether oldco Rangers broke rules in relation to alleged undisclosed payments to players.
He welcomed the outcome of Thursday's meeting at Hampden, saying: "I am pleased the judicial panel accepted today that I had not brought the game into disrepute."
Green declared his club would take no part in the "fundamentally misconceived" process in a lengthy statement issued on September 10, days before the commission was due to hold procedural hearings.
The Ibrox chief questioned the independence of the three-man panel, which is chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith and includes two QCs, and threatened legal action if SPL titles are stripped from Rangers.
The commission, which will reconvene on November 13, was appointed following initial assessment of Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) transactions to Rangers players from 2000 to 2011, which could breach SPL rules over declaring payments in contracts.
Green said at the time: "Although the SPL goes to great lengths to emphasise the independence of its commission, the commission is not independent of the SPL. It has been appointed by the SPL. It follows SPL rules and its process is managed by SPL staff.
"I don't question the impartiality of the individual panel members but whatever decision they reach is a decision of the SPL."
In a statement released on Thursday, Green said: "What I said, I said in good faith and I was speaking up for the interests of Rangers.
"To be critical of the SPL's handling of the EBT issue does not mean that I am showing disrespect for the game and that view appears to have been shared by the judicial panel.
"It is my hope that we can all move on from today and start working constructively for the good of the game.
"The creation of the EBT Commission by the SPL following the events of the summer and the club's attempts at constructive discussion has been particularly difficult for those of us who are new to Rangers and are trying to rebuild the club.
"It appears for all the world to be yet another obstacle being placed in our path as we try to rebuild a great Scottish sporting institution."
Green's consortium purchased the business and assets of Rangers after they were consigned to liquidation in the summer, the club having been forced into administration months earlier through an unpaid tax bill accrued by then owner Craig Whyte.
The demise of the Glasgow giants saw them lose their status as an SPL club and voted into the bottom tier of Scottish football.
Green added: "I am the first person to accept that there are people who have been associated with Rangers who have brought the game into disrepute, particularly the previous regime whose delinquent approach to paying taxes triggered a series of events that brought the club to the brink of destruction.
"The consortium I led came to the table with one objective in mind: to save Rangers Football Club and rebuild what is a great sporting institution.
"There has been an enormous amount of goodwill towards us. Rangers fans have shown beyond all measure what loyalty to your team really means.
"Staff, who have worked through dreadful turmoil in recent years, continue to go the extra mile. Some players have stayed when they need not have and youngsters have become young men in the team.
"There has also been great goodwill shown by investors who recognise the potential of Rangers and sponsors who see the tremendous opportunities at Ibrox. The international media are queuing up to speak to us and chart the recovery of the club.
"In football too, there has been real goodwill from the Scottish Football League and its member clubs, who have taken a view that it is better to look forward than back and that the game benefits from a vibrant Rangers.
"Perhaps it is now time that those people within the SPL who have been pursuing Rangers at every turn take stock.
"As a member of the SFA, we want to work constructively within its structure and hope that all parties and organisations can take a view that what is of paramount importance is the good of the game.
"To that end, we will be meeting with SFA president Campbell Ogilvie in the near future.
"We want to be a force for good in football and it is surely to the benefit of all that the way forward is not frustrated by continually trying to look back."