Administrators for stricken Scottish club Rangers have demanded the immediate lifting of a 12-month transfer embargo imposed by the Scottish Football Association which they say harms efforts to rescue the Glasgow team.
Debt-laden Rangers, looking for a new owner, were sanctioned for bringing the game into disrepute and fined 160,000 pounds for three further rule breaches all relating to their recent financial problems.
Craig Whyte, who bought the club last May, was given a lifetime ban from Scottish football and faces fines totalling 200,000 pounds after he was found guilty of bringing the game into disrepute and three additional rule infringements.
Scottish powerhouses Rangers went into administration in February after running up a debt of nine million pounds in unpaid taxes since businessman Whyte took an 85 percent stake in the club.
In a strongly worded statement issued on Tuesday, administrators Duff and Phelps said the decision was "quite extraordinary" and called for an immediate appeal to be heard.
"There has been widespread support across the political spectrum and in the football world for Rangers to be saved as a club and a viable business, [but] last night's decision can only hinder rather than help," said joint administrator David Whitehouse.
Whitehouse also criticised a move by the Scottish Premier League to discuss a possible rule change next week which would mean that clubs that go insolvent and are then reformed would be docked points in future seasons.
"We are urging both football authorities to adopt a more pragmatic approach to sanctions to ensure that the administration of Rangers Football Club can be brought to a conclusion at the earliest possible date for the good of not only the Club but also for Scottish football generally."
The Rangers Supporters Trust described the punishment handed down to the club as draconian and said they would consider boycotting SFA sponsors and the Scotland team in protest.
"This is a shameful decision that has been taken with the sole purpose of crippling Rangers Football Club," they said in a statement.
"All options are on the table and no Rangers player or supporter can credibly play in or support the national side until this ridiculous decision is reversed."
Adding to the doom and gloom around the club was the two-week suspension of striker Kyle Lafferty for a breach of club discipline, a Rangers official told Reuters on Tuesday.
The Northern Ireland striker, who along with other Rangers players agreed a 75 percent wage cut last month, has been dogged by injury problems in recent weeks.