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On this day in 2012: Rangers charged with bringing football into disrepute

Craig Whyte court case
(Image credit: Mark Runnacles)

Rangers endured a black day on March 8 a decade ago when they were charged with bringing the game into disrepute and chairman Craig Whyte was ruled “not a fit and proper person to hold a position in football”.

The ruling on Whyte – who took over Sir David Murray’s majority shareholding in May 2011 – centred on revelations he was previously disqualified as a company director for seven years from 2000.

After discussing the findings of an independent inquiry, Scottish Football Association chief executive Stewart Regan said: “Principally, it is the belief of the board, taking into account the prima facie evidence presented today, that Mr Craig Whyte is not considered to be a fit and proper person to hold a position within Association Football.”

A protest from fans against the club going into liquidation

A protest from fans against the club going into liquidation (Danny Lawson/PA)

The disrepute charge was on four counts after the financially-stricken club went into administration in February 2012.

On June 1 2012, a failure to reach a Company Voluntary Arrangement with creditors led to Rangers entering the process of liquidation.

The administrators completed a sale of the business but the new owners failed to secure a place in the Scottish Premier League and had to start again from the bottom of the Scottish Football League.

Craig Whyte, centre, leaves Glasgow Sheriff Court after he appeared as part of a Police Scotland investigation into Rangers

Craig Whyte, centre, leaves Glasgow Sheriff Court after he appeared as part of a Police Scotland investigation into Rangers (Andrew Milligan/PA)

The club lost the vast majority of its players but rebuilt its foundations and three promotions in four years took Rangers back to the top flight in 2016, with a first Premiership title since 2011 arriving last year.

Whyte was banned from being a company director for 15 years in September 2014 but was acquitted of fraud related to his purchase of Rangers after a lengthy court case.

Speaking to the BBC last year, Whyte said: “I think it’s fair to say that the whole experience from start to finish, from walking into Ibrox on that first day to being acquitted at the High Court, was the most traumatic experience of my life.”

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