SPL to vote on new financial rules
Scottish Premier League clubs will vote this month on whether to introduce tougher sanctions for top-flight sides who go into administration or face liquidation.
The 12 clubs will consider a range of proposals to amend the SPL's rules at a general meeting on April 30 and, if adopted, the amendments will come into effect from May 14.
The move comes after Rangers were forced to call in the administrators on February 14, with liquidation still a possibility if a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA) cannot be agreed with creditors.
The proposals include increasing the number of points docked from clubs who go into administration from 10 points to at least 15 points. If Rangers are forced into liquidation, a 'Newco' would be deducted 10 points for two seasons if they are accepted straight back into the SPL.
A statement from the SPL confirmed: "On April 30 2012 the SPL clubs will consider a range of proposals to amend the Articles and Rules of the SPL.
"Resolution 1 proposes an increase in the sporting sanction (points deduction) on any club which suffers or is subject to an insolvency event from 10 points to the greater of 15 points and one third of the club's SPL points in the preceding season.
"Resolution 2A proposes further sporting sanctions in the event that any club undergoes an insolvency transfer event (ie transfers its share in the SPL to a new company where this occurs because of the insolvency of the transferor) of 10 points in each of two consecutive seasons from the insolvency transfer event.''
The proposed changes forced Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps to delay the announcement of a preferred bidder for the Ibrox club. They had hoped to announce the acceptance in principle of an offer for the purchase of the Glasgow giants, with Paul Murray's Blue Knights, American businessman Bill Miller and a Singapore consortium fronted by Bill Ng still in the running.
However, the SPL's move has meant they have had to shelve their announcement.
Paul Clark, joint administrator, said: "As administrators we had hoped to announce today the acceptance in principle of an offer for the purchase of Rangers Football Club, which would be followed by a period of exclusivity while due diligence is undertaken.
"Regrettably, this is not now possible as we were informed over the Easter holiday period that the SPL is proposing to consider at a general meeting on April 30, significant rule changes in relation to clubs which find themselves in an insolvency situation.''
Liquidation is an option in the event that Rangers are unable to exit administration via a CVA (Company Voluntary Arrangement). If the SPL proposals are passed, a 'newco' Rangers would be docked 10 points for two consecutive seasons, as well as seeing SPL fees slashed by 75% for three seasons, if allowed straight back into the top flight.
Clark described the proposed rule changes as "disruptive and regrettable'' at a time when administrators are trying to find a buyer for the club. He added: "The effect of such revised measures being considered at this juncture is that we, as administrators, are duty bound to inform those parties who have submitted bids of the proposed resolutions the SPL intends to consider.
"Failure to do so would constitute material non-disclosure on our part, which is a serious matter. Inevitably, bidders are now considering this information and will have to take a view as to whether it will affect their individual bids as they now stand.
"The result is a delay in the sale process. We hope to receive feedback from bidders as soon as possible in order for us to take the sale process forward as quickly as we can. We fully respect the right of the SPL to review its own rules and regulations and will not comment on the detail of what is being proposed for the meeting on April 30 at this stage.
"However, the fact that such measures are being considered at such a sensitive point in the sale process at Rangers is disruptive and regrettable. We hope to issue a further update by the end of this week.''