Lord Nimmo to probe Gers’ alleged illegalities by SPL

The Scottish Premier League has announced that Lord Nimmo Smith will chair the independent commission 
appointed to investigate alleged undisclosed payments made by Rangers to players.

The Scottish Football 
Association also appointed Lord Nimmo Smith to chair its own inquiry into activities at Rangers earlier this year.

An SPL statement read: “The Scottish Premier League today announced that the independent commission to inquire into alleged EBT payments and arrangements made by Rangers in relation to players during the period from 2000 until 2011 will be chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith. The other members of the independent commission are Mr Charles Flint QC and Mr Nicholas Stewart QC.

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“The commission will determine whether during that period in relation to alleged EBT payments and arrangements for players, Rangers was in breach of the relevant SPL rules.

“In the event that the independent commission decides that such breach or breaches occurred the independent commission will have powers to determine what sanctions, if any, are appropriate.”

Lord Nimmo Smith – who has served as an insolvency judge and was one of five judges who heard the appeal of Lockerbie bomber Abdelbaset al-Megrahi in 2002 – was appointed by the SFA in February, days after Rangers were forced to call in the administrators.

The findings of the independent inquiry resulted in then owner Craig Whyte being deemed not “a fit and 
proper person” to run a football club.

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Rangers also faced a charge of bringing the game into disrepute on four counts.

Following a hearing, the SFA’s judicial panel imposed a 12-month transfer embargo on the Glasgow giants, which comes into effect next month.

The SPL commission will determine whether Rangers breached their rules in relation to Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) payments and arrangements for players.

One of the sanctions which could be faced by the new club, bought by Charles Green as The Rangers, is the stripping of league titles, a punishment Rangers have said they would strenuously challenge.

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Earlier this month, former Rangers owner Sir David Murray denied cheating took place during his time at the helm.

“I cannot be anything other than angered at the suggestion Rangers should be stripped of titles or other competition victories. It would appear that the SPL is once again seeking to invest itself with a power of retrospective penalty beyond that prescribed in its own rules.”