Murray issues angry statement to deny Rangers cheating allegations

The former owner recognised that the club would have to pay a penalty for their financial mismanagement but insisted that "no rules were breached" under his stewardship

Former Rangers owner Sir David Murray has angrily denied claims that the club 'cheated' under his stewardship.

The Scottish Premier League appointed an independent commission last week to investigate allegations that the club breached league rules through undisclosed payments to its players.

The allegation surrounds payments from the Employee Benefit Trust to players during the nine-year period from 2001 to 2010.

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If found guilty of the suggested offence, it is possible that the club could be stripped of previous league titles, which has prompted a statement from Murray.

"The problems at Rangers have brought no credit to Scottish football and are a tragedy for the club and for all those connected with it and who support it," Murray said.

"They cannot be condoned and it is appropriate that there should be a proportionate penalty for the club for the events over the last year.

"However, I urge all those connected with Scottish football to bring this sad affair to a close - now. Bayoneting the wounded is neither justified nor proportionate.

"I cannot be anything other than angered at the suggestion Rangers should be stripped of titles or other competition victories.

"This suggestion is an insult to the staff and players who achieved these successes thanks to skill, hard work and commitment and for no other reason.

"It is also an insult to the thousands of Rangers supporters who spent their hard-earned money to support the club they love."

"During my stewardship of Rangers no rules were breached or circumvented and I reject and resent any suggestion that anything was done which amounted to cheating.

"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.

"This is not a criminal matter and there is presently no question as to the legality of these schemes. As the law stands, it is the right of every taxpayer to minimise his tax liability."