Celtic ‘surprised’ at Rangers ruling

Neil Lennon's side have released a statement portraying their shock that an SPL commission ruled their rivals to have gained “no competitive advantage” over disclosure of payments
Celtic have released a statement portraying their "surprise" at the ruling that rivals Rangers have not been deemed as gaining a "competitive advantage" – despite being found guilty of breaking Scottish Premier League rules by a commission.

Rangers were demoted to the lowest tier of the Scottish football last year via a majority vote from the member clubs of the Scottish Football League, after being put into administration in February 2012, and subsequently liquidation in October of the same year.

While Rangers are leading the bottom tier of Scottish football by 20 points, Celtic are similarly out in front, enjoying a 19 point lead at the top of the SPL.

"We note yesterday's decision that Rangers FC has been found guilty of contravening the SPL rules on disclosure of payments over 11 years between 2000-2011," Celtic said in a statement.

"The scale of this amounts to a deliberate non-disclosure of £47 million in payments to players and staff. We also note the penalty of £250,000 which has been imposed.
"Like many within Scottish football, including supporters and other observers, we are surprised by the parallel conclusion that no competitive advantage was gained from these arrangements.
"However, the implications of this verdict are for the Scottish football authorities to address since the rules breached were specifically intended to defend 'sporting integrity'.
"Throughout this matter, Celtic has refrained from comment on the affairs of Rangers FC while the various tribunals and commissions went about their work.
"We will continue to concentrate on our own affairs, and assure our supporters that at all times we will operate within both the rules of our governing bodies and the law of the land.
"Our club is in a great place at the moment and we are enjoying a fantastic season, maintaining our position at the top of Scottish football and enjoying huge success and profile across European football.
"We ask our fans to unite with us once again as we look ahead to the rest of the season, to the Scottish Cup on Saturday, to the Uefa Champions League next week and to an exciting future with a young squad of high quality players and a talented manager in Neil Lennon.
"Our fans have been magnificent this season, home and away, and as we head towards the end of the season, now, more than ever, we need our fans to be with us and to back the team and the club. We sincerely thank our fans for their continued support."