SFA PANEL GIVEN SECURITY ADVICE
Strathclyde Police have given security advice to the three members of the Scottish Football Association judicial panel who handed out punishments to Rangers after their identities were revealed, the SFA have said.
The administration-hit Glasgow giants were handed a £160,000 fine and 12-month embargo on registering players aged over 17 by the panel after being found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances and the appointment of Craig Whyte as chairman.
An SFA statement said on Wednesday night that the three panel members in question had been subjected to "abusive and threatening communication" after their identities were "compromised".
A Scottish FA spokesperson said: "We are deeply concerned that the safety and security of Judicial Panel members appointed to a recent Tribunal has been compromised by a wholly irresponsible betrayal of confidential information.
"The Judicial Panel consists of volunteers from across the spectrum of sport and business in Scotland. They are appointed on the basis of anonymity yet all three panel members have reported intrusion into their personal and work lives, including abusive and threatening communication.
"This has been extended to directors of the Scottish FA, whose private details have been published on internet sites and who have, themselves, been victims of abusive communication.
"This culminated tonight in a visit by Strathclyde Police, who are taking seriously the threats made towards the individuals involved. We are thankful for their advice and support in these matters"
Rangers manager Ally McCoist claimed on Tuesday the judicial panel's decision could "kill" the club and called for the three members to be named.
McCoist told Rangers TV: "Who are these people? I want to know who these people are.
"I'm a Rangers supporter and the Rangers supporters and the Scottish public deserve to know who these people are, people who are working for the SFA.
"Make no mistake about it, this is an SFA decision.
"They have appointed the panel so therefore they are working for the SFA, but who are they?"
The Ibrox boss added: "In terms of our supporters, again they have received another kicking and we just feel it's time to start fighting back.
"You can guarantee we will be fighting back."
Rangers fans' groups have raised the prospect of protests outside Hampden and boycotts of SFA sponsors, while calling on players to boycott the national team.
SFA chief executive Stewart Regan clarified the disciplinary process on Tuesday, saying the judicial panel tribunal, which sat in a three-day hearing last week, was an independent body made up of three members appointed from a list of more than 100.
Regan stressed the process was approved unanimously by member clubs last year and the SFA had acted on the advice of clubs to implement a "robust disciplinary system that reflected the demands of the modern game".
Rangers' administrators have called for an immediate appeal hearing as they challenged the punishment, which they say has undermined attempts to sell the club, and Regan said the SFA would act with "integrity and the best interests of the game at heart".
The bulk of the monetary punishment and the transfer embargo came for a disrepute charge which apparently centred on the non-payment of tax since Whyte took over in May last year.
Rangers Administration Timeline:
February 13 - Rangers lodge their intention to go into administration at the Court of Session in Edinburgh. Owner Craig Whyte says the bill for the major tax case over the use of Employee Benefit Trusts under Sir David Murray could amount to £75million.
February 14 - Rangers appoint administrators Duff and Phelps after a court battle with Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. They are immediately docked 10 points by the Scottish Premier League, leaving them 14 behind Celtic. Murray expresses surprise at the timing of the club's move into administration.
Duff and Phelps reveal that HMRC lodged their petition to take Rangers into administration over the non-payment of about £9million PAYE and VAT since Whyte's 2011 takeover.
February 15 - Administrators reassure fans that Rangers will continue as a football club.
February 16 - Administrators reveal "several expressions of interest from parties not connected to the club" and express concerns over Whyte's running of the club.
February 17 - Whyte expresses confidence that investigations will prove "every penny has been accounted for".
The Scottish Football Association launch an independent inquiry into the activities of Rangers, specifically whether Whyte is "fit and proper" to hold a position in the game. Rangers are denied permission to re-sign striker Daniel Cousin, whose impending arrival they had announced before going into administration.
February 18 - Manager Ally McCoist welcomes the SFA inquiry after his side's 1-0 defeat against Kilmarnock at Ibrox.
February 21 - It is confirmed that the club's £18million bank debt was paid off with future season ticket money from Ticketus, a fact Whyte had denied three weeks earlier.
February 22 - Rangers director Dave King meets administrators.
February 23 - Rangers director of football Gordon Smith and chief operating officer Ali Russell agree to leave the club. Strathclyde Police receive a report from administrators over the club's financial dealings.
February 26 - McCoist speaks of his pride after his players put smiles back on the faces of those involved with the club with a 4-1 win at Inverness.
February 27 - Rangers are fined £50,000 by the PLUS Stock Exchange for failing to disclose owner Whyte was previously disqualified as a director.
March 1 - Ticketus call for a "rapid and successful conclusion" to the administration process and say they are willing to hold talks with any potential new owners.
March 2 - The SFA confirm they will investigate claims made by former Rangers director Hugh Adam that payments made to players were not disclosed to the governing body. Duff and Phelps postpone a final decision on cuts after refusing an offer from players to defer wages.
March 3 - Administrators say redundancies are "likely" as Rangers lose 2-1 at home to Hearts.
March 5 The Scottish Premier League have confirmed that their board have instigated an investigation into the alleged non-disclosure of payments made to players by Rangers. Rangers administrators consider a proposal from players overnight after failing to reach consensus over wage cuts.
March 6 - Joint administrator David Whitehouse says they have been unable to reach an agreement on a wage-cut plan and that talks will continue on Wednesday, although Mervan Celik and Gregg Wylde both offer to leave the club.
March 7 - Rangers director Dave King claims liquidation is inevitable. Duff & Phelps announce they are accelerating the sale of the club after failing to agree cost-cutting measures with the playing staff, while joint administrator Paul Clark says there is "no realistic prospect" of the club being able to meet criteria needed to play in European competition next season by the March 31 deadline.
March 8 - The SFA declare Whyte is unfit to hold a position in football and confirm that the club is facing a charge of bringing the game into disrepute.
March 9 - Rangers administrators announce a package of wage cuts with players that have "directly prevented substantial job losses among non-playing staff both at Ibrox and Murray Park".
March 15 - The SFA issue Rangers with notices of complaint over alleged breaches of five disciplinary rules and Rangers chairman Craig Whyte over two alleged breaches.
March 29 - Hearing set up to determine whether Whyte breached SFA disciplinary rules is adjourned until April 17.
April 4 - Duff and Phelps confirm they received four bids for the club.
April 11 - Duff and Phelps confirm they have been forced to delay the announcement of a preferred bidder for the Ibrox club due to proposed changes to Scottish Premier League rules.
April 19 - Brian Kennedy is told his revised verbal bid for Rangers is not "capable of acceptance".
April 23 - Rangers receive a 12-month embargo on signing players and owner Craig Whyte is banned for life.
April 25 - Strathclyde Police give security advice to the three members of the SFA judicial panel who handed out punishments to Rangers after "abusive and threatening communication".
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