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Apr 26, 2012

McCoist 'disgusted' by threats

Rangers manager Ally McCoist has defended his calls for transparency regarding the Scottish Football Association's judicial panel and insists his comments were not a signal for fans to engage in threatening behaviour.

• McCoist: We can't cope with ban

The SFA revealed on Wednesday that Strathclyde Police have given security advice to the three members of the independent panel after their identities were revealed.

McCoist had demanded the trio be named after the administration-hit club were handed a £160,000 fine and a 12-month embargo on signing players for bringing the game into disrepute since owner Craig Whyte's takeover last May.

In a statement released on Thursday, McCoist said: ''I would not for one moment want anyone to interpret my remarks as a signal to engage in any form of threatening behaviour.

''Such activity disgusts me and anyone who engages in it does Rangers Football Club nothing but harm. No Rangers supporter should get themselves involved in it - not now nor at any time.''

On Monday, Rangers were found guilty of five charges in relation to their finances and the appointment of Whyte as chairman.

Speaking after the ruling, McCoist claimed the sanctions could kill the stricken Glasgow giants and demanded to know who had delivered the verdict.

However, in a statement the SFA said that the three panel members in question had been subjected to ''abusive and threatening communication'' after their identities were ''compromised''.

McCoist said: ''I would like to make quite clear my position in relation to the decision by the SFA's judicial panel which earlier this week imposed sanctions against Rangers which have far reaching consequences for our club and Scottish football.

''I firmly believe that decisions of this magnitude should be fully transparent and everyone should have confidence in the system that has been created to deliver such a finding.

''When I called for full transparency on Tuesday I took the view that the decision by the judicial panel should be subject to proper scrutiny. It is unthinkable in any walk of life that such a significant punishment would be meted out without full transparency.

''I fully understand that there are difficult decisions to be taken in football and they will never suit everyone but in this day and age clarity and transparency are surely of paramount importance.''

Rangers administrators Duff and Phelps have already called for a swift appeal hearing and fear the punishment could further hamper hopes of naming a preferred bidder, with American tycoon Bill Miller and the Blue Knights still in the running to take over the club.

McCoist added: ''Our focus has got to be firmly on ensuring that the club's case in appealing the sanctions imposed on us is put forward robustly and in the appropriate manner.

''Rangers Football Club was a victim of what happened during the tenure of Craig Whyte. The club was not an accomplice, a co-conspirator nor a perpetrator of wrongdoing.

''We suffered from it and still are. I hope that our appeal can be dealt with by the SFA as quickly as possible as the situation for the club and the possible ramifications for Scottish football are very serious.''

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.

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