Rangers manager Ally McCoist feels “totally vindicated” by the report into the oldco club’s undisclosed payments after Lord Nimmo Smith and his colleagues ruled no sporting advantage was gained.
The liquidated club were yesterday issued with a £250,000 fine, most if not all of which will never be paid, for a “serious” breach of Scottish Premier League rules from 2000 to 2011.
The independent commission set up by the SPL ruled that payments to dozens of players should have been disclosed but were not as the club did not want to undermine their tax avoidance scheme.
But the panel rejected accusations that Rangers had fielded ineligible players or had gained an unfair competitive advantage during their five title wins in the period.
McCoist told Rangers TV: “I think the result of the commission has totally vindicated the entire club and the playing staff throughout that period.
“We always felt and hoped it would be the case and it goes without saying that we are delighted with the outcome. We feel that common sense has prevailed thankfully.
“It’s been niggling away at all our minds for a long time now – and it has been the same for players and ex-players and certainly supporters.
“It was worrying because we always hoped for the right outcome but you never know. It’s great that we have some closure on it now.
“We were 100% sure in our own minds that there had been no wrong-doing in terms of trying to seek an unfair advantage or to take it more bluntly cheat because that is the worst crime you can ever level at a sportsman.
“To have something like that levelled at you is pretty outrageous and I’m thrilled for all the fans, for the staff and all the players that a sensible outcome has been reached.”
McCoist was involved in three of the championship victories during his time as assistant manager to Walter Smith.
“These titles were won on the park,” he said. “You set out at the start of every season to win the title and I think it was unanimous from every ex-player that I read in that they said there was no unfair advantage being sought during this period.
“I’m just hopeful we can out this saga behind us. We have come a long way but this cloud was hanging over us. Now it has gone and we can move forward.
“I have spoken to supporters who haven’t sleep at night – that’s how much it means to them. We take satisfaction with what we feel is the correct result but now it’s time for us to move on as a club.
“The recovery has started and we want to continue our efforts to get the club back to where we want to get to.”