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SBD Global/December 12, 2012/Franchises
Rangers Plan Defense As 67 Players Take On Club In Contracts Legal Battle
Published December 12, 2012
ROBUST DEFENSE: The SCOTSMAN reported in the Rangers' share issue prospectus, the club declared PFA Scotland had raised the claims and that they would “robustly” defend themselves. The prospectus also stated that former Rangers players Sone Aluko, Kyle Lafferty and Jamie Ness have "raised constructive dismissal claims." The three players were among nine who "refused to transfer their contracts over" to newco Rangers. PFA Scotland declined to comment, but it is believed the claims "were brought in a strategic move as part of an arbitration battle which will be decided by the Scottish FA." Rangers are "demanding compensation over the Ibrox exit of six of the players who declined to join the new company" (SCOTSMAN, 12/11).
CURRENT PLAYERS TARGETED: In Glasgow, Keith Jackson reported 18 current Rangers are "caught up in a legal wrangle." Rangers' lawyers believe that Green’s case is "water-tight." A source said, "The legal opinion we have received is that the SPFA’s case is a complete and utter non-starter. The regulations are crystal clear and this move is baseless and invalid." A number of senior players who remain at the club, led by captain Lee McCulloch, have been "embarrassed by the latest move." In fact, McCulloch -- who "famously volunteered to play on without wages when the full scale of the carnage of Craig Whyte’s reign began to unfold" -- has already met with Green to "distance himself from any possible cash claim." Many of McCulloch's teammates "feel the same way." McCulloch tweeted: "For everyone asking, I’m not involved in the 67 people and if my name is there it will be getting taken off" (DAILY RECORD, 12/11).
FINDING A COMPROMISE: Also in Glasgow, Gregor Kyle wrote the Scottish players' union said it will drop its legal claim against Rangers if the club abandons its "breach of contract proceedings" against several of their members. In light of the "reaction to the matter becoming public,'' the PFA have now released a statement explaining its position and how it is willing to ''withdraw the Protective Award claim... in the event of the SFA breach of contract proceedings being withdrawn against our members." The statement, "contradicting the club's prospectus," goes on to explain that PFA Scotland alone has made the claim which "has not been lodged in the name of any Player let alone some 67 individual Players as has been reported." The statement continued, "It is quite simply inaccurate therefore to suggest that PFA Scotland has acted here without instructions. PFA Scotland does not require instructions to raise a court action in its own name" (DAILY RECORD, 12/11).