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Volume 7 No. 108

Franchises

Scottish Premiership side Rangers accused the Scottish FA of "wasting money on a vendetta against the club" after the ruling body on Tuesday charged it with "having broken rules about financial information" in order to secure a license to play European football in '11-12, according to Michael Grant of the LONDON TIMES. After a nine-month investigation, the SFA brought two charges against Rangers concerning submissions made by the "oldco" regime, before liquidation, over the "wee tax case." That was a £2.8M liability owed to U.K. tax authority HMRC but Rangers insisted "the sum was in dispute" when it secured a license in March '11 to play in Europe the following season. Evidence in former Rangers Owner Craig Whyte's recent trial suggested the club had "already accepted exactly what it owed" by late '10.  A principal hearing date was set for June 26 but the Ibrox club issued an immediate statement, saying, "The club questions whether the time, cost and expense of this investigation was justified and was a good use of the SFA's limited resources. Disappointingly, and presumably rather than accept that the investigation was a waste of all parties' time and resources, the club has been served with a new revised notice of complaint relating to the monitoring period subsequent to the grant of the Uefa licence" (LONDON TIMES, 5/16).

ABUSE CLAIM: The BBC's Mark Daly reported a former youth footballer who said that he was sexually abused by a Rangers coach was told by the club he "should pursue his complaint with liquidators." The man claims he was abused within the Ibrox stadium by Gordon Neely, who was head of youth development in the '80s. But the alleged victim has been told by lawyers for Rangers that "the duty of care is not with the current owners." They said that when the abuse took place, Rangers was owned by a different company, which is now in liquidation (BBC, 5/16).

League Championship side Millwall said that it would welcome a "new relationship" with its local council after "controversial plans" to sell land around the stadium were dropped. The club was invited to meet with property developer Renewal, which helped Lewisham Council with the plans. Renewal said that it wants a "positive dialogue" with the club. However, Millwall CEO Steve Kavanagh said that he is unsure the change in attitude is "genuine" (BBC, 5/15).

Bangor City was "denied" a UEFA and Tier One License, which is mandatory to play in Welsh football's top tier, but said that it will not challenge the "devastating" decision to deny the club a license to compete in the Welsh Premier League next season. The FA of Wales refused the club "on financial grounds," which means despite finishing second, it will be demoted to the Cymru Alliance (BBC, 5/16).

The Bushrangers are "no more." Cricket Victoria discarded its men's team's nickname of more than two decades in a move to "de-clutter" what it believes is a "congested portfolio of monikers." The state women's team's nickname -- the Spirit -- was also "shelved," with the sides to be known as the Victorian men's cricket team and the Victorian women's cricket team, respectively (THE AGE, 5/15).