Rangers’ appointment of Alistair Johnston has still not passed the Scottish FA’s ‘fit and proper person’ test some nine months after being named to the Gers board of directors, according to a report.
STV has claimed that although Johnston was added to the Ibrox board in July 2017, he is shockingly yet to have his appointment ratified by the SFA, pending the outcome of an investigation into the Scottish FA’s handling of Rangers’ UEFA licence application in 2011.
The American-based businessman was on the board at Ibrox when the club was bought by Craig Whyte and publicly spoke out against the sale by then-owner Sir David Murray before being removed by Whyte in one of his first acts after taking over.
Johnston was chairman in 2011 when Rangers applied for a licence to allow their participation in UEFA competitions and questions remain over what the club knew about their tax obligations when they applied to the Scottish FA.
Rangers said at the time of their application in 2011 they had no overdue payables but confirmed that they were in dispute with HMRC over their liability known as “the Wee Tax Case”.
In court testimony given during the Craig Whyte fraud trial, former Rangers directors stated the club knew the tax bill was overdue in November 2010, months before their UEFA licence application, in a move in breach of the licencing regulations.
Football Insider verdict:
Johnston will likely see his fit and proper status confirmed at the end of the ongoing investigation. While certain parts of evidence given in Craig Whyte’s fraud trial is the catalyst behind the investigation, there’s little to back up the claims made as much of it is matters already in the public domain through various leaks and court cases. Should the Scottish FA find that Johnstone doesn’t fit the bill as a fit and proper person, it will raise more questions than it answers with his 2011 colleagues Dave King and Paul Murray currently sat on the Ibrox board and passed as fit and proper.
In other Rangers news, this BBC pundit has said Murty must do these three things or wave goodbye to Ibrox.