The Scottish FA have refused to grant new Norwich City signing Steven Whittaker international clearance and will wait for Fifa to rule whether the defender broke his Rangers contract by signing for the Canaries.

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Whittaker is one of five players to leave the Glasgow giants to be told their moves will not be rubber-stamped by the SFA until the world governing body rules whether the players are free agents having rejected the transfer of their contracts to the “newco” Rangers following the club’s takeover.

However, it is not expected to stop Whittaker making his Premier League bow for the Canaries next month as Fifa are expected to grant temporary registrations while they consider the cases.

Charles Green, head of the Sevco consortium that bought Rangers’ business and assets for £5.5m when the Glasgow club was consigned to liquidation, has vowed to pursue legal claims against the Rangers players, including Whittaker, who refused to join his new company.

However, PFA Scotland and their lawyers believe they are free agents under employment law but Green has vowed to fight for transfer money and has written to every league club in the UK warning them to stay away from the players as they are in breach of their contracts.

PFA Scotland claim Green is deliberately misrepresenting the contract situation, with union chairman Tony Higgins last week saying: “I haven’t spoken to a single employment or sports solicitor who agrees with Mr Green’s interpretation of the law.”

Whittaker and Kyle Lafferty, who joined Swiss side Sion, were the first of the 10 want-away players to secure moves away from Ibrox. Steven Naismith followed suit last week by signing for Everton before Steve Davis and Jamie Ness left for Southampton and Stoke City respectively.

Whittaker admitted when he signed for Chis Hughton’s side that there had been a lack of clear advice from the SFA before he signed for the Canaries.

“There was a lot of uncertainty about it all towards the end and not a lot of information coming our way,” said the defender, who was just one year into a five-year contract with Rangers worth £20,000 per week. “We would try to find out stuff from the administrators and the SFA but no one was forthcoming with answers.

“I think that was because they didn’t really know.”

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32 comments

  • PS: Our friendship with the Celts probly won't help matters with the Blue Order either !

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I think these fears are groundless TBH. Possession is 90% of the law. Does anyone seriously think that the ex-Gers will be ordered back to Glasgow? Steve is ours + Naismith is Everton's, to all intents + purposes. The only thing we're arguing about is if there's a transfer fee or not. In the unlikely event of Green winning his case + the fee being too high, it will go to a tribunal who will side with us anyway + reduce the fee, cos he's now signed for Norwich City + has the backing of his union.

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    Timbo

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • for a company to buy a club like rangers,including the business plus assets for £5 million seems to be a hugh rip-off to me.

    Report this comment

    bluelight

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I would like to think that NCFC would have had their legal team look into the contract technicalities before signing Whittaker! I hope they haven't been foolish enough not to do this. Interestingly the Scottish PFA are adamant that the players who declined to transfer their contracts to the Rangers newco are now free agents; therefore free to join another club. It also seems that most employment law specialists agree with the Scottish PFA. The fact that FIFA are ready to grant temporary registrations suggests that they are in agreement with the majority thought. It seems to me that Mr Green and the SFA have completely shot themselves in the foot with this one!

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    Canarygirl

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • has he still been paid by the newco? if the players arnt being paid, as the old company is gone, surely thats a breach of contract anyway? also in the normal world, you can end your contract under tupe if you dont want to work for the new company, no notice, just go

    Report this comment

    Greg Sayer

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Tartan, couldn't agree more. At the end of this we'll either have got a quality player with a low outlay or we'll have spent a few quid on legal fees. Either good win or tiny loss, no real problem. Of course if we win we should recoup our legal costs!

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Two reasonable and uncontroversial comments on this subject ethered this morning.Wish I knew why!! Happy days!

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    Kent Anglian

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • according to sky sports news FIFA are going to allow temporary registration of players from rangers. I wonder why all angles were not investigated by NCFC before getting into this murky, grotty business. Surely there was a chance this situation would arise

    Report this comment

    lordyfan

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I must admit, Sogstar, that I was not familiar with Dilbert, so I looked it up on Wiki. Blimey, that made spooky reading! Visions of a boss of the distant past came into my mind. Specially the "micromanagement" bit. We had meetings just to organise more meetings. Then I started getting even more paranoid; "Was I like that?...". Donkeystar seems to have made a career of it. OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

  • He is a perfect example of both the Peter and Dilbert principles, Brew. Megalomaniacs Rule, but only in their own bedrooms!

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    Soglio Star

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

  • Personally I think Green is a conman who is trying to recoup his outlay for the club. If the old co is in liquidation then as far as I know the contracts are null and void if the employee chooses so and then its up to the new co to re-employ them and agree new terms. Their is a strong smell of sour grapes in the air !!

    Report this comment

    Canary Poshboy

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I wonder if CH has got a plan B.

    Report this comment

    CovCanary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Not sure that "draconian" is fair Chelmsford. I think for a long time football authorities have been laughable with their pathetic penalties, look at how West Ham managed to get several extra years in the Premier League when they signed Tevez and the other bloke illegally and were fined a few pence for it. EUFA give out a bigger fine for a guy showing his pants as opposed to violence and racist chants by fans. This time the authorities probably have it right, I feel sorry for the Rangers fans who are suffering for the management's mishandling of their club but I don't believe it's anywhere near as bad as say Swindon fans suffering a few years ago because Lou Macari put on a couple of bets.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • What a mess the SFA have got themselves into. They were the ones who threw the cat among the pigeons with the draconian conditions on the new club and now they're trying to stop (belatedly) the pigeons from scattering. Remind me the name of the idiot running them upping there... I've long since blocked it out.

    Report this comment

    Chelmsford Yella

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • I'm no lawyer, but it seems like this is going to be a clash between how the players view themselves (as employees) and how the clubs view them (as assets). I wonder how the law views them? People talk about TUPE, but in how many other industries do you 'buy' employees from other companies? Does this make a difference? Who knows? I agree regarding the buyout of Rangers by Mr Gree. It does seem a rather cheap way of getting some serious real estate. Chelmsford, my understanding is that the SFA has little to do with what has happened to Rangers. Yes they have put on some sanctions such as not being able to sign players etc, butI think that is fair enough. It was the clubs in the SPL who were led by their supporters to refuse Rangers admission into the SPL. Rangers have enjoyed an unfair competitive advantage over their rivals by the way they have behaved, so it is only right that they get punished. Didn't one of the minnows, Gretna Green, get a big sanction for financial misbehaviour??

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • has he still been paid by the newco? if the players arnt being paid, as the old company is gone, surely thats a breach of contract anyway? also in the normal world, you can end your contract under tupe if you dont want to work for the new company, no notice, just go

    Report this comment

    Greg Sayer

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Confirmation, Neil Doncaster left his position as CE of NCFC in July 2009 after his starring role in the near destruction of our club. His achievements were so impressive that the SPL couldn`t wait to thrust a similar role upon him. Which tells you a bit about the SPL and a lot about the mess they`ve got themselves in. I`m not sure whether ND is an example of the Peter Principle in action, or the old adage about having mediocrity thrust upon one.......

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

  • As I have suggested before, I can see this boiling up into another 'Bosman' type ruling by the European courts. The question being, are players 'employees' or 'assets'? I understand from Sky that a FIFA ruling will allow SW to be ours, perhaps whilst compensation is sought.

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    Soglio Star

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Ethered, Soglio. I had to look Dilbert up. Spot on! Donkeystar made a career of it. Brought back bad memories of a past boss, too!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

  • "When Gretna hit trouble, it was made clear by the SFL then that, for the integrity of the game and the Scottish Football League, Gretna would have to drop into Division Three," McLelland told BBC Scotland. "The same thing happened with Livingston. Rangers are a big institution, but that doesn't merit them being a special case." Recent quote by chairman of Annan FC, couldn't agree more.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Irrespective of the contract positions with these players, I've always felt that something here doesn't add up. Green has acquired the assets of the former Rangers Club for £5.5 million. If this really does entitle him to the player's registrations (and there seems a big question mark here) then just how much does he expect to receive for the likes of Whittaker et al? My guess it would be somewhere north of £5.5 million, which means he's acquired Ibrox and Murray Park for nothing, whilst the creditors seemingly are on the wrong end of a very poor deal.

    Report this comment

    GMF

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Before we get too irate about this, we need to be clear about what is what, which is getting a bit muddled. The Scottish Football Association (SFA) is the governing body of football in Scotland and runs the national team. The Scottish Premier League (SPL, CEO Neil Doncaster) represents the top clubs and the Scottish Football League (SFL) is the first, second and third division. The SFA's problem is that Rangers FC no longer exists and Newco Rangers have not joined the SFA, so they are saying that they have no jurisdiction and are referring it all to FIFA, which we knew from the start. The SPL has voted not to accept Newco Rangers and the SFL are angry that Doncaster is trying to bully them into accepting Newco. There are several comments that "you would have thought NCFC would have sorted it out first". Well, they have and are in agreement with the majority of lawyers that the signing is legal and I am thankful that they took the reasonable risk before someone else stepped in. It will not be finally resolved until it has gone to court, which is always a risk, is never a 100% certainty and will take time. However, everyone other than Green and Doncaster thinks it is OK. I think that our management have been great IMcNWT, OTBC.

    Report this comment

    Swiss Canary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Reading between the lines, the granting of temporary registrations implies that FIFA have already decided that the case is a joke and the hearing is a formality. I can't imagine that they would have granted even temporary registrations if the case was credible.

    Report this comment

    Adam Penny

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Is there any danger of us being docked goalspoints later on if Whittiker is later deemed not to be our player? Or will the temporary registration mean we're covered?

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    MancCanary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Ah nice of Archant to finally catch up, last Thursday I said this had been in the paper! It's a fairly unprecedented situation so I guess SFA is right to ask FIFA to deal with it. Chic Green seems a rather dodgy character.

    Report this comment

    Tartan Canary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Cheers Doc, couldn't remember the details. I couldn't agree more. The punishments should be the same regardless of whether you are a big club or one with only a few hundred supporters. I would feel extremely aggrieved if I was a Gretna or Livingston fan and saw Rangers being treated differently, and for far greater misdemeanors. Also, it is worth pointing out that in Portsmouth's case some of those creditors were contractors and businesses who got paid a pitiful percentage of what they were owed for work that they had done. I can only assume that there is a similar case with regards Rangers, that Inland Revenue are not the only creditors. Clubs in general have to realise they owe an obligation to pay their debts. Anyway, I have digressed from the original point of what I was saying. It wasn't my intention to get on my soapbox about Rangers, but to comment on the situation with regards ownership. I can only assume that temporary registration of the players covers us to play them, though what happens if a compensation fee is set that we don't want to pay, is anyone's guess. At least we are not the only ones in this situation.

    Report this comment

    Preston Canary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Very good points by GMF. I am not sure that FIFA will be able to adjudicate here as now there are also UK and Scottish Commercial and Employment Laws to be considered. Looks a right mess and could take quite a while to sort out. As I mentioned in an earlier posting, we have got to have enormous sympathy for the fans of Rangers. Their once great and respected club has been decimated.

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    Kent Anglian

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • If you're not happy with the t&c's of a newco company you don't have to accept them - it doesn't matter if you're a footballer, security guard, receptionist or manager. You're free to leave. That's certainly what I understand from my study of scots law.

    Report this comment

    glasgowcanary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • If a whole new company has been formed, you can't "buy" the players registrations as a part of that. They are employees, not stock. It's up to them wether they work for the new company or not. To misquote dear old Private Fraser in Dad's Army " We're all doom.....caster(ed)..."...

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Looks like another nice little earner for Leathes Prior coming along !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

  • Chelmsford Yella, I think the idiot you`re trying to block out is Kneel Donkeystar but he is CEO of the SPL (I think). He did well to help guide NCFC into League 1. Must`ve been that on his CV that got him the job north of the border!

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, July 11, 2012

  • Looks like another nice little earner for Leathes Prior coming along !

    Report this comment

    Dubai Canary

    Tuesday, July 10, 2012

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