December 10 2013 Latest news:
Friday, January 11, 2013
Rangers chief executive Charles Green has reiterated his determination to pursue former players – including Norwich City’s Steven Whittaker – who he believes were in breach of contract when they refused to transfer to his newco in the summer.
The Glasgow club, now playing in the fourth flight of Scottish football, are seeking compensation after Whittaker, Allan McGregor, Kyle Lafferty, Jamie Ness, Steven Naismith and Sone Aluko quit Ibrox for moves to Norwich City, Besiktas, Sion, Stoke City, Everton and Hull City respectively.
A meeting took place on Monday at Hampden to discuss jurisdiction on the case and Green says he was encouraged by the talks.
He told RangersTV: “From our side it went as well as we could have expected. From the other side I’m sure they will be disappointed.
“Clearly they wanted the commission to throw it out and rule that the SFA had no jurisdiction because the whole process of the first meeting was about jurisdiction.
“It is still my position that these players breached their contracts and we are going to pursue them.
“Both parties were asked to go away and discuss various issues. We have been given until January 21 by the chair of the commission to come back to him. In the absence that the parties can’t agree or cannot come up with a view, he will make a judgement. Hopefully, through the lawyers, we can come up with an agreement on these issues and, at that point, the commission can start taking the thing forward.
“We are quite a way off from the position we want to achieve in terms of gaining compensation. We are not going to let this drop as I have said since June.”
Rangers settled with Southampton, Coventry City and Sheffield Wednesday over Steve Davis, John Fleck and Rhys McCabe respectively.
The lawyer representing the majority of the players last responded to Green’s comments about Monday’s meeting.
In a statement to the Press Association, Margaret Gribbon of Bridge Litigation, said: “It remains our firm legal view that the breach of contract claims against the players are without legal merit.
“The proceedings before the SFA are, and should remain, confidential, otherwise the integrity of the arbitration panel and the entire process risks being undermined.”
Since signing a four-year contract with the Canaries on June 30 Whittaker has played just 10 times for the club, with an ankle injury picked up in a pre-season friendly at Celtic hampering his progess. He signed for City on a free transfer, having joined Rangers from Hibernian for a reported £2m in 2007.
Chris Hughton admitted Norwich’s soft centre again contributed to their downfall as Luis Suarez inspired Liverpool to a 5-1 Premier League win on Wednesday night at Anfield.