SFA give blessing to businessman
King to take Rangers chair after being ruled ‘fit and proper’
King, who gained control of the Ibrox club after shareholders voted to oust the former board in March, is now likely to become chairman.
The Scottish Football Association had to consider Mr King’s convictions for breaches of the Income Tax Act in South Africa.
In a statement the SFA said it had taken legal advice in Britain and South Africa and that the “scale of this due diligence is unprecedented but befitting the complexities of the consideration placed before the board”.
It said Mr King and the club were fully co-operative and responded to all questions put to them by the SFA.
“On the basis of this advice presented to it, and having considered all submissions received from Mr King and the club in respect of this matter, the Scottish FA Board granted an approval, conditional upon further submissions from Mr King in respect of documented agreements with the appropriate authorities in South Africa.
“The Scottish FA can confirm it has now received this supplementary documentation in full and the Board is satisfied Mr King is Fit and Proper.”
Mr King was convicted of breaching the South African Income Tax Act in 2013. He paid £650,000 in fines and handed over £38.1m in assets.
He was still on the board of directors at Rangers when the old company which operated the club went into administration in February 2012.
The company subsequently entered liquidation and sold its assets to a newco.
Paul Murray, Rangers’ interim chairman, was deemed to be fit and proper by the Scottish FA’s professional game board earlier this month.
In a statement on the Rangers’ website, Mr King said: “I am delighted with today’s announcement from the Scottish FA. I can now turn my attention fully to the task of re-building Rangers.
“The Scottish FA’s process has understandably been a long one given their recent negative experience with some of the previous board members, who were tasked with being custodians of the club. It was essential that I dealt fully with all of the Scottish FA’s questions and provided them with everything they required, no matter how personal, in order to prove that there were no barriers to me joining the Board of Rangers International Football Club plc.
“I always maintained I would meet the fit and proper requirements of the Scottish FA once they had examined all the evidence and that is what happened.
“I said before that I must be the most scrutinised candidate in Scottish football history but, as I also previously explained, I was happy to accept this given the importance to the club of having a board fully comprised of individuals with the club’s best interests at heart and who are all approved by the Scottish FA. We finally have that, and my colleagues on the board and I look forward to serving the club in the years to come.
“I thank the Scottish FA for their diligence in this matter and now it is time to look ahead and map out Rangers’ future. However, I will elaborate on that in the coming days because there should be no distractions ahead of tomorrow night’s match at Ibrox.
“This first leg of the play-off semi-final is absolutely crucial. I will be going to the match and I urge as many Rangers fans as possible to buy the remaining tickets to ensure a packed Ibrox. Together we can help drive the team forward.”