WE'LL SHUT DOWN GERS TO SAVE OUR GAME; SFA ready to freeze Ibrox club out of football GERS FACE SFA FIGHT.
THE SFA were last night threatening to shut Rangers down for good after the club's administrators backed them into a corner in the Court of Session.
Despite successfully overturning a hugely controversial 12-month transfer ban, Duff and Phelps also triggered a full-scale FIFA probe into the escalating Scottish crisis.
News of Judge Lord Glennie's decision to Turn to Page 59
From Back Page rule against Hampden's top brass has infuriated the game's governing body in Switzerland.
And, as a result, last night FIFA were preparing to wade into the saga by threatening to go to war with the entire Scottish game unless Rangers' bungling administrators are forced to back down.
FIFA's furious response - almost identical to the stance they took during a courtroom battle involving Swiss side Sion last season - could see Craig Levein's national side booted out of the next World Cup and Celtic denied a pounds 15million ticket into next term's Champions League.
Motherwell could also be robbed of their chance to secure a spot among the European elite while Dundee United, Hearts and St Johnstone have been left to sweat over their own money-spinning places into the Europa League.
Very quickly the courtroom triumph was beginning to look like the hollowest of victories imaginable for Duff and Phelps, who may have left the SFA with little choice but to dish out an even heftier punishment for the rule breaches carried out by the Craig Whyte regime.
In fact, fears were growing inside Hampden last night that crisis-ravaged Rangers may have to be sacrificed, and have their SFA membership terminated, in order to spare the rest of the national game from FIFA's wrath.
WARNED In an official statement from Switzerland, the game's governors said they had not yet been informed of the row by the SFA.
But a senior source inside Sepp Blatter's Nyon bunker told Record Sport FIFA are now prepared to fight tooth and nail, just as they did last season when Sion famously rebelled against the game's authorities over their place in the Europa League.
And a spokesman warned: "In such a case, FIFA will ask the Member Association to take action so that the club withdraws its request from the ordinary courts.
"As a rule, in case a club is seeking redress in front of ordinary court, the Member Association shall take action to safeguard the principle laid down in art. 64 par. 2 of FIFA Statutes, which shall be, in view of art. 64 par. 3 incorporated in the Member Associations' Statutes.
"FIFA will now closely monitor the situation so that the issue is resolved as fast as possible."
Lord Glennie judged yesterday that the SFA's judicial panel had acted outwith its own remit when it hammered Rangers with a year long ban from signing players. He also ordered the matter be placed back in front of the SFA's appeals tribunal for urgent review.
But, having insisted that Whyte's mishandling of affairs were so shameful that only match fixing would have been looked upon more seriously - the SFA have now been backed into a corner with almost no room to manoeuvre.
The decision to impose a 12-month embargo was seen as a compromise and a way to avoid having to take the ultimate sanction of booting Rangers out of the game.
But now, unless Duff and Phelps or Charles Green accept the original sanction the same appeals tribunal will have to choose between softening the punishment to include a possible ban from next term's Scottish Cup - or taking the ultimate hard line by ripping up the club's membership and banishing them into the wilderness.
EMBARGO But all of that was lost on the administrators yesterday who seemed to believe they had struck a blow for justice in the Court of Session.
Paul Clark said: "We welcome the decision by Judge Lord Glennie today that vindicates the Club's position that the original SFA judicial panel tribunal and the appellate tribunal acted beyond their powers in imposing a transfer embargo on the Club.
"The costs for this legal action have been awarded against the SFA and it is very regrettable that court action was required.
"We, and the SFA, will study the full ramifications of the judgment when it is published and either side has 21 days to decide the next course of action or whether to appeal."
An SFA spokesperson later said: "We are surprised by today's verdict at the Court of Session, especially since the original sanction against Rangers FC was imposed by an independent panel chaired by a leading QC and upheld by an appellate tribunal chaired by a Supreme Court judge.
"We will now consider our position with our legal advisers before making any further comment."
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