Feb 28 (Reuters) - Former Scottish champions Rangers will not be stripped of any of their titles after being investigated for undisclosed payments from 2000 to 2011, the Scottish Premier League (SPL) said on Thursday.
However, the company (Oldco) that formerly ran the Glasgow club and went into liquidation last year has been fined 250 thousand pounds ($378,400).
The investigation by an independent commission looked into an offshore employee benefits trust (EBT) operated by Rangers that was used to make payments to players and staff in the form of tax-free loans.
"Those side-letter arrangements were required to be disclosed under the Rules of the Scottish Premier League and the Scottish Football Association as forming part of the players' financial entitlement and as agreements providing for payments to be received by the players," the commission's ruling said.
"Oldco through its senior management decided that such side-letter arrangements should not be disclosed to the football authorities."
The commission, however, found that Rangers did not gain an unfair competitive advantage from the arrangement.
"Nor did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible to play, and for this and other reasons no sporting sanction or penalty should be imposed upon Rangers FC," it said.
Rangers, who won the SPL title five times while the EBT was running, have had to relaunch from the fourth tier of the Scottish game after collapsing with huge debts.
They are 20 points clear at the top of the Third Division. ($1 = 0.6608 British pounds) (Reporting by Alison Wildey in London; editing by Toby Davis)