Posted: Monday April 23, 2012 8:31PM ; Updated: Monday April 23, 2012 8:31PM

Rangers owner banned from soccer for life

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GLASGOW, Scotland (AP) -- Glasgow Rangers were barred from signing players for a year and their owner banned for life from any involvement in Scottish soccer as part of a series of punishments imposed Monday on the financially troubled club.

The record 54-time Scottish champions went into administration -- a form of bankruptcy protection -- in February with tax debts of 9 million pounds (then $14 million) accrued following Craig Whyte's takeover last May.

A disciplinary tribunal found Whyte in breach of two disciplinary rules between May 6, 2011, and March 6, 2012 and fined him 200,000 pounds ($320,000). Six weeks ago, he was described by the Scottish Football Association as "not a fit and proper person" to be involved in the sport.

The yearlong transfer embargo was placed on the club after it was found to have breached five disciplinary rules in the same period. The ban excludes signing players under the age of 18.

Rangers, which was also fined a total of 160,000 pounds ($260,000), is facing liquidation if it doesn't find a new buyer before the end of the season.

Americans Carlos Bocanegra, Maurice Edu and Alejandro Bedoya are on the team, which has three days to appeal.

"I am surprised at how harsh the SFA have been on a club which is going through tough times at the moment," Whyte said.

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