BREAKING NEWS FROM NEIL DOHERTY IN GLASGOW: Rangers have been banned from buying any new players for 12 months by the Scottish Football Association tonight.
The club has also been fined £160,000.
And former owner Craig Whyte has been given a lifetime ban from participation in Scottish football and was also fined £200,000.
Full reasons for the fines and punishments are expected to emerge later and follows scandals surrounding the club’s dodgy finances.
There is no word yet on Rangers being stripped of titles they won while making secret payments to top players.
A statement from Rangers joint administrator Paul Clark, of Duff & Phelps, read: “All of us working on behalf of the club are utterly shocked and dismayed by the draconian sanctions imposed on Rangers in respect of these charges.
“It appears that on one hand the disciplinary panel accepted our central argument that responsibility for bringing the club into disrepute lay with the actions of one individual – Craig Whyte – as is evident from the unprecedented punishment meted out to him.
“During this hearing the club produced compelling evidence from a number of sources that following his takeover, Craig Whyte ran the club in a thoroughly unaccountable manner, rather than adhering to a long-established and proper form of corporate governance.
“The thrust of the charges against the club focused on non-payment of payroll taxes and evidence was produced that all such decisions in this area were taken by Craig Whyte during his tenure.
“Given this evidence, it is difficult to comprehend that the disciplinary panel has seen fit to effectively punish the club even more heavily than Mr Whyte. As everyone knows, it has already been decided he is not a fit and proper person to run a football club and any further punishment on him will have little or no impact.
“However, for Rangers, a ban on signing players will seriously undermine the club’s efforts to rebuild after being rendered insolvent.
“Furthermore, we do not know how bidders for the club will react to these sanctions and what affect they will have on their proposals.
“The club has asked for full written reasons for these decisions and intend to appeal against the findings.”
Three different bidders are interested in saving Rangers