May 21 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
The Scottish FA have refused to grant new Norwich City signing Steven Whittaker international clearance and will wait for Fifa to rule whether the defender broke his Rangers contract by signing for the Canaries.
Whittaker is one of five players to leave the Glasgow giants to be told their moves will not be rubber-stamped by the SFA until the world governing body rules whether the players are free agents having rejected the transfer of their contracts to the “newco” Rangers following the club’s takeover.
However, it is not expected to stop Whittaker making his Premier League bow for the Canaries next month as Fifa are expected to grant temporary registrations while they consider the cases.
Charles Green, head of the Sevco consortium that bought Rangers’ business and assets for £5.5m when the Glasgow club was consigned to liquidation, has vowed to pursue legal claims against the Rangers players, including Whittaker, who refused to join his new company.
However, PFA Scotland and their lawyers believe they are free agents under employment law but Green has vowed to fight for transfer money and has written to every league club in the UK warning them to stay away from the players as they are in breach of their contracts.
PFA Scotland claim Green is deliberately misrepresenting the contract situation, with union chairman Tony Higgins last week saying: “I haven’t spoken to a single employment or sports solicitor who agrees with Mr Green’s interpretation of the law.”
Whittaker and Kyle Lafferty, who joined Swiss side Sion, were the first of the 10 want-away players to secure moves away from Ibrox. Steven Naismith followed suit last week by signing for Everton before Steve Davis and Jamie Ness left for Southampton and Stoke City respectively.
Whittaker admitted when he signed for Chis Hughton’s side that there had been a lack of clear advice from the SFA before he signed for the Canaries.
“There was a lot of uncertainty about it all towards the end and not a lot of information coming our way,” said the defender, who was just one year into a five-year contract with Rangers worth £20,000 per week. “We would try to find out stuff from the administrators and the SFA but no one was forthcoming with answers.
“I think that was because they didn’t really know.”