THE Scottish Professional Footballers’ Association have said they are ‘dismayed’ by comments from newco Rangers owner Charles Green that he will pursue legal claims against the Rangers players who refused to join his new company.
PFA Scotland and their lawyers believe the players are free agents under employment law but Green vowed to fight for transfer money and revealed he had written to every league club in the UK warning them to stay away from them.
Former Gers defender Steven Whittaker was unveiled as a Norwich player yesterday while Scotland Under-21 midfielder Jamie Ness has joined Stoke and forward Steven Naismith is expected to sign for Everton by the weekend.
All of those deals are free transfers after the players involved took up the right to not have their contracts moved over to the new company in charge of Rangers.
PFA Scotland released a statement supporting them: “Whilst it is accepted that newco is entitled to argue breach of contract, the Players Union is dismayed that attempts are being made to prevent our members from playing professional football simply because they have exercised their legal right not to transfer to newco.”
Tony Higgins, chairman of PFA Scotland, said: “I haven’t spoken to a single Employment or Sports Solicitor who agrees with Mr Green’s interpretation of the law.
“Our members are being advised by our employment specialists, Brian Napier QC and Wil Van Megen, Head of Legal Department at FIFPro.
“We are supremely confident that under TUPE and European Law on basic principles of freedom of movement, our members are entitled to sign for new clubs.”