Former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston has hit back at the Scottish Football Association after their judicial panel's report questioned why directors and senior managers at the club did not raise concerns over owner Craig Whyte's methods.
The panel, which handed Rangers a 12-month transfer embargo and £160,000 fine for five charges relating to their finances and appointment of Whyte as chairman, ruled the club should bear corporate liability for Whyte's decision to withhold tax payments among other offences.
They also stated that directors such as John McClelland and Dave King and financial controller Ken Olverman, who was aware of the tactical non-payment of tax, could have done more to raise concerns about the club's financial affairs.
However, the report also stated in detail that Rangers directors' concerns over Whyte were ignored by former owner Sir David Murray before the takeover went through in May last year.
And Johnston, who led the public opposition to the deal, asked the SFA why they had not acted then. The SFA wrote to Whyte in the autumn asking him to clarify his past and launched an independent probe in February this year, which ruled him unfit to hold a role in football.
Johnston told the Daily Record: "All information we received independently was passed on to David Murray as the seller of the shares. All our concerns were expressed to the Murray Group and the one person who could actually act on them.
"I'd throw it back to the SFA. At no point did we receive a call asking for any information about Whyte. They did not reach out. If they had we would have been happy to share what we knew.
"The SFA sat back so far they might as well have not existed. Why didn't the SFA ask why board members were sacked or felt forced to resign? We spoke publicly and loudly about our concerns.
"If they wanted to pick up the phone we would have been happy to talk but they showed no interest whatsoever."
The panel's report, written by QC Gary Allan, stated that former chief executive Martin Bain had met Murray to express concern about a lack of due diligence on Whyte, who presided over the club's descent into administration amid an unpaid tax bill of more than £13million.
Members of the independent board committee (IBC) set up to scrutinise potential takeover deals commissioned private investigations into Whyte which discovered he had been involved in a large number of companies, although his previous disqualification as a director went unnoticed.
"Many of these companies had been established and then wound up soon after as being insolvent," the panel's report stated.
"A number of the companies left substantial debts unpaid and in particular with substantial debts arising from unpaid tax liabilities."
Bain met Murray privately in March 2011 to hand over the report and express his concerns about Whyte and the lack of due diligence being performed by either side.
The panel found that: "Sir David Murray explained to Mr Bain that he was under pressure from Lloyds to dispose of and realise his shareholding in Rangers FC to Mr Craig Whyte, and that in view of his overall financial position he was left with almost no option but to sell his shares to Mr Craig Whyte."
In March this year, an apologetic Murray stated that Whyte had appeared to meet the criteria in his offer document and that he had been "duped" by his successor.
The club's appeal against the SFA punishment will be heard on Wednesday by a different panel.