Motherwell manager Mark McGhee has claimed that both he and the first-team squad he supervised at Fir Park in season 2007-08 lost out on bonus money due to them as a direct result of Rangers’ use of Employee Benefit Trusts.
The Lanarkshire club finished third behind champions Celtic and Walter Smith’s Rangers that season but McGhee argues that the Ibrox side’s unauthorised use of EBTs means that the Steelmen should be considered as the runners-up.
Rangers’ former owner, Sir David Murray, introduced the tax avoidance scheme to pay players, management and staff in 2001 and continued to use it until 2010.
Three Court of Session judges ruled on 4 November, that Rangers’ use of EBT’s was merely a way to avoid tax and that the government had been denied around £40 million.
McGhee is equally unforgiving. “When I was here first time around we finished third – and we probably should have been second, given what we’ve learned since about Rangers and their methods,” he said.
“I feel as though we might have finished second, never mind third, but the rest of us are trying to stay up – that’s what we’re here for.”
Nine of the Rangers players who took part in the 2007-08 SPL campaign received EBTs and McGhee is convinced that he has been wronged.
“At the end of the day, it’s straightforward,” he said. “We get bonuses and I get a better bonus in my contract for finishing second than I do for finishing third.
“That season I only got the bonus for finishing third and I feel hard done by. I also wish that Rangers were back in the league and that we were playing them on Saturday.
“I don’t have any problems with them. I’m only being a wee bit facetious.”
When asked about the millions spent by the cash-strapped Glasgow club during the dog days of the Murray era, McGhee admitted: “I think we’d all love to have done that.
“I’d love to do that now but it’s not the way we can work.”