Hibs explain backing of SFA decision on Rangers tax case

Hibs chief Rod Petrie. Picture: Gordon Fraser
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Hibernian have outlined their reasons for supporting the Scottish Football Association’s decision not to support a review into the Rangers tax case.

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SFA chief executive Stewart Regan said on Monday that Celtic were the only one of the governing body’s 108 member clubs to oppose its decision not to support a review after it was proposed by the Scottish Professional Football League.

The SFA wrote to member clubs last Thursday to announce it would not take part in any review proposed by the SPFL board, which included an examination of “the way Scottish football’s authorities have dealt with non-payment of tax by clubs”.

In a statement released on Monday night, Hibs said: “During the past six years, the matter has been interrogated by the highest courts in the land, by the SFA, and by the SPFL.

“In recent weeks, both the SPFL and SFA have taken extensive legal advice which does not support or encourage taking further action.

“The lengthy and detailed explanation of the SPFL legal advice (dated July 26, 2017) makes clear that this matter has now been thoroughly examined by some of Scotland’s keenest legal minds, and their opinion is that - given the rules which applied at that time - no additional sanctions could be retrospectively applied.

“Similar legal views have been obtained by the SFA. Both organisations have looked at the issue and at potential sanctions, and have received strong and clear legal advice.

“The SPFL - while accepting that no additional sanctions can be retrospectively applied - wants an independent review into how the issue was handled. The SFA has referred a specific aspect to its compliance officer.

“For all of these reasons, we also do not support the letter from the SPFL calling for a further independent review.”

It continued: “Your board believes our game faces a choice.

“We either continue to spend significant sums of money and huge reserves of time and energy to challenge already lengthy and detailed legal advice.

“Or, we can focus on doing all we can to invest in the future of our club and the wider game to improve our sport, and ensure there can be no repeat of the issues raised

“We prefer the latter option - working to ensure that in the future our game is fairer and more open, and has the potential to secure greater commercial income to fund further improvement for the longer term.”

READ MORE - ‘It’s only Celtic asking for a review’ – Stewart Regan

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