Rangers’ EBT payments hearing to go ahead in January 2013

Picture: SNS

Picture: SNS

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THE Scottish Premier League has confirmed that a hearing into alleged undisclosed payments to Rangers players will begin on January 29.

• SPL-appointed commission into Rangers’ use of EBTs scheduled for January 29

• Hearing had been delayed because of illness

• Rangers could be stripped of titles if found guilty

The SPL-appointed independent commission was scheduled to start hearing evidence earlier this month but the process was put back due to illness.

The investigation centres on Employee Benefit Trusts used during a previous Ibrox regime and, if found guilty, Rangers could be stripped of titles.

An SPL statement read: “The Scottish Premier League today confirmed that the independent commission to inquire into alleged EBT payments and arrangements made by Rangers in relation to players during the period from 2000 until 2011 will begin on Tuesday, January 29, 2013 and is expected to sit for the remainder of that week.

“The hearing will be chaired by The Rt Hon Lord Nimmo Smith.

“The other members of the independent Commission are Mr Charles Flint QC and Mr Nicholas Stewart QC.”

The new date was announced on the same day Rangers manager Ally McCoist called for the probe to be scrapped in the wake of the club’s ‘big tax case’ success.

A First Tier Tax Tribunal this week delivered a majority verdict in favour of the Ibrox side, who were facing a claim by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs in relation to the use of EBTs.

Speaking about the SPL investigation at his pre-match press conference this morning, McCoist said: “I would be extremely hopeful that common sense would now prevail and they would drop it.

“That would be the ideal situation and we could all start moving forward again.

“All we want is an opportunity to start again and move forward.

“If they did that there would certainly be closure on that point and we could start again.”

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