SPFL ‘will not strip Rangers of titles’ - reports

HMRC won the 'Big Tax Case' yesterday. Picture: John Devlin
HMRC won the 'Big Tax Case' yesterday. Picture: John Devlin
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THE SPFL will not strip Rangers of titles won during the years when the club was making EBT payments to players - according to The Scottish Sun.

Yesterday a Court of Session ruled in favour of Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs that tax was liable on the payments.

The ruling itself does not impact the current regime at Ibrox. However, a question remains of whether Rangers gained an unfair sporting advantage from the scheme.

READ MORE - HMRC win ‘big tax’ case against Rangers

Rangers were fined £250,000 after being found in breach of (then) SPL rules for failing to disclose the scheme to the league.

The payments were made from 2001 to 2010, raising questions over the four league titles won by Rangers over that stretch.

However, Lord Nimmo Smith declared that no sporting advantage had been gained in 2012, and it would appear such a ruling will stand in the eyes of the SPFL.

READ MORE - Rangers Big Tax Case: Who benefitted from EBTs?

This is despite Lord Drummond Young ruling yesterday that “it seems to us that if bonuses had not been paid they might well have taken their services elsewhere”.

When investigated by HMRC, Rangers had insisted the payments were merely loans, which would require no payment of tax.

However, that notion was dismissed at the second appeal from HMRC after Oldco Rangers were initially absolved of the tax owed.

READ MORE - Everything you need to know about the Rangers ‘Big Tax Case’

The court ruled the scheme to have been “a mere redirection of earnings which did not remove the liability of employees to income tax”.

The ruling came down on the same day Rangers released their annual accounts, showing a £7.5m operating loss.

Rangers underwent regime change towards the end of the financial period, when Dave King and the so-called Three Bears consortium seized power from Mike Ashley and allies following a shareholder vote on March 6.

READ MORE - 10 things we learned from Rangers annual report

The club reported a number of “key advancements” since then, including “sound corporate governance”, a return to “operational and financial stability”, investment in stadium infrastructure and staffing levels, a significant rise in season ticket sales and re-engagement with supporters and football authorities.

Rangers announced their annual general meeting would be held at Clyde Auditorium on November 27.