Graeme Souness: My Rangers EBT was for scouting players

Former Rangers boss Graeme Souness claims the tax-free payment he received from the Ibrox club 10 years after leaving the club was for scouting work.

Graeme Souness talks to the press ahead of Rangers' clash with rivals Celtic. Picture: SNS

The former Light Blues player/manager was given a £30,000 sum as part of the controversial employee benefit trust (EBT) scheme run by the Glasgow giants in the first decade of the century.

Rangers used the scheme to give millions of pounds worth of tax-free loans to former club staff, players and coaches - with former skipper Barry Ferguson reportedly the highest recipient after collecting £2.5million.

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Souness left Rangers in 1991 after five years in charge to return to former club Liverpool. He was in the midst of a four-year stint as Blackburn manager when Rangers began handing out EBTs in 2001.

Attending a press conference promoting Sunday’s William Hill Scottish Cup semi-final between his old side and Celtic, the 62-year-old was asked to explain why he was given the payment 10 years after departing Gers for Anfield.

He said: “I was doing work for Rangers.

“I’m not being blase but how much was it? And what was the largest one that someone received? That’s a lot of money isn’t it?

“Well I was in between jobs and I was going to scout players for Glasgow Rangers at that time, on the continent. Does that answer it?”

Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs say they were salary payments and subject to tax.

In November last year, the Revenue won a ruling that Rangers’ former parent company’s use of EBTs from 2001-2010 had broken tax rules.

BDO, the Rangers oldco’s liquidators, plan to appeal the ruling.

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