Rangers tax case: Celtic criticise SFA and call for investigation

Celtic have criticised the SFA's decision not to review Rangers' tax case and appealed for the body to investigate events leading to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and governance issues.

Celtic chief Peter Lawwell. Picture: John Devlin
Celtic chief Peter Lawwell. Picture: John Devlin

In a statement released on the club’s website, Celtic say a failure to do so “would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership”.

It leads back to Rangers’ use of tax-free loans, known as Employee Benefit Trusts, to players and staff between 2001 and 2010.

Following a Supreme Court ruling in HMRC’s favour over Rangers Oldco, the Scottish Professional Football League called for a review in July. However, the SFA opted against doing so, stating that it would only lead to “raking over coals” and “the image of the game in Scotland can only be damaged further”.

Celtic expressed their disappointment with that decision and believe that an indepdent review is “essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair”.

The statement read: “In the light of all information that has now become available, Celtic has been in correspondence with the Scottish Football Association in pursuit of the club’s belief that an independent review should be commissioned to consider the events that led to the liquidation of Rangers Oldco and the governance issues arising from those events. This is exactly the same position as adopted by the SPFL board on behalf of all Scotland’s 42 professional clubs.

“The club believes that such a review is essential if a line is to be drawn under this whole affair. On that basis, Scottish football could learn lessons and move on. The club considers, however, that failure to carry out a full review of these events and issues, which have been without precedent in Scottish football, would represent a failure in transparency, accountability and leadership.

“Celtic was, therefore, disappointed to note that the Scottish Football Association board has confirmed that it does not intend to commission such a review. Throughout these processes, Celtic’s consistent objective has been to establish the full facts, which is surely the least that all stakeholders in Scottish football - including the supporters of all clubs - are entitled to, and to learn the appropriate lessons. That remains our position.”