Alan Pattullo: Rangers can’t expect SPFL to ‘move on’

Rangers fans hold cards up ahead of kick-off on Remembrance weekend. Picture: SNS
Rangers fans hold cards up ahead of kick-off on Remembrance weekend. Picture: SNS
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Considering the issue has preoccupied Scottish football for so long now, it is being optimistic in the extreme if the board of Rangers International Football Club really believe their call, issued yesterday, for everyone just to “move on” from the EBT-era will be heeded.

They might wish to move on, understandably so – it has been an unbearably wretched period for them and their fans. But hold on. Not everyone can dismiss so lightly the words of Lord Drummond Young, one of the senior judges who heard HMRC’s appeal last week.

Going by the tone and timing of yesterday’s statement from the Ibrox club, it is possible that Rangers believe the “big tax case” has reached the end of the line. Last week’s victory for HMRC is subject to BDO, liquidators of oldco Rangers, appealing to the Supreme Court.

It is possible last week’s fairly hard-hitting judgment by the Court of Session, where HMRC’s appeal that Rangers ought to have paid tax on their Employee Benefits Trust scheme was upheld, will stand as the last word on the subject – in the legal sense at least.

But, while sharing former Celtic player Chris Sutton’s views that it will benefit no-one to go through the records to annul certain results and titles, it is natural there will be a period of renewed interest in just what the “EBT era” signified for Scottish football.

Last week’s stern judgment simply re-ignited the thirst for bloodletting. It isn’t realistic to expect people to simply walk on by.

The Scottish Professional Football League’s board was surely compelled to discuss the Court of Session verdict – and have done so. It’s what they decide to do next that intrigues.