A judgement by the tribunal will be released later, which could take from a month to six months, if not longer.
HM Revenue and Customs claim that the club owe £35 million in back taxes, along with £14 million in penalties, over Rangers’ use of the Employee Benefit Trust to pay players between 2001 and 2010.
While fans outwith the Ibrox side will be rejoicing in the misery that is being subjected to the club and it’s fans currently, former Celtic midfielder Bobby Petta speaking exclusively to Scotzine, stated that Celtic need Rangers, that Scotland need Rangers.
He said: “When people talk about Scotland, they talk about Celtic and Rangers. So one doesn’t come without the other. It’s really sad to see how things have changed.”
If the decision of the tribunal goes against the club, HMRC can demand payment immediately, whether or not the club lodges an appeal against the findings.
However, Rangers owner Craig Whyte has stated previously that the club could go into administration if it loses the case. Although HMRC could challenge the club going into voluntary administration, which they did with English championship outfit Portsmouth, but ultimately lost the case.
Such a decision would hit Rangers not only off the park, but also on it, with some of their top stars potentially being moved on by the administrator to pay towards debts owed. In any case, Rangers would be weakened significantly financially and in football terms, something that could have serious repercussions for not only their rivals Celtic but also Scottish Football as a whole.
Petta added: “Rangers are in trouble, but they [Celtic] need to have Rangers in Scotland, they need to have that. People talk about the Old Firm, everybody knows who the two teams are.”
With the SPL agreeing an £80 million TV deal with Sky Sports & ESPN recently, it can be argued that they are only paying for the rights to the four Old Firm games every season, and without a strong Rangers side this could have a serious impact in future TV deals.
Despite some Celtic fans claiming that they would love to see Rangers go out of business, Petta is of the other opinion, he added: “One cannot go on without the other, especially not in Scotland they need each other.”