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Sports Minister states that no public money will be used to bail out Rangers

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We contacted sports minister Shona Robison direct to explain her comments from the 15th and if taxpayers money would be used to help bail out the stricken Ibrox side.

The minister said: “Football is our national game and the Scottish Government is a committed supporter of Scottish football and all of our football clubs in recognition of the important positive role they play in communities throughout Scotland.”

On Rangers failure to pay their taxes, Robison added that the club must meet their obligations, she said: “I fully recognise that it is vital that both individuals and organisations pay their taxes in a timely manner as taxation is essential to the economic and social development of Scotland.

“In any statements made on Rangers, the Scottish Government has reiterated the importance of an agreement between the club and HMRC being reached which ensures that Rangers meet their obligations, including their tax liabilities and debts as well as securing as many of the jobs as possible.”

“As you will know, the club [Rangers] have now entered administration and it is far too early to predict the possible outcome of this but it is less likely that if the club is wound up that tax liabilities will be met. The task for the administrators now is to take forward the process of assessing the business and securing an outcome in the best interests of all of the creditors.”

On the discussions with the administrators tasked with dealing with the issues at Rangers, Robison added: “In a telephone conversation with the administrator, I reiterated our priorities as stated above. A key concern for us is the future of the over 250 people employed by the club and the potential economic impact of administration.

“The Government stands ready to offer assistance to anyone affected by job losses at the company and we will stay in contact with the administrator throughout the process to ensure we are informed of any developments.

“The Scottish Government has offered this type of assistance to a number of companies in the past, including other Scottish football clubs which had gone into administration, and will continue to do so with any company with employees facing redundancy.”

Despite the comments that the Scottish Government offered this type of assistance to a number of companies before, employees of the now-defunct FlyGlobespan beg to differ. The airline was Scotland’s biggest and employed around 800 staff, carried more than 1.5 million passengers and operated 12,000 flights. The Scottish Government did step in, but to help the company’s customers and rightly so. But there was no help or assistance to the employees of the company.

A Scottish government spokesman at the time, said: “This is extremely disappointing news. The Scottish government is contacting the company as a matter of urgency to seek clarification on the situation. Customers booked with Globespan either returning from holidays or about to travel can seek further advice through the Civil Aviation Authority’s website. We recognise that this will be an anxious time for employees and their families, particularly at this time of year.”

Despite the offer of assistance to Rangers employees, Robison wanted to make the point that: “While we are able to offer support as laid out above, I want to be clear that no public money would be offered to bail out any football club and this remains the case with Rangers.”

The sports minister ended by stating that the loss of the Ibrox side would have a negative impact on the Scottish game, she said: “Finally, the potential impact on Scottish football of losing Rangers was captured very well in the comments earlier this week of Inverness Manager Terry Butcher, when he expressed concern that such a loss would have a very negative impact on already difficult broadcasting and sponsorship deals. I hope you will agree that this is something we would wish, if at all possible, to avoid.”

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About Author

scotzine

Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.

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