ALEX THOMSON, Chief Correspondent and Presenter at Channel 4 News has today kicked of the row regarding Title Stripping from Rangers should the Supreme Court find for HMRC in the so-called Big Tax Case.
Thomson, who covered the story extensively from the time Rangers entered Administration on Valentine’s Day 2012, had this to say today on Twitter:
It seems the Scottish FA say Rangers will not be stripped of titles whatever Supreme Court's Big Tax Case verdict might be.
— alex thomson (@alextomo) May 11, 2017
This is bound to cause considerable debate in the Scottish game as the football authorities at Hampden attempt to keep a lid on the decisions reached by Lord Nimmo Smith and the secretive terms of the 5 Way Agreement which allowed Rangers to play football in at the end of July 2012.
Supporters of all clubs, including Rangers, are critical of the SFA for their sect rive 5 Way Agreement and demonstrated against the game’s governing body at the recent Scottish Cup Final, where their team lost 2-0 to Celtic.
Nimmo Smith proceeded on the basis that the so called Wee Tax Case wasn’t considered and also on the basis that the Big Tax Case scheme was lawful and therefore open to all other clubs to use if they saw fit. HMRC have subsequently overturned this judgment on Appeal at the Court of Session and two months ago the Rangers liquidators had the final appeal heard at the Supreme Court.
That decision, whether it goes for BDO on behalf of Rangers (IL) or HMRC will be the last word.
Celtic issued a statement at the time of the Lord Nimmo Smith finding noting their ‘surprise’ but vowed to await the final ruling on the Big Tax Case before commenting further.
David Murray and directors at the old Rangers club have been giving evidence in the HMA v Craig Whyte trial which is on-going at the High Court in Glasgow.
Murray, under oath, has already stated the purpose for these tax schemes was to buy players they otherwise could not afford.
Thompson’s tweet has generated considerable early debate as the implications start to sink in. The football authorities, regardless of the outcome, will turn a blind eye.
Here is a flavour of the comments so far…
“The Scottish FA are the clubs. Time the fans told their respective clubs that they won’t stand for industrial cheating without recompense.”
“Before we discuss title stripping and restitution the SFA hierarchy must go.Tabula rasa, clean slate. Wolf in the hen house, ratification.”
“This is the correct stance as you can’t strip titles from a club that has gone out of business like Gretna and Airdre…I’m only joking. Take the lot, nail the lid on Rangers let the fans enjoy Sevco, but remind them forever they let the other die.”
Broadcaster Jim Delahunt got involved saying:
“I’m sure they had tanks in George Square years ago Alex but don’t think they’d want to deploy them again in current political climate.”
Read the rest on Alex’s twitter handle @alextomo
More to follow…developing story.