Its been a taxing time for Rangers Football Club

14 May

I’d be quite happy if Glasgow Rangers moved to London and played in the Premiere League and Glasgow Celtic moved to Dublin and played in the Irish League. Both teams claim their roots are either based in the UK or in Ireland. The problem is they polarise sectarianism based on Protestant and Catholic, which is a terrible blight for Scotland.

Of courses at the moment Rangers have a bit more on their plates than football. The takeover of the club by Charles Green has ended up in administration, which has uncovered financial issues left right and centre and another few from other angles. The biggest problem was always HMRC who felt that the way that some players had been paid in years gone by were somewhat, perhaps, over the line of what is acceptable from a tax avoidance point of view.

The amount HMRC were chasing was £9 million, or was it £45 million or was it £90 million or more? There was also the lack of paying VAT and PAYE. pretty messy by anyone’s standards. The administrators moved as quickly as circumstances would allow to secure new owners and this weekend such a rare breed stepped forward.

The job of sorting Rangers out was made a bit mode difficult by the SFA and the Scottish Premiere League changing the rules as they went along and they are still doing so now. This is the point where logic goes out of the window.

First up then Rangers are docked ten points for this season. On the face of it not too bad since they were probably going to end up in second place anyway. However, finishing in second meant that they’d play in Europe next season so it seems only fair that they lost that.

Now the rest of the punishments or probable punishments are a bit more difficult. First of all they get deducted points for next season and they are banned from signing any new players for a season at least. They should be demoted to the Scottish Third Division and have to play their way back into the SPL. Both the SFA and the SPL seem to be making it up as they go along.

There’s always been a problem with the other football clubs in Scotland who see the Old Firm, Celtic and Rangers, as having a privileged position and getting all the money, luck and cudos. That being the case, the other clubs want to get more of a share of the revenue and get more of everything else too.

Rangers and Celtic feel they are entitled to more than the other teams because they have a huge support and they are much, much larger clubs with years of success behind and In front of them. And therein lies the biggest issue.

The smaller clubs rely on the big gate receipts, which Rangers and Celtic provide. The TV payments also reflect Rangers and Celtics value on a wider stage. Whilst its obvious that this situation perpetuates the two-tier system how else could it be? Damage Rangers and Celtic and everyone suffers. Other clubs would flounder if the money created by Rangers and Celtic was reduced and without doubt no Rangers and Celtic in Scottish football, would impoverish the whole of game here.

Forcing Rangers to start again in the Third Division would be a disaster for the smaller teams. The grounds at that level are, shall we say, a bit basic. At half time the fans swap ends walking past each other and having a bit of banter with the other side and the lone policeman who might turn up for a few minutes during the match or might not turn up at all.

Celtic need Rangers and Rangers need Celtic. They are a brand. Without Rangers Celtic lose a big part of who they are and you may have noted that the comments made by the Celtic Manager have been muted and, almost but not quite, supportive of Rangers struggles to survive.

The new owners have a bit of work to do. Sort out the debt with a CVA or form a new company. Then they have to restructure the club, sort out the players contracts, buy new players and get the money flowing back in. Not so easy perhaps.

Neither Rangers nor Celtic will be allowed to fail. There is far too much at stake.

What of the taxman? He’ll huff and puff and settle in the knowledge that a successful Rangers will pay lots and lots of tax for a long time to come.

What fun.


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