TAX bosses have been given the legal go-ahead to appeal the case they lost against Rangers last year.

HM Revenue and Customs had applied in December for leave to appeal over what was known as the "big tax case" decision. Judges had given a majority verdict in favour of Rangers over the Ibrox club's use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs) and declared the assessments of HMRC be "reduced substantially".

Two of the three judges at the First Tier Tax Tribunal decreed only some of the payments made to players through EBTs were taxable, but that many of them could be described as loans, as the club had argued.

However, after being told HMRC had been given the go-ahead to challenge the judges' ruling, Rangers' chief executive Charles Green said: "The ruling of the First Tier Tax Tribunal does not affect the operations and the financial position of the club as it stands today.

"The appeal will have no effect on us because this is an historic case for The Rangers Football Club plc ('oldco')."

Sir David Murray was in control of Rangers when the club began using EBTs.

He sold the club for £1 to Craig Whyte in 2011, while the tax liability was in dispute. The old club went into administration in February last year.

The judges' tax decision came too late to save "oldco" Rangers from being wound up and does not directly affect the current Ibrox regime.

The club was relaunched as a new corporate entity in June when the original company was consigned to liquidation.

If the HMRC appeal is successful, the debt will be added to the millions left behind by the old club company, now known as RFC 2012 plc.

In November, Lord Hodge approved a winding up order that moved RFC 2012 plc out of administration and into the hands of liquidators.

Liquidators BDO are responsible for distributing what is left of the old Rangers company to creditors as part of the liquidation process.