Gers fans tell SPL to drop probe

RANGERS' fans have demanded the Scottish Premier League drops its "kangaroo court" investigation into the club's alleged use of dual contracts after the club won its "Big Tax Case".

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Rangers could be stripped of titles if found guilty of breaching SPL rules
Rangers could be stripped of titles if found guilty of breaching SPL rules

A First Tier Tax Tribunal has ruled payments made to players and staff at Ibrox during the Sir David Murray era through the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) scheme were loans and not paid as their absolute entitlement.

Rangers face being stripped of a number of SPL titles and Scottish Cup triumphs if found guilty of breaching SPL rules over payments made to players.

The club has promised to vigorously defend itself in a bid to retain its silverware and Rangers Supporters Trust spokesman Mark Dingwall insists the governing body has no choice but to halt its inquiry.

He said: "I think people are delighted it (tribunal ruling) has happened, but extremely angry and sad we have had to deal with so much trouble to get to this result when, from the start, the club and fans were very confident the EBT scheme was legal.

"The club spent £250,000 a year in legal advice about the running of the scheme. To spend that amount of money then have it questioned was ludicrous.

"A lot of damage has been done that cannot be undone and there will be a negative effect on Rangers for years to come because of the chain of events that has unfolded.

"I would not say it is a hollow victory, I would say it is a very big victory and it has entirely justified Rangers' stance on this issue.

"The biggest thing is it blows the SPL's attempts to strip titles from Rangers out of the water.

"The SPL tribunal should be disbanded immediately. It certainly should be the end of it.

"The judgement is so detailed, and has taken so long, and it has said that the operation of the EBT was almost completely properly conducted."

He continued: "I fail to see how the SPL can credibly conduct an investigation and come out with a different result to the tribunal.

"The Tribunal has the full force of the law, the power to summon witnesses and documents and the amount of time it sat for means any other investigation is entirely superfluous.

"It would be ludicrous if the SPL continued with its kangaroo court and came out with a negative verdict."

The news the tribunal has found in Rangers' favour will have no bearing on the Third Division club, which was forced to start at the bottom of Scottish football after English businessman Charles Green formed a new company in the summer.

It brings the curtain down on one part of the long-running saga, but Mr Dingwall insists it will not absolve previous parties of guilt at the position Rangers find themselves in.

He said: "The Murray Group fought the case well but, at the end of the day, it doesn't take away from the fact Sir David should have been a lot more careful in who he sold the club to.

"He was given advice by the rest of the independent board and was told not to sell to Craig Whyte and he ignored that advice. That is a great stain on his reputation and a huge question mark over his judgment."

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