Derek Johnstone: No justice for Rangers

THE announcement that HMRC had lost their Big Tax case appeal this week would have brought mixed feelings for Rangers fans.

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Rangers were vilified by Scottish football
Rangers were vilified by Scottish football

On one hand, they will be pleased it has come to an end and feel vindicated that the club has, for the second time, been found not guilty.

Yet they will also wonder what might have been if this had been settled sooner.

They have been put through the wringer for nothing - and it is an absolute scandal.

Unfortunately, we can't turn the clock back and the club are still dealing with the consequences of the actions of some individuals who have caused a great deal of pain and damage over the last few weeks.

Rangers were always confident that they had done nothing wrong in their use of EBTs, but nobody believed them and people were queuing up to brand them guilty.

You just have to look at some of the newspapers, the talk on the radio, on television and on the internet.

Everyone had an opinion on Rangers and so many of them got it wrong. They jumped to conclusions and had Rangers guilty from the start.

The club were accused of cheating, of cheating Scottish football, buying players they couldn't afford.

There were people demanding that the club be stripped of league titles and cup wins. And now, eventually, the confirmation comes, again, that Rangers were the victims in this.

There was a lot of nonsense, absolute nonsense, spouted about Rangers, and all those people are wrong.

It will sicken Rangers fans that everything they have been through has been for nothing - and it all comes down to two men: Sir David Murray and Craig Whyte.

It was Murray who sold to Whyte, it was his call, and we cannot forget that.

We cannot take him out of the equation and forget his part in this. David Murray has a lot to answer for and Rangers fans will hold him accountable.

When Rangers were available to buy, a number of interested parties were put off by this tax bill that the club were supposedly due to pay.

The tax man, and so many involved since, have done Rangers and put them where they are today.

It is a disgrace.

Once Whyte got control, it was a downward spiral and, due to the fact that he didn't pay tax, the club was brought to its knees.

Whyte had a record of corporate troubles and run-ins with the authorities. He has a lot to answer for, but I doubt if he will care what he has done. He has caused so much damage to Rangers and put the fans through hell.

But HMRC are very much complicit in this as well. They helped bring an institution to its knees over nothing.

All the heartache, all the problems, all the pain, has been for nothing and Rangers fans are rightly angry.

The big tax case was all ifs, buts and maybes, and they have now been proven wrong - twice.

This supposed bill of £80million or £100m put off prospective buyers and allowed Whyte in the door.

There is nothing that can be done for Rangers unfortunately. It has all happened and the club has to make its way back.

But I hope we haven't heard the last of this and people will be held accountable for this chain of events.

The other thing that is ongoing at the moment is the BDO investigation into the whole affair.

Any money raised through BDO action will go into the creditors' pot and hopefully as many people as possible that Rangers owed money to will get as much as possible back.

It is hard to comprehend how much damage has been done to the Light Blues in the last few years. It has set the club back years and years.

They were thrown out of the top flight, have had no European football, been denied prize money and lost millions of pounds worth of players.

Rangers have had to rebuild from the bottom, but the club will return to the top once again.

Even if HMRC had won this case, they wouldn't have got any money because the case was against the old company.

Taxpayers have got to be asking why so much time, effort and money was spent on this case? They have got nothing to show for it.

But Rangers, and the fans, will have to deal with the fallout and ramifications of this mess for years to come.


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