Derek Johnstone: Ruling is too little, too late

Rangers have been vindicated in their stance over the EBT issue...but it has all come far too late for the club.

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Derek believes Craig Whyte must take big share of the blame for Rangers' mess
Derek believes Craig Whyte must take big share of the blame for Rangers' mess

We were talking about this issue in April 2010, when it first came to light, and it's fair to say a lot of water has gone under the bridge since then.

I firmly believe it could have been a completely different Rangers to the one we have just now if this had been sorted sooner, which it should have been.

The Big Tax Case undoubtedly put off potential buyers from investing in the club. I think it is so sad that it has not come until now for it to be sorted out.

It is the right result, but it has arrived far too late for Rangers. There has been talk of an investigation into HMRC and I think that is right as people deserve to know what has gone on.

A Scottish institution suffered greatly because they took too long deciding whether they were guilty or not. The worst thing was that they refused the CVA, so Rangers were never going to get a pence-in-the-pound deal accepted from their creditors.

They knocked it back and had a demand for millions accepted in the debt pile based on a tax demand that has now been booted out. That's quite staggering.

That move put the old club into liquidation so I think they have got a lot to answer for. What happens next, I don't know.

Rangers are where they are and they need to get on with it but I would imagine that the people running the show won't be happy.

The club will be delighted that they have been vindicated, of course, but they are where they are and that can't be reversed. I think there is still a lot to be said on this matter, this won't be the end of it.

When you look at television, newspapers, everywhere, a lot that was said about the Big Tax Case was negative. I think people found Rangers guilty before they even heard the decision.

This country has always been about being innocent until you are proven guilty. I think in this case, Rangers were guilty and they had to prove themselves innocent. But at what cost?

They are in the Irn-Bru Third Division and it's nonsense that it has got to this stage.

The SPL investigation is slightly different, but this verdict should play a big part in it. It was loans that were being given to players and that has to be taken into consideration.

But we are talking about the SPL here. It is going to be January and February before this case is heard and that is a joke. It should have been dropped, but it hasn't and it will go on for a while yet.

It is still the issue that hangs over Rangers. Everyone thought that the Big Tax Case verdict would prove Rangers right or wrong and it has been shown that they did things correctly, but now they have to wait until February with the threat of titles being stripped hanging over them.

I think that is a disgrace in the first place. The club can't fully focus on their football yet, they still have to wait months to find out what the SPL are going to do.

I don't think Sir David Murray's reign at Rangers has been vindicated by this decision. He said from the start that they did nothing wrong and that has been proven right.

But what it did was stop people from buying the club when he was trying to sell it for two years. Nobody bought Rangers with the tax case in the balance and eventually Murray sold it to Craig Whyte.

That is where he can't be vindicated, it all went downhill for the club the moment he sold to Whyte for £1. He still has a lot to answer for, he is not in the clear.

He still has to take his fair share of the blame for where Rangers are just now. But Whyte takes a bigger share because he is the man who didn't pay PAYE and National Insurance.

Murray has been vindicated over the Big Tax Case, but he is still guilty of mismanagement of the football club, and giving it to Whyte was the biggest mistake.


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