The Supreme Court’s decision to side with HMRC and dismiss Rangers appeal in the long running ‘Big Tax Case’ saga has been met with hysteria from the moon howlers among Scottish football fans and the gutter press. Even Celtic Football Club have issued a statement demanding the footballing authorities strip the titles won during the EBT years. They didn’t say it in so many words, but we know what they meant! This is laughable coming from a club who used the death of Phil O’Donnell and a fake tour of Japan to win the title in 2008.
The use of EBTs was not tax evasion, which is illegal. An example of tax evasion would be a football club giving false attendances to hide takings from HMRC. Funnily enough, Celtic Football Club did this for decades. The use of EBTs was, in fact, a legal loophole that allowed tax avoidance. Similar to encouraging your top stars and staff to invest in bogus film production companies!!
This stance from Celtic is understandable though. In recent years they have appealed anything that could get them reinstated to European competition following defeat. The brass neckers have even caused Scottish officials to go on strike, and basically blame external forces for every defeat. I suppose it’s part and parcel of playing second fiddle to Rangers since they bought Hibs players pubs as a sweetener to sign an amateur contract and quit the Edinburgh side (who had helped them tremendously).
The behaviour of the moon howling fans is also understandable. That is tribalism for you. Get one up on your bigger and more successful rivals, any old way you can. They have been fed so much shite from ‘journalists’ and self proclaimed ‘legal experts’ that they can no longer distinguish it from factual information.
EBTs were not judged to be illegal. The decision was that the payments made should have been subject to taxation. The implication for the company is that the tax liability is increased, and the amount due is payable. There is no suggestion of tax evasion or criminality. Similar to when Celtic paid Juninho by EBT and paid the tax at a later date, when they became a target of HMRC.
Football clubs cannot be stripped of titles won fairly on the pitch for the financial mistakes of the companies that run the club. If that were the case, Celtic, Motherwell, Hearts, Dundee and Airdrie, amongst others would be in trouble.
Similarly, sporting advantage cannot be gained by spending more money than the competition. Otherwise Celtic’s tainted titles from the past 6 years become even less significant.
What I do find incredible is the silence of the Rangers board on the matter. They must issue a hard hitting statement warning Celtic that if they want to play that game then they will push to ensure Celtic are brought to justice for covering up child abuse and paying off victims. Every title won from 1968 to 1994 should be under threat, and and surviving conspirators should face jail time.
EBTs or harbouring paedophiles, which is criminal? Which is worthy of the ‘investigative journalism’? Which deserves punishment?
Over to you Dave