Rangers HMRC verdict – some people worth listening to


With a colossal fallout still lingering over the BTC appeal, and feverish demands within the lower annals of Scottish football that Rangers be stripped of their titles, it is worth acquiring a little perspective.

To that extent, here are a couple of quotes from prominent ex-Celtic personnel who make clear their thoughts on the possibility of such a concept taking place.

First of all Martin O’Neill has made waves in the press recently for airing his views on the whole deal.

On whether or not Ibrox should be stripped of titles the Republic of Ireland manager suggested:

“What is comes down to is this – there were titles and cups that were won and lost on a field of play when two teams went up against one another. You do not know what is going on at a football club behind the scenes and you assume that everything is as it appears. But these games were played a long time ago and as far as I am concerned, all these years later my emotions have not changed in terms of how I recall those great days of winning the title with Celtic and the bitter disappointment when we did not. Memories of times of great joy and times of loss stay the same. There is nothing that can change how I feel about those experiences. The games were won and lost at the time and there is nothing now that is going to change that. It is not as if you are going to feel any better about for it, whatever happens.”

Interesting thoughts I am certain you will agree.

Former Celtic full back Jackie McNamara also had a comment or two to make in 2012 when the-now York City boss said:

“I don’t think I would take any satisfaction if someone handed me a winner’s medal because Rangers had been stripped of a title or a cup. We lost in those cup finals and we lost those league titles because Rangers were a better team. Sometimes it is not just your turn and that is the way I’ll always look at it. I genuinely would not take any pleasure from seeing Rangers having trophies taken from them. It doesn’t matter what Rangers players were being paid. As a footballer you have to beat what is put in front of you. It is not my concern how Rangers went about their business. They put a team on the field and Celtic and Falkirk were unable to beat them. Over the years Rangers had a lot of top players such as Paul Gascoigne, Brian Laudrup and Ronald De Boer and it was just great to play these guys and test myself against the best. It didn’t concern me how much they got paid.”

In other words, what players got paid what does not matter. There is zero chance of Rangers’ title stripping taking place, no matter what one appeal rules, nor should there be. One opinion in a sea of contrary ones is rather outnumbered, but SPFL fans who want to see it take place anyway clearly are not interested in what those who would be affected actually think.

It really is time for Scottish football and its supporters to move on and stop living in the past.


  1. One problem is that opinion on these sites is polarised. Those who quote ex players and managers and advocate the idea of moving on forget that it is the paying public who want to see their team win or lose on a level playing field. If any subsequent appeal fails then fans of many clubs will want to be assured that an unfair sporting advantage does not go rewarded. This is not about vengeance, it is about the maintaining the integrity of the game. Only an independent body can rule on this.

    • So Arsenal should have titles taken away. Hearts as well due to having players in place they could not afford. Livingston, Gretna, etc. Where do you draw the line? The use of EBTs was in the accounts and deemed legal. You also have to consider this, Marry ran up massive debts, EBTs or not, he would have still brought the players in.

  2. One problem is that opinion on these sites is polarised. Those who quote ex players and managers and advocate the idea of moving on forget that it is the paying public who want to see their team win or lose on a level playing field. If any subsequent appeal fails then fans of many clubs will want to be assured that an unfair sporting advantage does not go rewarded. This is not about vengeance, it is about the maintaining the integrity of the game. Only an independent body can rule on this. There is too much mistrust of the current administrative bodies.

  3. Since the fall of Rangers Scottish football is little more than a joke outside of Scotland, barely getting a mention in the national press. It's time for us all to move on, unfortunately the chip on some peoples shoulders are weighing them down too much to do so.

  4. If the shoe was on the orher foot – Rangers fans would be demanding title stripping. Its just the nature of football fans. Best to pay it no attention and focus on the football.

  5. Because a victim shows a level of maturity beyond the levels a perpetrator could imagine, it clearly doesn't mitigate the actions. Also, the players aren't the only victims in this scenario, the fans that Lance Armstrong FC cheated are also victims and their viewpoints is just as important. "They won on the pitch!" Well Lance Armstrong also won his titles on the road, Ben Johnson won on the track. Laughable defence.

    • Think the comparising u are making is laughable these guys used perforamace enhancing drugs to win what they did dont think any players are being accused of this

  6. Couldn't agree more and so do the players of the teams that lost to Rangers.Its the knuckle draggers that want these titles taken ,the only pleasure they would get would be that the titles were taken from Rangers and not that there teams had been given them

    • There was a Scottish club who , allegedly , throughout the 50's , 60's and 70's regularly issued false gate receipts , thereby cheating every other top league club , as well as the tax man , out of their monetary entitlement . This was in the day when away teams were supposed to be paid 50% of the gate money . A former player of this club admitted in a recent autobiography that all the players and staff at this club knew this was happening . Everyone around Scottish football at this time will remember that the alleged clubs own fans used to talk about attendance figures being given as 25,000 say , when there were nearer to 45,000 in the actual ground ! Maybe there should be an investigation , in the interests of sporting integrity of course , be held into this . If the alleged club is found to be guilty , then maybe they could be stripped of , say , 9 titles and perhaps a European trophy at the very least ! After all , they gained a sporting advantage and also with-held funds due to opponents and the tax man alike . As i say , it's speculation maybe , but worthy of serious investigation nevertheless .

  7. Very good summation ? Moving on is essential for Scottish Football to progress but can anybody answer the following ?(1) What was the reason the SFA gave when they said they would not be getting involved in removing Scottish Cups won by Rangers during this period ? (2) Should there be an appeal by BDO or Murray to the Supreme Court to overturn the recent judgement and is successful , what would the next step be for HMRC ?

  8. My respects to Martin O'neill, Jackie Macnamara and Chris Sutton, who have all supported the fact that its 11 v 11 on the park, regardless what they get paid. However, this fiasco lands firmly on David Murrays lap, he was the chairman that allowed this to happen and doomed us to third division football in the end by selling our club to Whyte for a pound! He knew we were going to be so much in debt that he had to get rid of Rangers to save his own company. As such, Rangers should strip Murray of his name at Murray Park, and should ban him from Ibrox. David Murray is the main instigator to our downfall, not the tax man, not Celic, not the media,,,,David Murray!!!

  9. There is absolutely no proof that the Rangers players who were being paid by means of ebt's wouldn't, otherwise, have signed with Rangers. These players were playing for the shirt. Having said that, I do get some pleasure from the fact that these small minded morons are screaming CHEATS and TAKE AWAY THEIR TITLES to no avail….complete waste of energy, but at least detracts them from their own teams inefficiencies. Happy days are here…big thanks to the current Ibrox regime, especially oor Mark Warburton.

  10. Bonusb3rti3 i have never posted any comments on this site but your post is just plain stupid. Lance Armstrong and ben Johnson were drug cheats. There have been many clubs livin out with there means and won cup and titles are you going to strip them all. Also just ignore the first two verdicts cause they aren't what you wished. Also we gor relegated to the bottom teir plus fined ehen is enough an enough for you people.

    • I agree just take the titles and get on with supporting our new team .. life goes on its only a game and winning the petrified cup will stick it right up timy as they know we're coming back big time and will catch them with in the next 10 to 15 years easy .

    • do the rangers fans out there remember the marsaille semi and what they wanted to happen to them when they found out they supposedly cheated,,,,in a french league game at that,,,pot kettle black,,

    • Another comparison which is totally wrong. Were marseille not found guilty of bribing referees? This is totally different from rangers situation where they signed players on wages at a cost of a few percent less than what it would have cost them without using ebts. If the ebt scheme had not existed then rangers would have found an alternative source of money if required to sign these players, as david murray usually did what was required to sign the players rangers targetted. The only way Rangers could be said to gain a sporting advantage from ebts is if it could be proved that the players they signed would not have signed for that salary of a few percent less, or that Rangers would not have paid the money from other sources ( including increased debt which is not illegal). Even if both these things could be proved, it is still not possible to prove that these players who had ebts were better than those unknown signings who would have been there in place of the Ebt players. For these reasons the sporting advantage argument needs to be de-coupled from any hmrc tax verdicts on ebts being legal or not. I do however believe the latest tax judgement needs to be appealed due to the judges use of "common sense" rather than basing their verdict on the intricate tax laws on which they were required to judge. Most people writing against Rangers on the sporting advantage issue are supporters of other clubs who are, in snooker terms, trying a shot to nothing. Many are also happy to see negative stories about Rangers being highlighted and this is poisoning Scottish football. We can only hope that Rangers fans react positively rather than highlighting the deficiencies of these other clubs.

  11. Is it true or official that HMRC are going make a legal case that our club was not sold to/or bought by Craig White by legal means but by fraudulent takeover of the Ibrox and that makes S-D-Murray still owner of Ibrox?.we are done for i can feel this now, HMRC are going go down this road now we are now in the darkest days in Rangers history and our future is now in the hands of HMRC and in how much do they want there money.is this right

  12. Anonymous @14:32, you're missing the point completely. The call to strip the titles is not because Rangers were living beyond their means. It's because they were illegally paying players they could not afford on contracts that were not disclosed. Rangers originally only received a fine for the undisclosed contracts because at that point the EBT Payments were deemed legal. Now that they have been deemed illegal it would appear that there is a case to answer re gaining a sporting advantage by illegal means. Personally, I don't think other teams should be awarded the titles but I do think they should be stripped #stripthetitles!!!!

  13. Come on Anonymous – I actually believe that the titles should not be taken away from Rangers but you were NOT relegated. Old Rangers were liquidated and the new club had to apply to get into the Scottish League. The old club was fined but did NOT pay it it – get your facts right!

  14. Facts rfacts giving yourself an advantage in any sport is unsportsmanlike this has been proved ,so ther should be a punishment that's up to those at the governing body to decide, as that's what they get paid for , my self I would rather concentate on supporting Celtic and are ambitions for the future in a legal and sportsmanship way. , but I will say this for all the hurt and tears shed through out those years , I have no doubt its is infinity for those real rangers fans now

  15. Your an idiot Timothy. When Rangers used the ebt schemes they were legal. It was only 5 years ago that changed to illegal. Sir David Murray is being done retrospectively which is more than confusing. You can only be a cheat if you know your cheating surely? There not a court in the land that will strip our titles so go back to whatever sites you should be on and discuss Rangers there. It's really quite sad

  16. sdm like dave king and all the other characters in the rangers saga are all of the one type middle class white collar fraudsters its truly astonishing that working class people are still taken in by these crims 1984 was writtten as a warning not a handbook

  17. The club was NEVER liquidated, what was liquidated was the parent holding company. Prior to that event the subsidiary which is the football club was sold out of administration. This is common practice in trading companies and has ensured the seamless continuity of many firms which are household names.
    The fact that this does not suit the heinous and bigoted perception of a small-minded group in Scottish football who would wish it otherwise is entirely irrelevant.
    The view of senior law officers, FIFA UEFA, the Advertising Standards Authority the SFA and the SPFL are as one, and anything else is piss and wind.
    Finally, there can be no question of title stripping
    There have been three decisions thus far, with the score 2:1 in Rangers favour
    At least two more are possible, at the UK Supreme Court and ultimately the European Court of Justice
    The matter is therefore subjudice and any such action, therefore, unlawful!
    Notwithstanding, Mr McKenzie, on behalf of the football authorities at the time of the Lord Nimmo adjudication made it plain that the issue was that the issue was around the non-notification of said payments to the football authorities and not their legality. They were shown in the company accounts, and were undertaken on the basis of advice that they legal
    The judgement delivered referred to the issue of the non-declaration to the football authorities for which the oldco was fined.
    These are the facts of the matter and no hysteria, no false indignation and no amount of green cheese changes anything. The titles were won on the field of play and nothing changes that fact.
    The only question which remains is with regard to the integrity of those who seek to continue to raise this issue. What indeed is their agenda and what transparency is in their motivation?
    Unlike them I am content to let others speculate thereon!

    • You have got 3 to 4 different peaples story's stuck into your post try to make your own views on this it will make you feel good and honest

  18. The EBTs were legal at the time of use but are illegal now and they want us punished. Smoking is now illegal in pubs and bars, should anyone who has done this in the past, NOW be punished?

Comments are closed.