Strip the Titles? Why Celtic REALLY want Rangers EBT investigation re-opened…


Only Rangers fans living on Mars recently could have failed to spot Celtic demanding a reopening of the investigation into the EBT scheme at Ibrox following the SFA’s assertion that it was a completely closed affair.

Indeed, not only did the governing body of the land’s game state this, but traditionally Rangers-hating entities like Aberdeen backed them up. Now, we are not going to praise the likes of Stewart Milne for stating enough is enough, but we can at least acknowledge his sense in wanting this nonsense put to bed for the sake of Scottish football.

Our game is already swilling in the mire when our supposedly best team cannot buy a win when it really counts in the Champions League, and our second best team finishes a double figures points tally behind them in the table.

One then has to look at why Celtic’s CEO Peter Lawwell advocates a return to the bog that is the entire investigation; why he wants the coals raked over and old wounds reopened ‘for the sake of Scottish football’.

Why does Lawwell want to drag Scottish football back even further than the backwater it is already in by dredging up old rubbish from the sea bed?

In short terms, Peter Lawwell is not a terribly popular chief at Celtic Park – fans have never really taken to him and there were murmurs in the past about just how much longer he might last in the job.

And nothing else appeases the supporter base at ‘Paradise’ and brings them onside more than reopening the Rangers EBT can of worms and pretending you actually want the topic re-explored.

In no way does it serve Celtic interests to have such practises outlawed, for fear it will dredge up their very own use of them too. Celtic fans frequently try to justify their own use of EBT schemes, especially that of Juninho, and point out that all the outstanding tax was nevertheless paid.

Problem is that there was outstanding tax. That a dubious scheme was indeed used. And it had to be settled via legal manners for closure.

Does Lawwell really want this thing looked into? Of course not. It serves Celtic no use whatsoever to even suggest Rangers have titles stripped. It would be ugly for the Scottish game as much as anything else and would seriously damage the already frail coffers of our game.

Serie A suffered dreadfully from Calciopoli – but that was a league which had enough cash in it to survive titles being taken from Juventus and given to Inter and the commercial damage. It only survived. It has taken over a decade to restore a few Italian teams to where they were in European stakes, and the likes of Milan, Inter and Roma remain miles off the forces they were. It is a league which has lost so much of its global clout following that scandal.

Compare that with the pathetic sums in Scotland and there is absolutely no survival possible for such a damaging act.

No, Lawwell is trying to gain face with his customers, little more. In truth, most CEOs in his position would do the same.

We really need to move on from this as a nation, we really do.


  1. £600 Sky deal for League 1 football… while the SPL continues to argue over past nothings, they will only keep attracting the 50p and a packet of Space Raiders that they currently have to share amongst themselves. Embarrassing.

    • The cut up of money from sky and BT is shocking they want us all to stick together but our football teams can die with lack of fair play money from them both or lets us join the EPL so we can win there top prize i think not.

  2. If Celtic want it 'for the good of the game' they should pay all of the costs and sign up to no title stripping before the review starts.

    • James, the key words in Phil's post are "the good of Scottish football ". If Lawwell really wanted the review for those reasons then he would have more of a chance of getting support from those who don't have a personal vendetta/agenda. Sadly I think Lawwell wants to see a statue of himself outside Parkhead.
      Are you a football fan or a budding lawyer? Mon the Gers.(you obviously won't agree with these sentiments either)!!

  3. It's a sad indictment of Scottish Football and all of those the hunted and despised the Rangers to the 3rd Division …No opposition to the Rotten Mob For 5 years !!!…No Improvement in their or Scotland's Football as a result…Damn them all …but it is pleasurable to see them exposed …Brenda Rodgers will be found out here too ..He has only one system ask Tommy Wright …WATP As for Liewell he is exactly what they stand for and do …no condemnation of the Supporters again !!!@

  4. Personally, I think he wants to do it to draw attention away from his failure to provide a team capable of performing in Europe. It's all very well being (temporary) kings of the hill in a far from top class league but where have all the millions Celtic have earned over the past few years gone? How much did their most expensive signing cost? Someone is surely benefitting from these "mullions and mullions", but it sure ain't the team.

    • I do not think it is any thing to do with a team capable of performing in Europe none of the teams in Scotland could ever do that unless BT pumped in a billion like they have done in the EPL just think where dundee could be with 100 million before they kicked a ball that is the difference i could not give on what they want to do it is dead wood now and we shall move on no matter who says what in the back ground.

    • Both Celtic and Rangers have been in a European final in the not too distant past. I would argue that £100 million is not an absolute necessity.
      It would certainly help though.

  5. As a Celtic fan I'm utterly opposed to this strip-the-titles move and the obsession with refusing to call the current club Rangers. If it's any consolation to you the vast majority of Celtic supporters that I know agree with me on both counts.

  6. I might add, and this IS heresy among most Celtic supporters, Celtic need a strong Rangers and ideally some other clubs making the game competitive in Scotland. It's all very well luxuriating in clean sweeps and the likelihood of ten (and possibly more) in a row but that will quickly pall. In addition it's totally impossible to be competing against the likes of Ross County and Hamilton week after week and then suddenly go up against teams worth half a billion like PSG and Bayern.

  7. Excellent piece and right on the money. The dhim AGM is coming up, anyone who believes that Lawwell did not know the position of Aberdeen, Hibs Ross County etc is an idiot. Lawwell is no idiot. He can now stand up at the AGM and say "you can see we did all that we could but nobody would support us"
    The Supreme Court in their ruling clearly stated that the EBT scheme was not a scam. It was not illegal or unlawful. That kills one of the scum arguments. The side letters issue has already been covered. Rangers were fined £250000. That situation cannot be revisited.
    Apart from that their were rules and regulations in place in 2012. These cannot be changed retrospectively.
    These are facts.

  8. I think sceptic would be better off trying to fix the problem within their support that seems only to come out after a defeat in europe!!!

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