Gers fans want SPL to call off hearing

PA Sport
Rangers still face an SPL-appointed independent commission investigation
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Rangers still face an SPL-appointed independent commission investigation

John Macmillan, secretary of the Rangers Supporters Clubs, has called for a hearing into alleged undisclosed payments to players to be scrapped in the wake of the club's 'big tax case' success.

A First Tier Tax Tribunal (FTTT) delivered its long-awaited verdict on Tuesday when they found in favour of the oldco Rangers's appeal over a bill for the use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBT). Rangers still face a Scottish Premier League-appointed independent commission set to investigate undisclosed payments to players, which centres on EBTs.

One of the possible sanctions, should the Ibrox side be found guilty, is the stripping of titles. Macmillan said: "I certainly would [like to see it scrapped]. If they do want to go ahead with it, you can be assured that we, as Rangers supporters, will back the club the whole way to fight this case with the SPL."

The three-man panel, chaired by Lord Nimmo Smith, was due to begin hearing evidence earlier this month but the case was postponed and no new date has been set as yet.

Macmillan also believes Rangers are owed an apology from those who accused the club of cheating before the FTTT delivered its verdict.

He said: "We have been called cheats and that we got titles because we were paying this money illegally. Well, that has been proved to be false. I hope the people who made these accusations will be big enough to come out and apologise."

Two of the three judges on the FTTT determined that only some of the payments made to players through EBTs were taxable but that many of them could be described as loans, as the club had argued.

Macmillan said. "It's pleasing to know that two of the judges agreed with Rangers' viewpoint. Even in this point, Sir David Murray has been vindicated; he was always confident he would win it."

Macmillan questioned whether administration and liquidation could have been avoided had the 'big tax case' been resolved before Craig Whyte's ill-fated takeover in May 2011. He said: "No-one knows why it took so long to get a conclusion but if this had been decided earlier, who knows what could have happened.

"If someone had come in with £10million or £15million behind them to buy the club and had invested some money in players at that time, without the threat of this tax case hanging over them, then it may have been a different story."

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