Ibrox View: Times bombshell about £50m HMRC blunder must have repercussions
Bombshell news today from the Times, where it’s been reported that the taxman might have made a £50m mistake that sent Rangers tumbling into administration and down the leagues.
The Times report claims £50m could be wiped off the bill that was owed by Rangers old operating company.
The £70m for using an offshore trust to pay players could now be as little as £20m, a sum that then-chairman John McClelland said would have led to the club attracting investors and potentially being bought.
“At the time of the sale of the club in 2011, had the tax claim been at the level now being reported then, in my opinion, the outcome would have been different,” McClelland said.
“I believe there would certainly have been a much higher level of interest in acquiring it and therefore more potential buyers.”
The implications of this are absolutely huge and affect not just the club but the whole community as well – and serious questions have to be asked.
Rangers have only just managed to get back to some sort of parity with Celtic in the Premiership, and until the league is won and Rangers have Champions League football again, there’s still a way to go.
If the actual sum owed is proved to be £20m then it’s highly likely Rangers wouldn’t have gone into administration and wouldn’t have been liquidated.
Rangers entered the Scottish Third Division (fourth tier) in the 2012/13 season after being voted out of the Premiership by 10 clubs – only Kilmarnock abstained – and then won three promotions in four years to get back to the top flight.
Things are significantly better now, with Steven Gerrard in charge and the club joint top of the league, but if this investigation concludes in the way the Times article suggests it will, there has to be repercussions, and not just at HRMC.
In other Rangers news, No nasty surprises this January as Ross Wilson gives fans what they want to hear