Rangers will not be stripped of titles

The independent commission appointed by the SPL to investigate alleged undisclosed payments made to players by Rangers have today confirmed they will not be stripped of any SPL Titles, however, the company that formerly ran the club have been fined £250,000 by the Lord Nimmo Smith-chaired commission.

The three-man  commission had been examining alleged rule breaches by the Ibrox club between  2001 and 2011, when Rangers operated employee benefits trusts (EBT)

It found that ‘oldco’ did not disclose payments to the football authorities.

“Oldco through its senior management decided that such side-letter arrangements should not be disclosed to the football authorities,” it stated.

“The board of directors sanctioned the making of payments under the side-letter arrangements without taking any legal or accountancy advice to justify the non-disclosure.”

The commission also iterated that: “the scale and extent of the proven contraventions of the disclosure rules require a substantial penalty to be

However, the findings rule out any sporting penalty, as the non-disclosure did not affect the eligibility of players.

“Rangers FC did not gain any unfair competitive advantage from the contraventions of the SPL Rules in failing to make proper disclosure of the side-letter arrangements,” it states.

“Nor did the non-disclosure have the effect that any of the registered players were ineligible to play, and for this and other reasons no sporting sanction or penalty should be imposed upon Rangers FC.”

The findings also stated that Rangers’ current owners shoulc not be held responsible for any breaches made by the previous company.

HM Revenue and Customs had claimed the EBT scheme, which was used to make £47.65m in payments to players and staff in the form of tax-free loans, was illegal.

Rangers disputed this and a First Tier Tax Tribunal ruled the scheme did not breach tax law.

HMRC has subsequently appealed to an Upper Tier Tax Tribunal.

Rangers won the SPL five times after initiating EBTs for players.