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Rangers tax case probe must remain closed, insists SPFL

 

By Gavin McCafferty

The Scottish Professional Football League insists it has no legal power to reopen its probe into the Rangers tax case but the organisation backed calls for an independent review into how the affair was handled.

The SPFL sought advice from QC Gerry Moynihan and concluded it could not issue fresh sanctions on top of the £250,000 fine imposed in 2013 by an independent commission led by Lord Nimmo Smith.

The commission's verdict that Rangers gained no "unfair competitive advantage" for failing to disclose documents relating to Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) payments has come under serious scrutiny since the Supreme Court ruled Rangers should have paid tax on almost £50million of payments to players and other staff in the first decade of the century.

Celtic had called for a review and groups representing Aberdeen, Dundee United and Hoops fans demanded Rangers be stripped of titles.

The liability for the EBT payments lies with oldco Rangers, which went into liquidation, and Moynihan advised the current Ibrox company could not be punished.

SPFL chief executive Neil Doncaster said: "The clear legal opinion of Gerry Moynihan QC is that we simply cannot go back and re-try this case. Any such action would be open to legal challenge and would almost certainly fail such a challenge."

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