The Supreme Court is to hear Oldco Rangers’ appeal against the award given to HMRC over their use of Employee Benefit Trusts on 15 and 16 March 2017. Once this process is over and a conclusion reached, the courts will be finished with the matter.
As you may be aware, Rangers hit financial difficulties and were unable to continue trading. After the end of season 2011-12 they changed their name to RFC 2012 before administrators Duff & Phelps gave permission for Sevco Scotland to use the name Rangers in the context of a football club. While this permission is not unusual, it was denied to Airdrie United, who only recently were able to adopt the name of liquidated Airdrieonians.
RCF 2012 were subsequently put into liquidation. It is liquidators, BDO, who will bring the case to the Supreme Court.
After so many twists and turns on this case, I would caution against getting too far ahead of the action, but should the Supreme Court uphold HMRC’s position, the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission conclusion, that Rangers acted legally in respect of their EBTs, which meant other clubs could have taken the same steps – so no sporting advantage was gained, would be inversed.
I’m predicting Celtic will enjoy Two Generations of Domination, but I’m not predicting what the Court will decide next year.
What about Malky?
Malky MacKay deserved to be sacked for his racist comments but, having followed a course of contrition, he doesn’t deserve to be prevented from working in his industry again. A great many learn tolerance in later life.
What I’m not sure about is his talent as a coach, or anything else connected to the game, for that matter. His shining achievement is the promotion of Cardiff City to the Premier League, but once there he was quickly found out.
When he was sacked by Cardiff I suggested it wouldn’t be the racist issue which would hold him back in football (alas) but his record as a manager. He’s a one hit wonder, which is why he’s pitched up for a development gig at the SFA. An incredibly low-level job for someone who won the England and Wales Championship three years ago, but it’s about as high-profile as Malky could hope for.
News yesterday that Cardiff owner, Vincent Tan (who makes Mike Ashley look ambivalent when slighted) is pursuing Malky and others for £10m connected to the alleged misappropriation of transfer fees asks a bigger question of the SFA. Do they do due diligence on anything?
It’s bad enough having a team member cope with this kind of distraction even before the legal matter is concluded, but if the decision goes in favour of Tan, Malky’s appointment will look irresponsible. At best.