On Martin O’Neill suggesting Rangers have suffered enough.

An open letter to Martin O’Neill from AULDHEID on CQN…

Dear Mr O’Neill

You were a great Celtic manager and gave the Celtic support some wonderful memories.

Top of the memory list has to be the bitter sweet season of 2002/03 when you took Celtic to Seville but lost out on the SPL title to Rangers by a goal.

Rangers that season won the treble under Alex McLeish.

I note your view that Rangers have been punished enough but I wonder if it is a view you would still hold if you knew that.

1. Ronald De Boer was paid for the first half of that season by an illegal ebt. Not an ebt that Rangers are still contesting with HMRC but one for which they accepted liability because they had lied to HMRC about the existence of the side letter to De Boer that was part of the tax arrangement they had with him since August 2000.

2. You were kept in the dark about the above because details of that side letter and why the ebt in question was illegal were kept from the SPL when they commissioned Lord Nimmo Smith to investigate the use of ebts and side letters at Rangers. How De Boer ‘ s ebt from August 2000 was treated as legal is something that the SPL have failed to answer.

There are punishments and there are consequences and what is happening to Rangers is a consequence first of their behaviour and second the ongoing consequence of avoiding the football punishment that would have to have happened had the nature of the De Boer ebt not been hidden from those charged with the investigation.

How much less hurtful would 2002/03 feel now if you knew it was a title you had lost by unfair means?

I am not suggesting that the 2003 title be stripped or awarded to Celtic but the truth behind it has to be told so that pronouncements such as yours are made based on the facts.

You and Celtic and our support were cheated. If you can forgive that then so can I, but let’s not pretend what Rangers indulged in from 2000 is anything but the total corruption of Scottish football of which Celtic were but one of the many victims.

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