I know you don’t need to rehearse the Resolution 12 debate as you’ll know it instinctively now, but, as always, we are indebted to eyes outside of Scotland calling for insight and governance in the Scottish game on an issue only tangentially related.
Yesterday, The Offshore Game, ran a report that the SFA may have misled the Lord Nimmo Smith Commission inquiry into Rangers failure to register players on an industrial scale during their EBT years.
While the SFA were swatting away questions into how Rangers were cleared to participate in Uefa competitions in 2011, less than a year before disappearing into insolvency, chief operating officer, Andrew McKinlay inadvertently turned the spotlight on the reliability of evidence placed before Lord Nimmo Smith.
Questions around the awarding of Rangers Uefa licence in 2011 were asked in the dark as no one outside the club, SFA and Uefa knew what information had been submitted, and the SFA didn’t know what the club submitted to Uefa.
There was a belief that the club may have not disclosed a letter concerning the Wee Tax Case from HMRC to the SFA in 2011. Mr McKinlay wrote to the requisitioners saying that he “did not accept that” this information was not brought to the SFA’s attention in 2011 – two years before Nimmo Smith sat.
This assertion tidied up the Res 12 issue at Hampden, but as The Offshore Game makes clear, why on earth did the SFA’s evidence to Lord Nimmo Smith on the Wee Tax Case not reflect the correspondence they had on file? In short, it was accepted by all that schemes scrutinised by the Wee Tax Case were unlawful.
Nimmo Smith didn’t hear this, in fact, he heard was that Rangers tax schemes were legal, and concluded, therefore, as any other club could have used them, no sporting advantage was accrued.
The Offshore Game call for scrutiny of the SFA over this by the parliamentary Culture, Media and Sport select committee. This call will be magnified should the Supreme Court uphold HMRC’s position on the Big Tax Case.