Pay As You earn, or PAYE, is the mechanism through which most people pay tax on their income in the UK. It is deducted from source by employers, who forward collected money to HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC).
Not everyone is paid this way. In the decade prior to their liquidation, Rangers paid 53 players over £33m through Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs). They paid owner, Sir David Murray, and manager, Alex McLeish through trusts, and also paid then-Blackburn Rovers manager, Graeme Souness, and then-Everton manager, Walter Smith, through EBTs.
Former players still involved in the game, or in the media, received pay through EBTs, including Billy Dodds, Steven Thompson, Neil McCann, Kris Boyd, Alex Rae and Barry Ferguson, the latter pocketing a clear £2.5m.
HMRC have instructed recipients to contact them in order to make plans to pay tax on this income. The money received is regarded by HMRC as a net figure, tax and National Insurance contributions will be added onto this, almost certainly always at the top rate. Then penalties and interest will be added. Players like Peter Lovenkrands will have to find money to top up the £902k he received.
Players received a letter from Rangers agreeing to underwrite any tax liability that resulted in them agreeing to take a portion of their remuneration in this way. Unfortunately, that agreement perished when Rangers went into liquidation.
No one likes paying taxes, but it funds healthcare, social services, housing, roads, police and even the monarchy and armed forces. What happened was a disgrace.
The club paid the ultimate price, with supporters going through incessant humiliations. The directors of Rangers at the time, including David Murray, most recent past SFA president and another EBT recipient, Campbell Ogilvie, and Dave King, men who were paid to look after the interests of the club, its staff, supporters and creditors, were never asked to account for bringing the game into disrepute by the SFA.
The chief puppeteer should be sine died from our game.