Walter Smith was not named by BBC’s Mark Daly as a recipient of an Employee Benefit Trust in the recent documentary, however, before this matter is put to bed I expect more names to emerge. As soon as Smith makes himself available to a proper journalist he will be asked:
Did he receive EBT loan payments from Rangers?
Did he repay those loans or hold his cash while the club ran out of money and died?
Was he in receipt of a letter from Rangers confirming he was not required to repay?
Did his then employers, the Scottish FA, know he was perhaps receiving money from a member club while employed by them?
Are SFA employees contractually inhibited from taking payments from a member club or required to inform the SFA board of any payments received by a member club?
Did his earlier employers, Everton FC, know if he was receiving money from another club while employed by them?
Was Smith contractually inhibited from taking payments from another club or required to inform Everton of any payments received from another club?
As manager of Rangers, was he involved in negotiations with players who had EBTs or was he another one who concentrated on administrative and legislative duties?
Was he one of the men SFA president, Campbell Ogilvie, suggested failed to reveal side contracts to the Rangers board?
Rangers’ liquidators, BDO, will forensically pour over most of these questions, so Smith’s answers will be verifiable.
No one who played an active part in Rangers EBT scandal will come out of this clean. The ramifications multiply if Rangers were discretely paying any senior employee of another club.
I simply cannot imagine the justification for a member club discretely paying a senior employee of the SFA. Frankly, it would be beyond every Celtic fan’s most paranoid fantasies. I am sure Mr Smith will quickly and easily be able to reassure everyone.
An interesting twist in Smith’s bid for the assets of Rangers is that if he is to inherit Green’s application for a SFA licence and take a controlling interest in the club, Green is obliged to do due diligence on Smith to determine if he is a Fit and Proper person. Perhaps Mr Green can use the above as his due diligence questionnaire.
One final thought. In the unlikely event that it is established that one senior SFA employee was receiving discrete payments from Rangers, we need an immediate and independent inquiry to establish how many others received such payments and what they were for.
As a matter of some urgency I would recommend Stewart Regan brings himself up to speed on this one. I am sure his president is banging the table as you read this insisting the chief executive gets to the bottom of this. It’s not as though he is heavily conflicted and the SFA is in dire need of an independent president to steady the ship.
My friends in Celtic, this just got interesting.