I know there’s been widespread criticism of many in the media for not confronting former Rangers EBT beneficiaries, now working alongside ‘proper’ journalists, for not holding ex-players to account for the enormous sums of money diverted from the tax man. I’ve spoken to a few journos who have tried to make headway on this story but been denied comment, access, or even contact details from colleagues.
The defensive line on not discussing this subject was originally “My EBT was legal and is a private finance matter”. This changed last year when these EBTs were found to have broken tax laws at appeal, when the line was changed to “This is a private finance matter which is subject to appeal”.
All fair enough. A consequence of the original legal status and ongoing appeals is that no one has broken ranks on those responsible for imposing this state of affairs on a football club, the tax man, or individual players.
The Daily Record today report HMRC are pursuing players for the payment of tax on EBTs. My understanding is that many (if not all) players received a letter from the “Club” indemnifying them from tax. Watch how quickly you’re told “Not this club, it was the club that died”.
You’re going to need patience for this one, it could have years to run, but I expect ranks will break eventually.
You can read subtext, can’t you? The Times report today that Celtic and the SPFL have written to the Scottish Government telling them to keep their noses out of the running of football clubs. This was after the Government responded to pressure from Celtic to repeal the Offensive Behaviour at Football’ Act by hitting them on a subject they knew would cause conflict with some fan groups.
Push on the Offensive Behaviour Act and watch what happens with the Fan on the Board issue which you enjoy so much but seemed to have lost momentum.
Politics is a dirty business. All this to deflect criticism of an ill-conceived, ineffective, bad law, instead of just repealing it, which will happen as soon as we no longer have a majority government. Anyway, Don’t Blame Me…….