Date: 15th November 2017 at 4:03pm
Written by:

The SFA have no timescale on the enquiry into Rangers (IL) being awarded a UEFA licence in 2011.

Celtic raised the issue with the SFA at the time with a group of hoops shareholders picking up the matter at the club’s 2013 AGM after uncovering new documentation.

At the heart of the issue UEFA only allow clubs that are up to date with social payables (tax) to compete in their tournaments.

This rule is to introduce an element of fair play and to prevent clubs putting off tax payments in order to spend money on players and hoping to recover the outlay from success and UEFA prize money. For years that was the operational model used by Rangers (IL).

Stewart Regan and the SFA claimed that Rangers (IL) were compliant with that rule since the £2.8m ‘wee tax case’ was under discussion with HMRC when they were granted a licence.

Celtic shareholders disputed that fact claiming that the bill was overdue on 30 June 2011 when the SFA rubber stamped Rangers licence to take part in the 2011/12 Champions League qualifiers.

A number of witnesses at the Craig Whyte trial confirmed that the bill was overdue on 31 March which is the first relevant date for licence purposes.

After Celtic requested a complete review of governance matters from 2011 onwards the SFA conceded that new evidence from the Whyte trial had been given to the Compliance Officer to investigate.

More than two months on there has been no further comment from the SFA.

Responding to a question today at the Celtic AGM, company secretary Michael Nicholson admitted: “There is no timescale. We have to respect the process, we are waiting with keen interest.”

Earlier in the meeting one of the shareholders behind Resolution 12 asked the board for an update on progress.

After resuming the process that had been involved over the years Nicholson said: “We are waiting with keen interest and will take appropriate steps to protect the interest of shareholders.”

*** The £2.8m tax bill has occurred due to undeclared payments made to Tore Andre Flo and Ronald de Boer, no punishment was applied despite both players being ineligible in every game that they played in.