Last summer’s Craig Whyte trial brought the issue back into the spotlight when various witnesses spoke about the overdue HMRC bill owed by the club from the so-called Wee Tax Case.
Such was the volume of evidence from the trial that Stewart Regan reopened the issue with the SFA Compliance Officer sparking a number of departures from Hampden including Regan.
While David Murray has steered well clear of the crime scene most of his fellow Ibrox directors have been fitted out with blazers and brogues and started working their way into the corridors of power at Hampden.
Every single Ibrox director at the time was guilty of crimes against Scottish football with STV revealing that former chairman Alastair Johnston still to pass his ‘fit and proper’ test.
Tonight STV reported: “Johnston was chairman when the club applied to participate in UEFA competition that year but there are questions surrounding Rangers’ tax obligations at that time and what was declared on their licence application.
“UEFA rules state clubs applying to play in Europe should have “no payables overdue” to tax authorities, but do allow applications to progress if amounts are in dispute.
“Rangers said at the time of their application in 2011 they had no overdue payables but that they were in dispute with HMRC over their liability from a Discounted Option Scheme, known as “the Wee Tax Case”, which was in use from 2000 to 2002.
“However, in court testimony given during the Craig Whyte trial, Rangers and Murray Group directors stated the club knew the tax bill was overdue in November 2010, months before their UEFA licence application.
“Following the court case, the Scottish FA took legal advice from a QC before referring the matter to their compliance officer to investigate whether the governing body had acted correctly when processing the licence application.”
Covering the overdue tax bill on 1 April 2011 The Telegraph reported:
Johnston revealed that there were two HMRC issues, the latest – and much the smaller – being a claim by the tax authority for £2.8 million. “It relates to more than two or three players, but it relates to an issue 10 or 11 years ago – I don’t know the context of doing it,” said the chairman.
“As the Americans say, this one came right out of left-field. It really, really is frustrating. No one knew about it a couple of months ago – and let me put on record that if we did know about it we would have had to put it in our annual report and take liability for it in the accounts.
“I don’t think it is a deal breaker. It wasn’t in any plan, it wasn’t in our budgets or anything that we have been trying to do. We have a very disciplined approach and I didn’t like that appearing over the horizon suddenly.”