I have recently had reason to look over interview notes I made last year.
The notes were made when I was preparing an article on Mr.Paul Baxendale Walker for a Scottish Sunday newspaper.
He is the man that provided the expertise to construct the tax efficiency strategy of Sir David Murray’s empire.
That empire, of course, includes Rangers FC.
I had first seen his name mentioned apropos Rangers tax case on the “Rangers media” website.
When I contacted him last autumn he was very happy to speak On The Record about his work, and confirmed his role in helping to establish Employee Benefit Trusts for Rangers.
He graciously afforded me his time with two lengthy telephone interviews. The second interview was me going back to him to fact check and ask layman’s questions for clarification on this complex area of taxation law.
He was courteous and helpful.
He did make one remark that I found very interesting.
He told me that I was the first journalist to contact him about the Rangers tax case.
I was surprised by this because by this time the story about the Ibrox club’s potential taxation difficulties and Mr. Baxendale Walker’s role as the club’s tax expert had been in the public domain for several months.
I have written before that there has been an element of denial among the Rangers fraternity about the seriousness of this tax case.
Of course that fraternity stretches into the media in Scotland.
Potentially the news is so bad for Rangers FC that people simply don’t want to think about it.
Now with the “second half” of the Tier One tax tribunal about to start this month the “Denial” phase of Rangers tax grief is now longer tenable.
This vigenette reveals far more about the professional standards of sports journalism in Scotland than it does about the fiscal difficulties currently afflicting Scotland’s establishment club.