There are two key questions to ask when you want to get to the bottom of any story:
“Who knew what?”
“When did they know it?”
What did the SFA know about Rangers’ tax issues when they granted them a licence to play in the Champion’s League this season?
Today in the Daily record you would be none the wiser.
The piece by Keith Jackson looks at whether or not Rangers will meet the UEFA licensing criteria for NEXT season.
This piece has us looking forward to next season not looking back to the start of this one.
The fact that the Ibrox club would fall foul of UEFA regulations for, currently, not having an audited set of accounts is actually beside the point.
The question is were they eligible to play this year?
Regarding their eligibility to play in the European competitions this season Jackson quoted “an SFA insider.”
The source said: “When Rangers submitted their application for this season they were up front about a number of financial issues they were dealing with.
“They were in dispute with the tax man but this was declared and, as it was a legitimate dispute, it was allowed and they still satisfied the criteria.”
Were they “up front” that they were already owing to a taxing authority and, ipso facto, in breach of UEFA rules?
The only thing in dispute at the start of the year was the penalty for late payment.
The £2.8 million tax bill itself was not in dispute.
The SFA have yet to state, unequivocally and On The Record that they were satisfied that Rangers FC were “not overdue any payables to a tax authority on March 31st 2011.”
Did the SFA ask that question of Rangers?
They should have.
If they did and Rangers told them that all was in order then the SFA have done their job appropriately.
The person at the SFA who looks after club licensing is post that is partly funded by UEFA.
This is a specialised position and the person is not allocated any other duties.
Clearly the SFA must accept the bona fides of member clubs.
Yesterday I outlined the questions surrounding this story.
As it stands I’m agnostic on this story.
Rangers themselves could kill this story stone dead if they issued an unequivocal statement on the club’s website.
They would just have to state that, as of March 31st 2011 all of their tax affairs were in order and they were not owing to any UK tax authority.
One can understand why they have not done so heretofore.
However now that this story is in the mainstream then they should do so now.
At the end of it all these questions remain.
Questions that are still unanswered.