Pandora my dear, open the box

There was a touch of farce to the Celtic blogger’s article in today Daily Record. It appears that the words “tax evasion” were overlooked by the Record’s editorial team, clearly leaving the newspaper potentially liable to legal action. Notwithstanding the subsequent correction, it provided a valuable insight into the narrative at work. Perhaps the words “tax evasion” and “cheats” have been so thrust with such force to the front of the narrative that even seasoned pro’s like the editorial team of a national newspaper are willing to accept it without question.

Not that further proof was required, but the one dimensional aspect of this current Rangers bashing campaign was totally exposed courtesy of a non-Rangers fan Alex Mooney, a retired journalist. Alex asked both Brian McNally and Alex Thomson whether they intended to extend their campaign for sporting justice to other clubs such as Arsenal. Not only was no answer forthcoming – he was subsequently blocked by both of them. There is no debate, just a one dimensional campaign to inflict damage on Rangers, and much, if not all, is driven by jealousy and hatred.

However the hypocrisy monster had not yet finished preying on Rangers. A Dundee United blogger was then given exposure in the Daily Record suggesting his club had been the victims of the sporting advantage gremlin in the 2008 league Cup Final.  The problem is some of us are able to recall the successful Dundee united team of the Jim McLean era. Additionally, we also remember the contracts many of these young players were tied into as later being declared unlawful. Should we re-visit that era and see which honours warrant forfeiture? Because surely sporting advantage is sporting advantage and has to be applied consistently. That’s assuming it is about upholding sporting integrity and not just punishing one club.

None of the current agitators wish to apply their arguments against Rangers to those other clubs who have benefited from EBTs, from accumulated debts being written off by banks or contracts which were subsequently declared to be unlawful; furthermore there is no moral outrage at players and officials from a variety of Scottish clubs who availed themselves of tax avoidance schemes now coming onto the radar of HMRC. The latter of course was what Rangers did, availed themselves of a tax avoidance scheme which until the Court of Session ruling last week was seen as a legitimate form of reducing tax liabilities. It’s just their treatment for doing so which is different. It’s also why the tax community has expressed such an interest in this case with a whole series of experts offering various viewpoints on the subject, as well as the need to review current tax avoidance protocols and procedures.

But bubbling away, out of sight, in the cauldron of the Scottish legal system is an issue may prove to have greater meltdown potential for Scottish football than anything we have seen to date. I refer of course to the alleged fraudulent scheme to acquire Rangers assets, and which ongoing legal procedure prevents me from discussing in any detail, other than what is already in the public domain. But it is not difficult to envisage the potential liability of punishing a member club who were victims of crime.

One might reflect on the sporting disadvantages they have been subjected to, the unlawful punishments imposed upon them and the loss of revenue and trophy opportunities as a consequence. Perhaps then people will learn that deviating from the facts, acquiescing to hate driven agendas, often based on lies, has severe consequences.

Pandora my dear, open the box if you wish, but be crystal clear of the consequences.

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