This is the defence that The Peeppul and their friends in the media are trying to put forward. That David Murray could somehow have afforded all these big-bucks players without recourse to cheating the tax man. Like the wee man up on a charge of pauchlin' benefits, it doesn't matter one bit what you could've afforded; the fact is that you stole and that's the end of it. "But...but...but ye cannae take any titles unless ye kin 100% prove that Rangers only won they titles because-y aw they big players!" This stupid extension of the 'could've' argument is easily refuted. If all those big stars didn't make a difference, then why the fuck did Rangers sign them?
The fact is that the misuse of EBTs wasn't the only shady business practice going on at MIH and its subsidiaries. I knew somebody that worked at MIH in the 1990s and there was much shuffling of money around different accounts to make the books look better. Money in the Rangers account would suddenly disappear to show up in another business's account and then it would magically reappear. The truth is that Murray never had the money the Peeppul still seem to think he did. Even though the whole fantasy came crashing about Murray's head, they still believe that he had plenty of cash to throw about. Part of the massive debts of MIH, remember, was a huge £100m of Rangers' debts that Murray 'absorbed' into his parent company. MIH also underwrote the undersubscribed share issue as well.
Then we get down to the real straw clutching. It was Hector, over on Bampots Utd, who pointed me in the direction of the Copland Road blog. The sheer desperation of some of the folk on there is pathetic. One writer cites Dermot Desmond paying the wages of Roy and Robbie Keane as an example of financial doping! Things are really bad when that's the best they can come up with. The next thing they'll be saying is that the titles and cups shouldn't be stripped because The Peeppul and their old team always wore poppies!
But there's another but, according to The Peeppul. Nimmo-Smith has already decided that 'no sporting advantage was gained.' This was unbelievable at the time and it is still beyond belief now. In fact, the side letters, which were kept hidden from the SFA, are ample proof that all those players were not registered properly; which, of course, means that Rangers cheated to gain a sporting advantage. The LNS enquiry was nothing more than a whitewash, for which the SFA in particular is at fault. Their ridiculous assertion that because the players were registered, as they thought, properly then there was nothing they could do about it. It was more the case, however, that there was nothing they would do about it. The whole affair was a parade of lies and obfuscation, with Nimmo-Smith himself doing what he was paid to do; refuse to admit that Rangers gained any advantage. It was a flawed decision and the whole thing has to be looked into again. Not at the moment, though; it has to wait until we see if there's going to be another appeal by either Murray or BDO. No enquiry should have been held back then and none should go ahead now until it is evident what the final judgment is on the legality of Rangers' use of EBTs.
The statement on the Sevco website about 'moving on' is pretty much tantamount to an admission of guilt. Why else would they want the whole thing brushed under the carpet? The stuff about Scottish football suffering in recent years is the most disingenuous thing I've seen in years. Who was it caused the suffering? Which club nearly bankrupted Scottish football as everyone tried to keep up with it spending money, which, as it turns out, it didn't have? The arrogance is still there as well, "Rangers (sic) cannot countenance or accept any talk, attempts or actions designed to undermine what this Club has achieved throughout its long history (sic)." They want to "reach out", apparently, and work to make the game better. Well, a start would be to give up those tainted titles and then work with everyone else to make sure the game is never sullied like this again. I won't hold my breath.
"If they get to keep their titles, can I get my knighthood back?"
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