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As former captain declared bankrupt...

Rangers set to escape further EBT action

IbroxRangers are unlikely to be stripped of any titles won during the period when the club used controversial employee benefit trusts to pay players.

The Scottish Professional Football League board has hinted it would not pursue any further investigation into the use of EBTs.

This is despite pressure that has followed the UK Supreme Court’s ruling in favour of HMRC against Rangers “oldco” liquidator BDO. Celtic issued a statement calling for a review of earlier findings.

Dave King, the current Rangers chairman who also sat on the board at Ibrox when its then owner Sir David Murray operated the controversial employee benefits trust scheme, insisted the club had won titles “fair and square”.

The SPFL board is expected to issue a statement echoing the position of the Scottish FA which has already ruled out any further disciplinary action.

The issue emerged as it was announced that former capital Barry Ferguson has been declared insolvent with debts of more than £1.4million. He is one of a number of former players targeted by HMRC for repayment of EBT earnings.

Ferguson, 39, who recently stepped down as manager of Clyde, received £2.5million in EBT payments.

He also invested in a film production partnership called Eclipse which has targeted by HMRC after being ruled to be a tax avoidance scheme.

He applied for his own bankruptcy after running up debts of £1,425,633 and it was approved by the Accountant In Bankruptcy, Scotland’s insolvency service, earlier this month.

Maureen Leslie, of insolvency firm MLM Solutions, has taken control of his assets. Ferguson was said to have only £3,000 worth of assets available to help pay off his creditors.

The SPFL appointed a new board for the 2017-18 campaign at the annual general meeting.

Rangers managing director Stewart Robertson and Hamilton Academical chairman Les Gray were elected as Premiership representatives, replacing Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell and Partick Thistle managing director Ian Maxwell.

Hearts’ owner Ann Budge was re-elected as the third Premiership club representative but Dundee managing director John Nelms failed to gather enough support.

Media figure Murdoch MacLennan will replace Ralph Topping and lead the nine-strong board which is completed by chief executive Neil Doncaster and non-executive director Karyn McCluskey, the chief executive of Community Justice Scotland.

Falkirk chairman Martin Ritchie and Morton chief executive Warren Hawke will represent the Championship, replacing Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster and Raith Rovers chief executive Eric Drysdale.

 

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