Levein taken ill + Falkirk sack Hartley

Ex-Rangers stars ‘being pursued over EBT tax’

Tax is back on the agenda at Ibrox (pic: SNS Group)


Former Rangers players and staff are facing a deadline for paying thousands of pounds to the taxman over the controversial use of employee benefit trusts.

Last year the Supreme Court upheld a Court of Session ruling that £47m paid to Rangers employees between 2001-2010 was liable for tax.

Former captain Barry Ferguson received £2.5m in EBT payments, German goalkeeper Stefan Klos £2m and former manager – and current Scotland boss – Alex McLeish £1.7m, while former owner Sir David Murray received £6.3m.

All beneficiaries are being warned to seek “urgent advice”, it has been reported.

According to BBC Scotland, former players and staff face an even bigger bill if they don’t meet an HMRC deadline.

Levein recovering in hospital

Hearts manager Craig Levein is recovering in hospital after taking ill.

The Jambos boss was taken into hospital 48 hours after guiding his team to a third successive league victory at Kilmarnock, Hearts sitting three points clear at the top of the Premiership.

The club issued a statement saying: “Heart of Midlothian Football Club can confirm that manager Craig Levein was taken to hospital this morning.

“Having received medical treatment, Craig is now recovering well in hospital.

“No further comment will be made at this time and the club asks that Craig and his family’s privacy be respected, as we all wish him a speedy recovery.”

Hartley leaves Falkirk

Falkirk have parted company with manager Paul Hartley and placed Gordon Young in temporary charge of the Championship club.

Former Scotland international and Hearts player Hartley left with immediate effect and the board issued a statement stating that the search for a permanent successor has begun.

The club said it is “committed to keeping supporters informed as new arrangements are put in place. We thank our fans for your patience as we seek to build a positive platform for the season ahead.”

McLeish gives youth its chance

Scotland manager Alex McLeish has named a youthful squad for the inaugural match in the new UEFA Nations League.

With an average player age of less than 26, the Scots will take on Albania in Group C1 at Hampden Park on Monday, 10 September as they aim to get their campaign off to a good start in the quest to secure a play-off spot for UEFA Euro 2020.

Prior to that they will take on a Belgium side that finished third in this year’s World Cup in a friendly on Friday, 7 September.

With Aberdeen’s Scott McKenna sidelined and Hearts captain Christophe Berra out with a torn hamstring, Tynecastle star John Souttar is in line to receive his first senior cap after being forced to pull out of the summer tour to Peru and Mexico squad due to injury.

Kilmarnock’s Stephen O’Donnell and Johnny Russell, now playing in MLS with Sporting Kansas City, retain their places after impressing in the two friendlies.

Liverpool left-back Andy Robertson returns to the squad, having not been available for selection against Peru and Mexico due to his participation in the Champions League Final against Real Madrid in May.

A number of other familiar faces return, with regulars such as Craig Gordon, Allan McGregor, Kieran Tierney, Leigh Griffiths and Ryan Fraser among the names who missed the Peru and Mexico matches.

Stuart Armstrong and John McGinn are also included, following summer transfers to Southampton and Aston Villa, respectively.

On Souttar’s inclusion, McLeish said: “He’s a good young player. I’ve assessed a few of the young players over the last few months.

“I’ve seen quite a bit of Hearts and he’s started the season very confidently. He’s now got the captain’s armband and his form has been pretty assured.

“I thought it was time to give him a crack to come into the squad.”

Scotland squad: Goalkeepers: Jordan Archer (Millwall), Craig Gordon (Celtic), Allan McGregor (Rangers); Defenders: Jack Hendry (Celtic), Charlie Mulgrew (Blackburn Rovers), Stephen O’Donnell (Kilmarnock), Andrew Robertson (Liverpool), Graeme Shinnie (Aberdeen), John Souttar (Heart of Midlothian), Kieran Tierney (Celtic); Midfielders: Stuart Armstrong (Southampton), Tom Cairney (Fulham), James Forrest (Celtic), Ryan Fraser (Bournemouth), Kevin McDonald (Fulham), John McGinn (Aston Villa), Callum McGregor (Celtic), Scott McTominay (Manchester United), Callum Paterson (Cardiff City); Forwards: Leigh Griffiths (Celtic), Oliver McBurnie (Swansea City), Matt Phillips (West Bromwich Albion), Johnny Russell (Sporting Kansas City).

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