Rangers’ tax case loss prompts Celtic to renew call for review of 5 of their SPL titles

July 6 – Fierce adversaries on and off the pitch, it is little surprise that Scottish champions Celtic have waded into the tax avoidance case surrounding Glasgow rivals Rangers.

On Wednesday, The Supreme Court ruled in favour of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC), Britain’s tax authority, in a long-running dispute that focussed on more than £47 million being paid to Rangers players, managers and directors between 2001 and 2010 in tax-free loans. HMRC argued successfully that the payments were earnings and should be taxable.

The Scottish FA has ruled out any disciplinary action because the court’s decision is not expected to have any financial impact on Rangers since the club is now owned by a different company, but Celtic have issued a cautionary response.

Rangers won five league titles between the period concerned with Celtic runners-up on each occasion. “We are sure that the footballing authorities in Scotland will wish to review this matter,” said a Celtic statement.

“Celtic’s position on this issue has been consistent – that this has always been a matter for the courts of law and also the Scottish football authorities, whose rules are intended to uphold sporting integrity.

“In 2013, we expressed surprise – shared by many observers and supporters of the game – over the findings of the SPL (Scottish Premier League) commission that no competitive or sporting advantage had resulted.”

The Supreme court’s decision “only reaffirms that view. We are sure now that the footballing authorities in Scotland will wish to review this matter. Celtic awaits the outcome of their review.”

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