EBTs, CVAs & The Future Of Scottish Football: The BBC Tackles Rangers

Towards the end of BBC Radio 5 Live’s Rangers – What Next?, my attention was flagging. A worthwhile broadcast descended into soppy sentiment as listeners were told of the 11-year-old boy asking his dad to cancel the family holiday to Florida and give the £2,000 cost to Rangers “Fighting Fund” instead (and Mickey Mouse was more likely to be in the Ibrox boardroom, anyway). This was real “pass-the-sick-bag” stuff, which was abruptly halted by programme presenter Mark Chapman, who suggested “football clubs should be embarrassed to take money from an 11-year-old.” Chapman had controlled events with requisite calm, but was ready for a spot of stridency: “Why should the public purse keep losing out because football clubs are irresponsible?” he asked. Rangers, whose financial crisis has been documented in terrifying detail, are in debt to the “public purse” for £20m – a figure which could surpass £60m if they lose an equally well-documented tax tribunal. The programme suggested Rangers use insolvency legislation to slash this debt. And Chapman wasn’t happy: “At the moment, we save football clubs, the public purse loses out and it sends a message to any irresponsible businessman – come and take over a football club, have a bit of fun, if it goes into administration, don’t worry about it, we’ll sort it out.” But Chapman’s anger was then matched by an unexpected source. Glasgow South-West...

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