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Day: March 26, 2012

Rangers: The “Experts” Speak

A recurring side-issue to Rangers current financial crisis has been the Scottish media’s apparent inability to get its facts straight. This, critics say, has come from a mixture of media faith in the “official” line coming out of Ibrox and a basic misunderstanding of the tax tribunal process. The former charge is as old as the Old Firm itself and it has substance. However, “basic misunderstanding” is often an alternative way of saying “agreeing with the other lot.” Add a bit of tabloid sensationalism and you end up with, for example, the Daily Record newspaper, pilloried as both the Daily “Ranger” and the Daily “Rebel” based on the same words and articles. The latter charge has more substance. Rangers Football Club PLC appealed against an HM Revenue and Customs assessment that they have underpaid £24m in tax relating to the “Employee Benefit Trust” scheme they ran between 2000 and 2009. The issue went to a ‘First Tier Tribunal (tax)’ (FTT) under the auspices of HM Courts and Tribunal Service. The tribunal panel of taxation experts took evidence over numerous sessions dating back to October 2010. The final session was in mid-January and its findings will be issued…whenever the tribunal panel are good and ready. This could be by the time I’ve typed this, by the time you’ve read it or some time later (issuing their findings after Rangers’ administration...

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Liverpool’s Recent Decline: Time For A Clean Sweep?

What is now starting to become a familiar hush fell over Anfield on Saturday afternoon as Liverpool huffed and puffed their way to another home defeat, this time at the hands of Wigan Athletic. Whilst this result didn’t necessarily qualify as the shock of the season, it was another sign that a club that has been in the headlines more than most since last August is continuing to derail, with only the inconsistency of those below them in the table keeping them in seventh place in the table. Moreover, some – perhaps many – of the clubs supporters are now having to do what they may previously have considered the unthinkable: question Kenny Dalglish. There have been distractions and fig leaves that have allowed Dalglish an easy ride to this point. A win in the League Cup – albeit a far from convincing one on penalty kicks against a team a division below them – brought the club its first trophy since the 2006 FA Cup and a guarantee of European football next season. They remain in this years FA Cup too, with a semi-final to come against Everton or Sunderland. In the Premier League, however, this years Liverpool team is again falling well short of expectations, and this is before we even factor in the vast amounts of money spent by Dalglish and director of football Damien Comolli...

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