Friday, 17 February 2012
Football in the Spotlight
The administrators - Duff and Phelps - appointed to rescue Rangers FC announced yesterday that the underlying finances of the club are healthy essentially.
Which means that - apart from its huge debts - there is no reason that Rangers should fail and go under.
Now that is welcome news - and a good thing for Glasgow and Scotland - whatever some mean spirited and short sighted people may say.
And what else I find encouraging is the fact that other people are speaking up - and not pulling their punches - about the past and present management of the club.
Which is a complete disgrace - and the suggestion that Strathclyde Police and the Financial Services Authority (FSA) should be called in - seems eminently sensible.
I cannot imagine the circumstances under which one of Scotland's biggest businesses - could fail to pay PAYE tax on its players' earnings - for nine months.
Or just ignore a VAT bill for £4 million.
Meanwhile a £24 million loan secured against the next three years' gate money - has gone not to Rangers itself - but to some mysterious and previously unknown parent company.
Unknown to most people anyway - and which may be beyond the reach of the administrators who are now running the day-to-day affairs of the Rangers Football Club.
Now that's not just an embarrassment to Glasgow and Scotland - it's a national disgrace - and the full forces of the state should be used - to discover what exactly has been going on.
The rules of business operate normally for good reasons - but they can be exploited as well - and as things stand the public purse seems to have been defrauded out of many millions of pounds.
Which should be repaid - in full - of course.
And if the people responsible for creating this mess - have done so by deceit and deception - then they should feel the full force of the law.
The issue is now much wider than football - it's about organised tax avoidance and whether people are following ethical business practices.
The sooner everything's out in the open - the better for everyone concerned.