Rangers lodged an appeal to dispute a claim from HMRC that they had failed to declare and pay tax on earnings paid to players, directors and other employers via EBT’s.
RFC claimed that these payments were not part of a remuneration package (earnings for services rendered) but were in fact loans.
Now by definition, a loan is temporary, not permanent and has to be repaid to the lender.
Rangers today won their appeal as the tribunal voted 2 to 1 in favour of RFC, great news for RFC, but this has massive implications for those players, directors and other employees who were in receipt of loans via the EBT scheme.
As RFC are in fact in liquidation, and have very little assets , even had they lost the appeal, they would not have had the funds to pay the bill, so of course would have been wound up, which as we know, is already underway and so the “victory” is indeed a very hollow one.
Now, as I mentioned, this will have serious implications for those who were in receipt of these EBT “loans”, as of course, they are liable for the repayment of these loans, and they have now all subsequently become debtors of RFC.
The liquidators of RFC can now recall all these loans in order to recover as many assets as they can in order to pay into the creditors pot.
The SFA/SPL investigation into undeclared payments to players, is in fact a side issue to today’s verdict, and is in fact (AFAIK) unaffected, as whilst the EBT “loans” are not classed as a payment for services rendered, they are still in breach of the rules as set out by the SFA/SPL.
All payments, by whatever method, have to be declared to the SFA/SPL, failure to do so results in any player in receipt of an undeclared payment as being improperly registered, and therefore ineligible to play in competitive matches.
Any improperly registered player, fielded in a competitive match will result in the team forfeiting the game by default at 3 – 0.
So, is this really a victory?