Souness Is Finally Asked About EBT’s But His Reply Leaves More Questions To Answer

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Graeme Souness

Fair play to some of the hacks today for finally doing what the media should have spent last week on; they had Souness in front of the cameras and they asked him about his Ibrox EBT.

His reply only serves to deepen the morass, and makes it more important to get real answers than ever before.

To be frank, it was cobblers.

If I wanted to put it another way, I might call it an outright lie, but of course I won’t do that.

Souness said he was “between jobs” and that at the time he was doing some scouting for Rangers.

It’s a plausible enough explanation, unless you actually look at a calendar and strip down the timeframe.

Because he went to Blackburn in March 2000. He applied for his Ibrox EBT a full year later, and completed the signing of Tugay in summer 2001, a move which was in such close proximity to his EBT application and payment that HMRC were initially investigating it as an illegal backhander in relation to that deal.

So he wasn’t “between jobs” at all.

He was a year into his disastrous spell as Blackburn boss.

So why would he have been “scouting for Rangers on the continent” when he had a job at Blackburn?

When was he doing this?

In his spare time?

Did he let his bosses know?

Why didn’t the club announce this, officially?

It would have been quite a coup for them.

Souness has also, perhaps inadvertently, dropped himself and his fellow EBT recipients right in the brown stuff with his comments.

By saying they were for “services rendered” he’s confirmed that they were salary payments after all, and not unrelated loans.

He has, in effect, won HMRC their appeal with those remarks.

Revenue and Customs will know if he was paid a salary for this alleged work, because, of course, he’ll have declared that (won’t he?).

If they don’t find any evidence of that then he’s effectively saying he was working as a club employee and these were his wages.

If they do find such evidence, even better as he’s admitted that the EBT was part of his salary.

Souness thinks he’s been smart here, but he’s outsmarted himself.

In the end, he might be caught between one lie and the other.

If he actually was working for Rangers at the time then he was paid, in part, for his services in the equivalent of a brown paper bag.

He’s guilty, therefore, of not paying tax on the sum.

If he wasn’t in the employ of Rangers then that leaves the question still unanswered about what exactly that money was for.

This is what happens when the media does its job right.

You don’t have to get someone under oath to rattle them.

You only need to ask the right question at the right time, and all credit to the hacks who went where the other media wouldn’t.

Next time the hacks get him in front of them, I hope they ask the questions I just have because it’ll be very interesting to see how he answers those.

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