Date: 4th August 2019 at 4:16pm
Written by:

Late on Friday, my attention was drawn to a picture The Daily Record was running of Peter Lawwell and Neil Lennon holding up a Celtic strip.

That picture accompanied an article about a victory HMRC had recently won against tax avoidance schemes.

That picture – and the article – served but one purpose. It was transparently obvious what that purpose was. It was to make us look like hypocrites for the way we went after the former Ibrox club for what it was getting up to back in the day.

Let me point out a couple of things.

First, the matters in the article during the week were private tax matters, individuals who took advantage of a loophole.

It was an investment scheme, and wholly legal.

There is a distinct difference between this and what Rangers and Murray were doing, as the Supreme Court made abundantly clear in its final verdict.

The reason the club paid such a high price for its behaviour was that amongst other things their case involved deliberate concealment.

That’s why there was not only back tax but late penalties and fines.

And it was why HMRC did not negotiate on the amount owed; they never do in a case involving deliberate non-payment.

What the Ibrox club did was also not simply a private decision but one that had footballing implications.

The whole reason for it was to let them sign better players, and on top of that they deliberately withheld documents in relation to player contracts … a gross violation of the SFA regulations which should have resulted in every match involving them being declared void.

It is an utter scandal that titles and trophies were not stripped from Rangers’ historical record.

At least not yet.

But that time will almost certainly come in the future.

As the managing director of Celtic Peter Lawwell was entirely right to speak out against this corruption of the sport.

As the manager of the club, and a man who lost a title to the first Ibrox side, Neil Lennon was also perfectly entitled to have his say on the matter, which he did at the time and has since.

Acting as Celtic officials they actually had an obligation to.

The insinuation – that they are hypocrites or that our club is – cannot be substantiated.

The Record’s not too subtle attempt at finding some moral equivalence is pathetic and transparent and shows how desperate some of the people at that rag are.

In terms of the persons involved, as a tax payer and a socialist I resent anyone who ducks out of paying their share, or who tries to. In my view, all of them deserve everything they get just as those who were the recipients of EBT’s do.

At least one of those people – Barry Ferguson – is still working at The Record as a “pundit.”

Their own hypocrisy is all the more staggering for the blindness that goes with it.

Or perhaps that’s being ungenerous.

It is tempting to suggest that they aren’t blind at all, merely that they think the rest of us are, not to mention being too dumb to spot what they are about.

They are dead wrong about both of those things. Celtic fans see clearly what the intentions here are, and it’s why not one of us would use that “newspaper” for anything other than wiping something nasty from the bottom of our shoes.