SPFL: No Legal Power To Punish Rangers

26 July 2017, 13:30

Ibrox Stadium

The Scottish Professional Football League has declared it has "no legal power'' to reopen disciplinary action surrounding the Rangers tax case.

Legal advice given to the SPFL in the wake of a recent Supreme Court ruling that Rangers should have paid tax on about £50million of payments to players and staff, is that a pre-existing commission or a new commission cannot issue fresh sanctions.

Rangers were fined £250,000 in 2013 after an independent commission set up by the Scottish Premier League and led by Lord Nimmo Smith ruled they had breached rules relating to the non-disclosure of documents associated with the Employee Benefit Trust payments, but had gained no "unfair competitive advantage''.

The SPFL has said it supports calls for an independent review of how Scottish football authorities dealt with the situation.

A statement read: "The SPFL Board today announced, following legal advice from eminent Senior Counsel, Gerry Moynihan QC, that there will be no further disciplinary proceedings taken by the SPFL connected with the use by Rangers of EBTs and other tax schemes.

"The SPFL Board further announced that it supports the calls that have been made for an independent review concerning the way in which Scottish football's authorities have dealt with non-payment of tax by clubs, have applied their rules and regulations, and the sufficiency of changes made to their rules and regulations in this area over the last few years.''

The league published advice by Moynihan, which included that the breaches of SPL rules "are now closed and cannot be re-opened by the SPFL nor can the commission or a new commission now impose further or different sanctions. The SPFL has no power in law to re-open these issues and the commission has no power in law, assuming it wished to do so, to modify or supplement the sanction previously imposed.''