Grown up reporting required

At this stage even a bright kid could tell you that the coverage of the Rangers story over the last two years was not the finest hour of Scottish sports journalism.

Not all of my trade in Scotland were found wanting, only the guys in the press box.

Mark Daly, for example, doesn’t do match reports.

Since the FTT result the spin from most of the sports hacks has been, well, rather hysterical.

If someone in Scotland was relying solely on the redtops then all they would know was that Rangers had been totally exonerated on all counts and it was a travesty that HMRC had brought the case on the first place.

They had either not read the 145 page report from the First Tier Tribunal or they didn’t understand it.

Perhaps it was just like Craig Whyte’s “off the radar” wealth story.

They obediently recycled what was given to them by a press officer employed to influence the hacks.

The truth is usually just that prosaic.

I was interested that the red tops freely used the dramatic language of death and (wrongful) execution.

They were all agreed that Rangers had been “killed” and that this was an  irreversible injustice.

The idea of the innocent man being led to the gallows (presumably a high one) was burned into the mind.

Terms like being “driven to the graveyard” and “lethal injection” were used.

So at least they all now agree that Rangers are dead.

The point of discussion now is the cause of death and whether or not the judicial extinction was justified.

Rangers went out of business owing millions to hundreds of businesses and individuals, including huge sums in unpaid taxes.

All that this judgement means is that the final tax bill was not as big as it could have been.

Rangers emerged from the FTT still with a bill for millions in unpaid tax and national insurance contributions; although certainly not tens of millions that HMRC wanted it to be.

However, Rangers FC (IL) still was found to owe millions to Her Majesty.

In the FTT Rangers legal team, in a written submission last November, put their hands up to the fact that bonus payments to five players, paid through the trust, was contractual.

The three judges were also quite clear that these players would not have been properly registered with the SFA.

This ruling will no doubt assist Lord Nimmo Smith and his colleagues early next year.

So somehow a tax bill for millions due to “aggressive tax avoidance” and players almost certainly improperly registered with the SFA because of that method of payment ends up on the redtops as “Rangers innocent!”

In the childlike collective consciousness of the Ibrox klan it is the sort of simplistic message that they can easily digest like a Farley’s rusk.

However, it isn’t good  for their well being to keep them off proper solids for a lengthy period of time.

Until the Fitba Fourth Estate start dealing in grown up facts then I don’t expect the Bears to show any signs of intellectual development.

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