The hinge factor

The pre-season friendly Between Rangers and  Le Havre has interesting aspect of the Ibrox club’s recent history.


One would have thought that the one name that Rangers would try and avoiding thinking about in their current terminal state would be that of Jean-Alain Boumsong.

The big centre half started his career at Le Harve before joining Auxerre and then onto Rangers in 2004.

The French defender joined the Ibrox club as a free agent and signed a five year contract.

When he went to Newcastle in the 2005 January transfer window for £8 million it looked like a shrewd bit of business on the part of David Murray.

Rangers got the services of a top class defender for the first half of the season for free then sold him on for a massive profit.

However, historians may well look back and conclude the Boumsong transfer was the hinge factor in the club’s downfall.

This was one of the player sales that figured in the Stevens Inquiry.  Ibrox was raided and all sorts of goodies were confiscated by plod.

What the City of London police found was information that they thought would be of interest to their colleagues in HMRC.

It was.

Very very interesting.

It turned out that Rangers had been naughty.

Ever so naughty.

HMRC then had an armoury of smoking guns.

They knew about how the EBTs  were being administered and because of the Boumsong raid on Ibrox they could PROVE it.

A hinge factor can only be discerned as such after the fact.

That such momentous events can turn on an unforeseen and unconnected minor event is an uncomfortable thought.

Conspiracy theories are a comfort blanket, a quasi-religious belief for those who cannot face the chaos of the universe.

However, without the seizure of that data by the City of London Police, HMRC would not have had the strong case that they presented to the First Tier Tribunal.

Both Rangers and Le Havre have been in existence for 140 years this year, but because of that ill-fated transfer it is the French club that has a future.

The British club that Jean-Alain Boumsong joined in 2004 will soon go out of existence.

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