Murray defends himself
Sir David Murray says there are no grounds for an inquiry into alleged double contracts for players during his era as Rangers owner.
Last Updated: 14/03/12 10:04am
Sir David Murray has told the Scottish Premier League that they have no grounds for an inquiry into alleged double contracts for players during his era as Rangers owner.
The probe followed claims made by former Ibrox director Hugh Adam that some payments were not included in official contracts that were registered with the SPL, with the 86-year-old "pretty sure" that similar payments were being made as early as the mid-1990s.
The payments allegedly left out of official contracts centred on the use of Employee Benefit Trusts (EBTs), which were the subject of a tax tribunal in January.
Rangers, currently in administration, are still awaiting the outcome of the case regarding offshore payments made from 2001-10, which could cost the club up to £49million and which has been termed the 'big tax case'.
The 'small tax case' is the £2.8million which first emerged last April, before Murray sold the club to Craig Whyte, due to similar offshore payments, but which has risen with interest and penalties.
The Scottish Football Association initially pledged to look into the matter but then stepped back after the SPL launched their own inquiry into the alleged non-disclosure to the SPL of payments to players.
However, Mike McGill, former Ibrox board member and Murray Group financial director, said: "The club used an old offshore EBT scheme in 1999 with three players.
"That scheme is the subject of the small tax case.
"The Revenue provided some information to us in early 2011 and we conceded based on that information and provided for payment in the club accounts. Craig Whyte didn't pay it.
"The other, larger scheme, started in 2001, involves a payment into an offshore trust, but there is no contractual entitlement on the part of the players.
"The whole basis of an EBT arrangement is that there is not a contractual entitlement.
"That is key to the defence, and key to the allegations made by the SFA."
No double contract
Murray claims he has yet to hear from the SFA or the SPL on the matter, saying: "I've never spoken to Stewart Regan (SFA chief executive) or Neil Doncaster (SPL chief executive) in my life."
The former Rangers owner was just as adamant that everything to do with offshore payments was above board.
He said: "I've asked the auditors to go through it. I've looked through every year to check my facts.
"There was no double contract. There was categorically no dual contracts.
"What I would say is this. We went through 10 AGMs. We signed off accounts by Grant Thornton, the remuneration trust was always mentioned in the account, it was never hidden. And that's a fact."