Scottish football: Former Rangers chairman Alastair Johnston believes that the oldco club would have survived had the big tax case verdict been delivered before Craig Whyte’s takeover.
After facing a potential bill of £75 million, Rangers’ appeal was allowed in principle with most of the controversial payments through employment benefit trusts deemed to be loans rather than wages by two of three judges on the panel.
David Murray sold his majority stake to Craig Whyte for £1 in 2011 with the tax case hanging over the club and Johnston feels the scenario that unfolded could have been avoided.
Whyte failed to pay any tax, including another historic liability of £2.8m, and HMRC forced the club into administration and ultimately towards liquidation.
Johnston said: “We would not have gone through the administration and liquidation process, for sure. If you will actually wind the clock back to the alternatives that the bank (Lloyds) and Murray Holdings had with respect to alternatives, the big hang-up was the contingent liability with this massive tax liability hanging over our heads.”