The Court of Session’s decision that the use of Employee Benefit Trusts by Rangers between 2001 and 2010 should have been taxable, has led to a revival of the campaign to see the club stripped of honours won during the spell, often referred to as the EBT years.
Fans of various clubs across the country are demanding justice from the game’s rulers, and have began furiously tweeting, calling radio phone-ins and posting barely legible messages of support on online petitions.
The most bizarre part of it all is that no-one can cite any rule that Rangers have broken as a result of HM Revenue & Customs’ successful appeal. Well, that’s not quite true I suppose. You could argue Rangers have brought the game into disrepute, although if that’s a crime worthy part of the proposed punishment then I don’t think anyone will have any trophies left by the end. Of all the people actually involved involved in the game, there hasn’t been a single prominent figure (Darren O’Dea is prominent in the same way Mo Ross is a prominent ex-Ranger) say they believe Rangers should be stripped of titles. I mean, what would the opinion of the people who actually competed for the trophies mean in this debate?
Away from the ridiculousness, Rangers returned to winning ways, after losing at Hibs, with a convincing victory over Alloa at Ibrox. Gedion Zelalem showed why big things are expected of him with a classy display in the middle of the park. The young American made a few errors, however, he worked hard at retrieving possession and made a number of key passes. He also had a number of attempts on goal and, like many of his team-mates, needs to be less wasteful in-front of goal.
Jordan Thompson made his debut in the Alloa game and the ex-Man United kid had a fine run-out and could even have capped his debut with a dream goal. The versatile Northern Irishman replaced Andy Halliday and anchored the midfield well. With a run of vital games coming up over the festive period, Mark Warburton may look to introduce some new faces into a side which more or less picks itself most weeks.
One position that hasn’t been quite so clear has been Rob Kiernan’s central defensive partner. Dom Ball has come in and barely put a foot wrong in recent weeks. The on-loan Spurs man has struck up a decent partnership with Kiernan, and has left Danny Wilson kicking his heels on the sidelines. Wilson, after a spell out injured and then a horror show against Hibs, hasn’t looked anywhere near as bad as many have claimed this season, and will likely come back into the side at Ball’s expense over the next few weeks.
John Eustace still hasn’t signed. Apparently he has been dealing with a domestic situation and we’ll hear more in a few weeks. Maybe we’ll get him as a Christmas present.
Finally, as we approach the halfway point of the season I think it’s only right to start casting an eye to next season. Once Rangers earn promotion back to the Premiership, the chase to title 55 is on, however there’s still some weaknesses in our squad that will need improved upon. We are maybe three good players from being in a position where I think a serious title challenge would be likely next season. At the very least, there needs to be more attacking options. Martyn Waghorn has been a fantastic signing so far but he needs more support. Despite his fantastic scoring record, he isn’t the most clinical forward and may be better suited to a supporting role.
A new defensive midfielder will probably be high on any shopping list too. Andy Halliday has done a good job there, but I feel he’d be better suited slightly further forward where he can use his undoubted talent in a more attacking role.
With just over seven weeks until the transfer window opens, lets hope Mark Warburton and Frank McParland have similar success in the transfer market here as he did at Brentford.