When it was discovered in May 2006 that a number of clubs in Italy had been abusing the integrity of the sport by utilising football agents to bribe referees to undertake matchfixing, Juventus were stripped of two Serie A titles, relegated and missed out on Champions League money for two seasons.
The Scudettos were given to the 2nd placed team.
was despite evidence at the time and since that suggested AC Milan were
equally culpable and should also have been relegated but Silvio
Berlusconi pulled strings and calciopoli was, in effect, a direct targeting of the Old Lady of Turin.
Three other clubs - Fiorentina, Lazio and Reggina - received lesser slaps on the wrists.
Additionally, 16 individuals were banned for various periods from any footballing activities and three spent time in jail.
De Santis, Paparesta, Racalbuto, Cassara, Pieri, Dattilo, Bertini and
Gabriele were also banned for their parts in the corruption.
Fast forward to Scotland 2015 and the HMRC's victory against Rangers in the Big Tax Case.
won a number of titles when almost the entire playing squad were in
receipt of illicit payments the existence of which have been repeatedly
denied in a variety of manners over a period of 16 years.
Rangers attracted players that they simply would not have been able to purchase without the EBTs.
the HMRC said in judgement yesterday: "... so far as the footballers
are concerned, at least, it seems to us that if bonuses had not been
paid they may well have taken their services elsewhere. We realise that
the fifth respondent [RFC2012] was in, potentially, a difficult
financial position, competing for good players in an international
market where other countries might not have the same rigorous approach
to taxation as the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, the law is clear: the
payments made in respect of footballers were in our view derived from
their employment and thus the payments were emoluments or earnings."
Evidence was concealed from this Commission rendering its conclusions obsolete and non-robust.
were stripped of two titles and relegated even when there was a degree
of doubt about their share of complicity in matchfixing.
There is no such doubt with Rangers.
Titles were won illegally.
Extensive efforts have been made by representatives of the club to cover up these realities.
of any other prosecutions and/or inquiries, the club that was
liquidated in 2012 should have their now redundant history adjusted to
show that they weren't quite as successful a club as future generations
might otherwise think.
And prosecutions and life bans for those found guilty of fraudulent behaviours.
Relegation would have been a further punishment but, of course, the club no longer exists except as a memory.
And all these smokescreens relating to 'remits' and 'distortions of Scottish law' are exactly that - smokescreens.
And asterisks? Not enough.
Asterisk the Gael!
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