Britain's tax authorities
took Scottish champions Rangers to court on Tuesday to try to
put the club straight into administration rather than giving
them breathing space to deal with their financial crisis.
The Glasgow club gave formal notification to the same court
on Monday that they were likely to go into administration within
10 days in a move that sent shockwaves through British football.
The response by the tax body is effectively an attempt to
take control of the process, rather than allow the club to call
Administration would mean Rangers being docked 10 points and
effectively hand the Scottish Premier League title to city
rivals Celtic, who are four points ahead of them.
Rangers, one of the best-supported teams in Britain, have
cash-flow problems exacerbated by a tax dispute that could cost
them more than 50 million pounds to settle.
A spokesman for HM Revenue & Customs confirmed that there
would be a court hearing on Tuesday, but gave no further details
citing client confidentiality.
The focus for the tax authorities is believed to be unpaid
payroll taxes, rather than the larger dispute which is due to be
settled by a tribunal.
The "Old Firm" of Rangers and Celtic dominate the game in
Scotland, with one of them having claimed the title every year
since Sir Alex Ferguson's Aberdeen won it in 1985.
However, the 12-team Scottish Premier League is a poor
relation of its English counterpart in terms of television
revenue and sponsorship.
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