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McCoist seeks common sense on past titles

Ally McCoist has accused "individuals with agendas" of a concerted effort to strip Rangers of titles.

The Scottish Premier League's independent commission will meet on Tuesday to begin their hearing into whether or not the Ibrox club's use of Employee Benefit Trusts was a breach of registration rules. But McCoist believes there has been a campaign to use the issue to remove Rangers' championship victories between 2000 and 2010.

The SPL has 18 potential disciplinary sanctions, but during last summer's negotiations about Rangers' future, the Ibrox club was asked to accept title stripping as a condition of the five-way agreement to transfer SFA membership from Rangers Football Club plc to Charles Green's consortium. McCoist is adamant this was being pursued by individuals within the SPL, but says that he and the club will have to accept whatever decision is reached by the commission, which is led by Lord Nimmo Smith.

Murray International and Rangers, won the majority of cases raised by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs over unpaid tax on the EBTs at the first tier tax tribunal last December. HMRC are likely to discover this month if they have been granted leave to appeal the verdict, which judged EBTs were non-contractual, discretionary payments which were not emoluments. In the five cases where Rangers must pay tax on the EBTs, those payments were included in the individual player contracts submitted to the SPL.

"Everything that has happened since Valentines's Day last February has been absolutely unbelievable," the Rangers manager said. "Nobody would have came up with this doomsday scenario but nothing surprises us now. We will have to wait on the independent commission's findings and react accordingly. I was very hopeful when the EBT case went in Rangers favour that this commission might be dropped.

"I just hope common sense prevails because the title stripping is a non-starter for me, this football club and our supporters. I am becoming immune to worst possible outcomes and nightmare scenarios. You would have to react to whatever judgment was made and take a stance on it. It might be positive, you never know."

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