CELTIC's directors are to meet with shareholders calling for action over the award of a licence to allow Rangers to play European football in 2011, despite tax issues.

The board are to meet the group next week to discuss with shareholders continuing concerns over UEFA's refusal to investigate the so-called Resolution 12 issue. Some believe the club should take the matter up with the Scottish Football Association which awarded the licence.

The Ibrox club were given a license to play in the Champions League five years ago despite ongoing issues with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs over payment of tax relating to their use of Employee Benefit Trusts.

UEFA rules state clubs taking part in their competitions must declare any "overdue payables" to the taxman and reveal details on whether there is a commitment to repay amounts, or a dispute over any bill.


Failure to disclose information during what is referred to as the "monitoring period", which is spread over two dates in June and September, can result in sanctions.

Some Celtic shareholders raised the matter at the club’s 2013 AGM, believing the club could have lost out on millions of potential revenue that would have been due to them had they entered the Champions League that year instead of Rangers who, the requisitioners believed, should not have been allowed to enter the competition.

Celtic chairman Ian Bankier has now said: “We continue to meet with shareholders representatives on resolution 12. We understand they have received communication from Uefa on the issue and we will meet with the shareholders next week to understand that communication and how they are moving forward.”

UEFA had responded in June to the shareholders saying it would not investigate as the issue was "time-barred" as there was a five-year limitation period over looking into any breach.

The letter from Andrea Traverso, head of club licensing and financial fair play says at the time the licence was granted, there was no reason for UEFA to "suspect any irregularity committed either by Rangers FC or the licensor (SFA)".


In any case, Mr Traverso said, any sanctions for non-compliance would have related to Rangers potential participation in the 2012/13 UEFA club competitions and would have had no impact on their participation in 2011/12.

Rangers Football Club plc, the former operating company, went into administration in February, 2012, after a £9 million PAYE and VAT debt was amassed to the taxman under Craig Whyte's leadership. The oldco renamed RFC 2012 plc is in liquidation.

And Mr Traverso said that the insolvency meant that the "new club/company" was "ineligible" anyway to participate in UEFA competitions for three seasons so "there is clearly no need for UEFA to investigate this matter any further...". But solicitors for the shareholders have told UEFA questioned the time-bar and said the governing body should investigate as they believe the events raised questions about whether the football authorities' licensing and monitoring regime is sufficiently robust.

Mr Traverso was told by the shareholders that probe would be "in the interests of the game... if only to ensure that lessons are learned and to minimise the scope for similar episodes like this to occur in the future".

Their concerns centred on whether the Ibrox side under previous ownership fully disclosed the details of an unpaid £2.8m tax bill to taxman ahead of their participation in the Champions League five years ago.

The club then owed the money in relation to their use a Discounted Options Scheme, a more complicated version of Employee Benefit Trusts, between 1999 and 2003 in a bill that became known as the “Wee Tax Case”.

Accounts of the Rangers Football Club Plc, the oldco now in liquidation, for the last half year of 2010, and published in April, 2011, showed that provision had been made for: “a potential tax liability". The taxman were known to have begun targeting he club in the spring of 2010, nine years after Rangers starting EBT schemes, and as loopholes were being closed.


Court of Session judges decided in November that Rangers' use of EBTs from 2001 until 2010 to give millions of pounds of tax-free loans to players and other staff broke tax rules. But the decision in what is known as 'the big tax case' is being appealed to the Supreme Court.

A newly launched petition signed by over 3000, demands that the SFA respond to allegations that it acted inappropriately in awarding the European place to Rangers.

The Scottish FA stated that Rangers did not have any overdue payables at the March 31 deadline set down for clubs to make successful applications for an endorsement for a UEFA club licence.

If Rangers did have an overdue payable by the June deadline, they would have had until September 30 to prove the matter had been resolved.

It is said that there was no question of Rangers having been excluded from European competition in 2011/12. Instead, any sanction would have applied to future seasons.


And SFA chief executive Stewart Regan has previously said that the governing body has nothing to fear over its handling of Rangers' European licence in the 2011/12 season.

He insists that the SFA followed the rules in allowing the Ibrox club to participate and the body had been in dialogue with Celtic Football Club on the matter.