"A man's a man for a' that" according to Robert Burns but not according to Alex Salmond.

If the man in question happens to be a representative of Rangers FC, Mr Salmond favours treating him as a "Scottish institution" who should be granted a "sensible arrangement" with the tax authorities in order to save the day. Would it be too cynical to mention the tradition of Union Flag waving at Ibrox? What a coup if he could convert that community to the independence cause.

Having spent all my working life as a wage earner, with every pound subject to PAYE, I shed no tears for an organisation which blatantly reduced the costs of employing expensive players by use of an employee benefits device, whether legitimate or not. I do, however, sympathise with the Rangers fan who was clearly tearful at the thought of his team going to the wall.

Other Scottish clubs, for example Airdrieonians, Partick Thistle, Motherwell and Dundee, are equally entitled to the status of institutions among their supporting communities, which are admittedly geographical rather that tribal. All of these have come through life-threatening financial episodes, largely due to the efforts of their loyal supporters who have stuck with them through thick and thin. I don't recall many outpourings of grief from politicians at such times.

Mr Salmond suggests that HRMC cutting a deal with Rangers would be in the taxpayers' interest. At a time of much furore over bankers' bonuses and tax avoidance by the ultra-rich, it would surely be unwise to send out a message to football clubs indicating that they should not worry about unpaid taxes as all will be forgiven at the end of the day.

Willie Maclean, Altacarry, Carnock Road, Gowkhall, Dunfermline.

Since Sir David Murray oversaw the accumulation of the debt which has brought Rangers down and since he sold the club to a man who looks as though he will exploit its misfortune, should he be stripped of his knighthood?

Frank Kinghorn,

25 Bradda Avenue,



I note that Nicola Sturgeon is rightly concerned about the possible loss of 230 jobs in her constituency at Rangers Football Club.

She is obviously less concerned with the loss of 4000 jobs at Faslane if her independence plans go ahead.

Bruce Cochrane,

5 Alexander Drive,

Bridge of Allan,