I'm pretty new to keeping up with European soccer, so I'm still confused as to why rangers got moved down so far. Can someone explain in American terms please?
In order to attempt to match Celtic's achievements in Europe, David Murray came in and started unsustainable spending. Then, with the help of a former porn star (I'm not making this up), Murray created an EBT scheme. Basically, a number of players had normal contracts and an "extra" contract that the HMRC (UK's IRS) didn't know about.
Murray bails when the unsustainable spending catches up with him. He sells to "Motherwell-born billionaire" Craig Whyte for 1 pound
. Whyte made his fortune taking over dying companies and then selling bits and pieces to other companies. Basically, he's a business vulture.
Whyte starts off with the media stupidly believing everything he says. So when Whyte says he has "investors" for Rangers, the media printed that without checking who these investors were. His "investors" were a company called Ticketus, basically a giant ticket-selling company. Whyte sells all of the tickets for five years at Ibrox to Ticketus.
HMRC learn about the EBTs when they run into the former porn star. They start digging and find a ton of "side-contracts" with former Rangers players and employees throughout the 90s. HMRC brings two cases against Rangers.
The media get scared and finally start vetting Whyte. Whyte's chased from Scotland by the media and the SFA and the club transfers to Charles Green.
Green puts Rangers into Administration. He pulls some strings and gets his buddies at Duff and Phelphs named Administrators. He hoped that he could stave off the death of the company by dong this.
HMRC start pushing and tells D&P to liquidate the company to pay the taxes on the EBTs. Rangers dies.
Charles Green buys a new company called Sevco 5088 and renames it "The Rangers".
Meanwhile, the SFA is freaked out about the massive Rangers fanbase being out of Scottish football so they pull some strings and let the SPL clubs decide if The Rangers can bypass the usual hurdles for a new club. The SPL clubs vote and overwhelming vote against the move.
The SFA is shocked. They decide they at least need these fans in the second tier, so they go to the SFL and let them vote. Every SFL club (not SPL) gets to vote. They overwhelmingly vote against letting a new club bypass them (the SFL clubs all want in the SPL at some point). The Rangers is placed in SFL 3 (4th tier).