The fall of the Glasgow Rangers: ethical ramifications and lessons to be learned

Kieran James, Greg Mayhew, Michael Nesbitt, Mark Murray, Michael Innes, Anna Maligina

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

448 Downloads (Pure)


In this article we apply business ethics theories (justice, ethics of care, deontology, and utilitarianism) to the actions of Scottish football’s Glasgow Rangers FC prior to its 2012 liquidation. In the authors’ opinion, justice was not done in Rangers’ case. Previous owner David Murray got off relatively lightly; there were no arrests in relation to the tax fraud involving Rangers. Rangers’ punishment did not fit the crime; even though it was demoted in the league (to the fourth-division backwater of League Two), it climbed relatively quickly to be one of the biggest clubs in Scottish football again. In our opinion, we could make a case for Rangers to be stripped of name and history as a deterrent to other football clubs. Using utilitarianism, we can see that Murray’s actions caused short-term happiness in the club; there was no concern for the longer term which ultimately saw the consequences of these actions cause more unhappiness than good. A further lesson that can be learned is that individual boards of directors must remain independent of the owner.
Original languageEnglish
Article number555660
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Fitness, Medicine & Treatment in Sports
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sept 2018


  • Employee Benefit Trusts
  • Football history
  • Football and taxation
  • Glasgow Rangers
  • Rangers FC
  • Rangers’ liquidation
  • Scotland
  • Scottish football


Dive into the research topics of 'The fall of the Glasgow Rangers: ethical ramifications and lessons to be learned'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this