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Rangers back with the elite after stormy years but it may not be all plain sailing

Rangers return to Scotland’s top division on Saturday after four years away but a tax issue dating back to 2012 has revived memories of dark days

At Ibrox stadium on Saturday a fixture against Hamilton Academical will mark the return of Rangers to Scotland’s top division, following a prolonged melodrama featuring tax avoidance, insolvency, demotion to the fourth tier, endless rancour and legal actions, unique in British football history.

During their four years labouring back from calamity to resume the Old Firm rivalry with Celtic, the Scottish Premier and Football Leagues have merged to form the Scottish Professional Football League and the financial border with the English game has cracked into a chasm. The SPFL’s television deal with Sky and BT is worth £20m each season until 2020, to be shared by all 42 clubs – less than 100th of around £2.7bn a year which the English Premier League’s 20 clubs will feast on from this season until 2019.

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