RONALD DE BOER insists the security of a four year deal at Rangers and the lure of working with Dick Advocaat convinced him to make his move to Ibrox – not the money on offer from the Light Blues.
The Dutchman joined the Gers from Barcelona in 2000 and enjoyed a successful spell under fellow countryman Advocaat and Alex McLeish.
De Boer also had an offer on the table from Manchester United but it was Rangers who would land the midfielder as he went on to become a hero at Ibrox.
The 45-year-old is one of a number of players who received an EBT during the Sir David Murray era and there have been calls in some quarters for Rangers to be stripped of the titles they won between 2001-2010 following the latest Big Tax Case ruling in favour of HMRC.
An investigation from Lord Nimmo Smith has previously ruled that Rangers gained no sporting advantage during that period.
And de Boer insists the financial package that was put to him ahead of his Gers switch was not the reason he signed on the dotted line.
He said: “I was offered the same money by Manchester United as Rangers but I was afraid for my knee at that time.
“Rangers gave me a four-year deal and Manchester United offered three years. The most important thing was that Dick Advocaat knew me and how I was as a player.
“I remembered Ruud van Nistelrooy was sent back with a bad knee (from Manchester United).
“I worried that if I took the chance to go to Manchester United and they sent me back to Barcelona then I would have a stamp on my forehead ‘not fit enough’.
“I thought I had more chance to succeed at Rangers and I’m glad I did because I had an incredible four years.”
De Boer won five major honours during his time at Ibrox and helped Rangers clinch the SPL title on Helicopter Sunday in 2003.
The Big Tax Case ruling could yet be taken to another stage should BDO, the liquidators of the Rangers oldco decide to appeal the verdict from the third hearing last month.
De Boer has dismissed any allegations of cheating and, speaking to Sky Sports News, he said: “I didn’t feel like it was cheating. If you see other clubs they buy players. Celtic could also have bought me.
“I don’t think that every player who played at Rangers (during that period) were cheating. It didn’t feel like that.
“We were just footballers at the club who wanted to win titles and do well in every game we played.
“I don’t have that feeling that we cheated. I’m clean and don’t feel responsible for what happened.
“It hurts if people say I’m responsible. I played with all my heart for Rangers and not only for the money.