Lies, damned lies, and Scottish football journalism


Being privy to many of the facts related to Rangers’ tax ordeal, the last year has been a revelation to me.  I find it hard to believe that every journalist in Scotland is naive enough to believe the nonsense being fed to them.  In their hurry to publish, they shamelessly rush from fax machine (or whatever PR firms use these days) to the press without editing or critical thought.  In short, readers are paying to read PR-fluff written and produced by people with agendas.

Then there are a number of hacks who surely cannot claim, after all of these years, to have simply been hoodwinked by purveyors of succulent lamb?  Some Scottish journalists’ track record of doing the bidding of the country’s more media savvy businessmen goes back to a time where a simple loyalty to their favourite football team cannot explain everything.  This has the odour of  “bought and paid for” reporting.  A passionate and diehard Rangers fan could not go along with this fakery. Only the most naive or corrupt of journalists could continue to do the bidding of people whose interests are diametrically opposed to Scottish football as a whole, and most specifically, Rangers FC.  Yet Rangers fans are fed this diet of regurgitated lamb and foolishly lap it up like it is a kebab at closing time.  It seems that any bearers of bad news, regardless of allegiance, are dismissed as troublemakers (and worse).

That brings us to today’s topic.  We will take a quick look some of the myths and lies that our national media have helped weave into the popular debate on the subject of Rangers’ financial and legal woes.

We can see in the link below as fine of an example of journalistic creativity as you will ever find.  It is clear that even Graham Speirs- Scotland’s most erudite sports journalist- can resort to just filling his pages with a collection of random ‘facts’ with no relevance to the actual story:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/sport/football/scotland/article7110036.ece

Let’s put a few of these myths to rest:

Image Rights:  Absolutely nothing in the case against Rangers has anything to do with image rights.  The hacks must have just picked up some detritus from stories about  English clubs.  This is completely irrelevant to the matter at hand.

“The tax bill is a matter for MIH”:  Rangers’ Chairman, Alistair Johnston, started this myth with some artfully worded statements. It is pretty obvious that he was trying to be “economical with the truth”.   However, the Laptop Loyal took his inferences and fed them to the masses.  Today, a large number of Rangers fans still believe that the tax bill will be paid by the parent company, MIH.  Let me state without fear of contradiction, the tax assessments (bills) are addressed to: “The Rangers Football Club plc”.  Rangers FC are responsible for these bills.  If they cannot pay them, no one else is obligated to contribute: not MIH; not Lloyds Banking Group; and not Sir David Murray (more on this later).

“No one has been accused of doing anything illegal”: Yes they have.  Rangers FC have been accused of breaking UK tax law.  The First Tier Tribunal process is a civil matter, and there is no current criminal case against anyone.  However, that is at the discretion of HMRC and it will remain at the discretion of HMRC whether to bring criminal charges in the future.  In cases not involving lawyers or financial professionals, it is unusual to go down the criminal path as the burden of proof is much higher.  Depending on how things turn out, and how much of the bill is actually extracted from Rangers, it is not impossible that individuals could be pursued.  However, that would be quite some way down the road- if it ever happens at all.

Murray / Lloyds will guarantee the tax bill to facilitate the sale of Rangers”: Let me also give my opinion on the notion that someone will underwrite a tax bill which could be up to £60m.  It is absurd in the extreme and just laughably stupid.  As things stand, no one else has to pay this bill.  If Rangers cannot pay it, they will end up filing for insolvency.  The creditors, which would include Lloyds, HMRC, and holders of The Rangers Bond, would carve up the proceeds of a sale of the club.   If it does not cover all of the bills, then tough.  No one else pays.  (I will discuss some potential risks to the personal wealth of Sir David Murray and other directors in a future post).

By what financial alchemy can someone create a logical argument for Lloyds, MIH, or Murray accepting this liability?  Even if the numbers being touted for a Rangers sale were true (which I don’t believe for a second), £33m would be divided between bank debt (about £20m just now) and money for Murray (£13m). I am laughing as I type because the idea of anyone paying this price is hilarious!  It is not unusual in corporate transactions for sellers to provide guarantees of accounts receivable and tax liabilities.  However, these are made when there are no known issues or where the risk represents a tiny fraction of the total deal.  In Rangers’ case, the tax bill is almost the entire deal.

We are supposed to believe that Lloyds, who would probably recover the full value of their loans to Rangers through the administration process, would accept this risk and have nothing to gain?  We are supposed to swallow the idea that Murray would, even if he received the fabulous sum of £13m, run the risk  of having to pay £60m?

Murray might want to give away ‘his’ shares just now, but they are not his to give away.  85% of Rangers’ shares are held by MIH.  MIH is a vassal company for Murray.  Lloyds own MIH in everything but name.

So where are the members of the Fourth Estate to bring sanity to this madness?  Why has every Scottish media outlet: print; radio; and TV, lined up to give this story credibility?

No story about Rangers’ financial position is credible without a discussion of the tax case.  Until the tax case is resolved, the equity in Rangers FC is worth nothing.  Without the tax case, Rangers’ current financial position would be quite healthy.  All of the problems being blamed on bankers (with foreign sounding names) and “enemies within” really just begin and end with Rangers’ attempts to gain a financial advantage through a tax dodge.  Rangers’ fans could put their energies to better use planning for the worst case scenarios.  It would do all of Scottish football some good if they ensure that the individuals who brought their club to the brink do not duck the blame for their own incompetence and maladministration.

About rangerstaxcase
I have information on Rangers' tax case, and I will use this blog to provide the details of what Rangers FC have done, why it was illegal, and what the implications for what was (updated) one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

116 Responses to Lies, damned lies, and Scottish football journalism

  1. Dodgy Dave says:

    What I know for a fact – and I’m not a subscriber to follow follow – is HMRC opened an enquiry into a trust called Blue water Trust, based in Jersey, around 2005. (edited)
    This resulted in multiple S9A enquiries being opened into players SA returns. It has gathered momentum from that.

    SCI were involved ( Special civil Investigations, HMRC’s “real” investigators..) also an office in the NE of England where all the players SA records have been centralised. However as far as I know it in neither COP8 nor COP9.

    One of the big tax enquiry fee insurers have seen some papers and have refused to pay any more accountancy fees. A good sign. Or a bad one if you a member of the succulent lamb brigade.

    Tick Tock…

  2. JPaul says:

    I think the problems with these types of discussions come about when people start to indulge in conjecture and whatiffery. “What if it had been set up as …” The fact of the matter is that HMRC will have looked at how the EBTs and payments (in and out) worked. If as we are told an assessment has been raised then it will have been based on what actually happened, not what might have happened.

    The same goes for the tribunal. The appellant may well say “But if we had done it this way then the tax would not have been due”. That’s as may be, however a ruling will be given based on what actually happened, and if they got it wrong then they got it wrong. They cannot ask the Tribunal to accept that they could have operated it differently, well they can but it would be irrelevant.

    The avoidance park comes in when it becomes clear that they were set up simply to not pay the proper tax. If there was not other reason for the way things were set up, then it is an avoidance scheme and HMRC are cracking down on those just now. That’s another common misconception btw, that tax avoidance is “perfectly legal”, you read that a lot. Tax management is perfectly legal, but avoidance isn’t. It may not be as bad as evasion but it is not acceptable.

    This is a link to a recent Treasury web page in relation to avoidance

    http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/2011budget_taxavoidance.htm

    This is a HMRC page on the subject

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/avoidance/vision-strategy.htm

    Both serve to show the Governments view on the matter

  3. Specialbhoy says:

    Very impressed with the blog and very impressed with the comments attached. Good to see sensible debate and comments as opposed to the usual drivel.

    Having followed developments, not just of the tax case, but the financial demise of Rangers from its infancy, i can not fathom why no one has sat with David Murray and carried out a one on one interview with him.

    I think everyone in Scotland would be interested in this, and some explanation to the complex financial situation the club is in could be sought by a reasonable journalist.

    in that case (especially in comparison to when Celtic faced similar problems under the old board) everyone seems happy to wait and see what happens.

  4. I think you must have missed Chick Young’s legendary interrogation of Murray on the 20th anniversary of buying Rangers.

  5. Great point. I was interested in where that discussion was going just out of interest. You are right though. The case deals with what did happen, not what might have happened had they been smarter. Everything I can see points to this going badly for Rangers.

  6. I have heard rumours of side investigations that involve offshore companies. I am sure everone would be very interested to hear more from you.

  7. Everyone will be tired of me saying, I will deal with this in a later post, but I will. This aspect to the case could be one of the most explosive angles to the story.

  8. ciarans dad says:

    What I don’t get, sorry for asking what you intelligent types already understand, is if the bank are making all the financial decisions on the daily running of r##gers why is this not technically a club in administration??

  9. Is Charlie Sheen Happy? says:

    “Only the club holding the registration can pay the player.”

    Isn’t this the main reason MIH (or Lloyds) cannot undertake any liability for any HMRC liability? (Even if they felt like loaning/gifting £33m). It has to be Rangers that pay any penalty.

    Otherwise I think it would mean that since 2001 Rangers would have been in breach of the Third Party Payer rules.

  10. Administration is a very specific legal process. Nothing meeting the standard of administration or even an insolvency event has happened to Rangers FC yet.

  11. Specialbhoy says:

    Every question came via mouthful of succulent lamb no doubt….. going back to the early 90’s i remember celts for change, i remember sport in question having the old board on there with McNee and them getting a grilling….

    The whole rangers scenario just bobbles along timidly

  12. me says:

    Ok, interesting read.

    But I have a few questions for the blogger.

    Where have you been that you have suddenly appeared with all this information?

    You say that you are privvy to information regarding the tax case – how? If you are involved, or a firm you work with are involved, surely you are breaking professional confidentiality rules by disclosing confidential information – so how do you “know” all this information?

    Given the above, you seem to ignore one vital point. It would be neither to HMRC’s nor Rangers’ benefit to carry out the ins & outs of this case in a public forum, never mind an internet blog. With that in mind, either you have come by this information dishonestly, or you are, like ALL media commentators, fans, Kerrydale & Edmiston Drive accountants etc., purely speculating – in a very erudite manner, for which I congratulate you, but speculating nonetheless.

  13. 1. The opening post explains how I know what I know. It would be stupid to provide more identification.

    2. Prior to the First Tier Tribunal returning a result, I cannot produce the evidence that would prove access rather than speculation. However, we should be over that hurdle by July or August.

    3. “Erudite” is now a prohibited cliche on this blog. No more erudition.

  14. No. There is no legal impediment to anyone stepping in to pay Rangers’ tax bill. It would just be stupid.
    If the bill is not paid, HMRC will go after only one party: Rangers FC. No amount of contracts or promises from 3rd parties to help out would be considered. So if I was negotiating to buy Rangers FC tonight, and Sir David Murray was even willing to sign a document saying that he would pay any tax bill, it would still not make me relax. If he delayed payment for whatever reason, HMRC would file for a winding up order and I would have to file for adminsitration to stop them. The outcome would be that I lose my shares in the club I just purchased. A warranty of the tax bill would only be meaningful if £60m was deposited in escrow now. I cannot see any of the supposed underwriters placing that kind of cash up front now in return for a fraction of that money as a reward.

  15. me says:

    Thank you for your quick reply – and your point number 3 is well noted.

    However, concerning point number 1 – from this, it would be reasonable to deduce that if you were in fear of losing your job, your actions by posting this information would be looked on extremely dimly by your employer (otherwise why would you have any fear of losing your job)

    Now, other than breaking of any IT policy, it would again be reasonable to deduce that your employer would look on your posting of this information dimly only because it is confidential and not for public consumption. Therefore, BY publishing this & being in fear of losing your job if identified, you have released confidential information / information deemed by your employers as not for public consumption.

    So, it then falls to us, the general public, to ask WHERE you are employed. Clearly you are not going to say, but it can, if your information is accurate, and you have come across it “in your line of work”, only be within one of the parties involved in the case i.e. HMRC / Rangers or their representatives.

    I would seriously advise you to think very carefully as to your future blogs IF you are so employed. “Whistle Blower” protection does not really apply here, and this being a publicly accessible forum, the authorities could easily, if required discover your actual identity (ooh doesn’t it all sound mysterious!). I only caution you as I have some experience in such cases and can assure you that you MAY be on somewhat “shaky” ground.

    I would not like to see the “freedom of the press” interfered with in any manner, but having the ability to transact business in a confidential manner is the very basis of any business transaction, and anybody seeking to disrupt that confidentiality must do so fully aware of the possible & probable repercussions.

  16. Thank you for you concern for my employment status. My tirade is much more concerned with how unfree our press is. My real goal for this blog is to wake up people, football fans of all shades and anyone else in Scotland, to the ease with which lazy and incompetent journalists can blind people to ground shaking events. I can appreciate the suspicion over my motives given my support for Celtic, but I would not have waited this long to speak out had it been my club that was being moved on to ever thinner ice by people who were bleeding them dry and lining their own pockets.

    In reality, I have not revealed anything especially sensitive. My opinions are formed by access to additional information which I cannot discuss. What I have done is to provide a simple explanation of what Rangers are accused of doing and provided some more snippets that help establish some credibility. Yet, you are correct. I could be just making a series of fortune-teller style statements based on wild speculation from around the web. We will just have to see how everything turns out.

  17. JPaul says:

    The last thing Lloyds want is for Rangers to go into administration.

    The reality of the situation as it stands is that Lloyds are already making all of the decisions for MIH and Rangers. They are doing this because of the shares they hold in MIH, the money which is owed to them and the (allegedly) breached covenants.

    If Rangers went into administration then they would be taken over by an independent administrator. That person would then make every decision in relation to the running of the business. Rangers’ board, Lloyds and everyone else would have no say in those decisions. Well they could speak to the administrator obviously and have a say, make suggestions, however the administrator would have the final decision on everything.

    I see no earthly reason why Lloyds would want that when they already control (effectively) both Rangers plc, and the holding company which owns 85% of their shares. Another myth worth debunking, as the blogger has done. Sir David Murray does not own Rangers. MIH own 85% of their (Rangers) shares, and SDM is the majority shareholder of MIH, which would normally make SDM Rangers’ “owner”. However Lloyds own about 24% of MIH, in addition to which they have SDM over a barrel with regard to both debt levels (at both MIH and Rangers) and the allegedly breached covenants. Hence their control over both

    Sorry, that got a bit rambling. The bottom line is that Lloyds have no desire to put Rangers into administration, that would actually reduce their control. If Rangers go into administration it will be because HMRC have won their case, they have moved for winding up, and the Rangers board have petitioned for voluntary administration to defend themselves from liquidation.

    That is the HMRC modus operandi, once the debt is established they seek immediate payment, if it is not possible they move to wind the company up. I see no reason why they would treat Rangers any differently.

  18. me says:

    Ok – I will take your comments at face value. Only you can decide whether or not you are comfortable with what you are and are not releasing from the confidential documents surrounding this case.

    But as, regardless of which way the next stage of this case goes, such blogs as these may well be used as evidence for either side, particularly if you HAVE released confidential information, I would seriously advise you to avail yourself of the services of a lawyer to protect your own interests.

    I say this regardless of team affiliations. Much of what you have already published may be seen as being seriously detrimental to the ability of either side to resolve this matter without undue influence form outside parties.

  19. (Is that you, Martin? ;-))

    But I haven’t actually said anything. I am just speculating on what might be happening. (and adding a little winking sign).

    I have had enough time to think through what I would say, how I would say it, and how to cover my tracks. I am taking care to not release anything that would be prejudicial to the First Tier Tribunal.

  20. Dodgy Dave says:

    “Me”…you come across as someone who is trying very hard to protect Murray or RFC.

    You mention availing the blogger of a lawyer….tell me what this is based on ? Are you seriously trying to tell us that the next stage of the tribunal will be halted to call evidence from this blog ?

    You mention IT policy. If this information is being posted from a private internet provider address, do you seriously think this can be proven to be linked to an individual’s employer ? If so, I would not like you to represent me in court. You would make a fortune.

    Can you tell us more about your experience in such cases, and shaky ground please ?

  21. George A says:

    Great blog, you deserve a plain English award for making such a complex matter intelligible.

    I am intrigued by the role of the club’s auditors in this.If Rangers lose it means that in each of the years concerned the auditors will have signed off accounts that have understated the expenditure in the profit and loss account and the liabilities in the balance sheet.

    The auditors also have certain duties around whether the club is a going concern. I wonder if the delay in publishing the club’s interim accounts might be related to doubts over the auditor’s ability to certify that the club remains a going concern. The position that you have set out means that this must be a real risk.

  22. There is a little subplot playing in the background here. Sorry to get all secretive (it’s one of those need to know basis things), but your first sentence is closer to the mark than you could ever imagine.

  23. me says:

    In answer to both. I have absolutely no connection to Rangers FC, HMRC or their representatives, nor any interest in protecting / attacking either side.

    To Mr Dave – no, that was not my intention. However, it is likely that the losing side in any case would look to gather any & all information pertaining to any appeal / resolution.

    And in regards to IT policy, I was attempting to state that any employer could only take a dim view of the blogger’s postings if they were either in breach of such, and clearly they cannot be, or if confidential information was being released

    My point does still stand. If the blogger has a fear of losing his job, he must have reasonable concern as to the confidentiality of the information he is posting. And with this blog now searchable through such little known search engines as Google (!), this information is easily noted.

    Regretably, I cannot discuss any of the details of the cases I have been involved with regarding activities and blogs such as this, as to do so I WOULD be breaking confidentiality. This may sound weak, but there you go.

    Suffice to say that it is not simply the posting of confidential information that can be held to be at best, in breach of employment contracts, or at worst illegal, but the posting of so called “learned deductions” i.e. information represented as fact which could only have been compiled having had access to confidential information. And in my opinion, that is what a large section of this blog shows, assuming that anything in it has any basis in fact whatsoever, on which I take the blogger’s assurance.

  24. Is Charlie Sheen Happy? says:

    Thanks rangerstaxcase. You have a great blog here and some sensible and reasoned debate. It’s a great read.

    I completely understand that HMRC are not prohibited from accepting payment from a 3rd party.

    I also understand that it would be stupid/irresponsible/make no sense for a third party make payment of such a liability.

    However my understanding was that, in addition to the above points, according to UEFA rules there is another reason a third party cannot make payment of a players wages. To do so would mean the football club was not paying the wages of the players. Obviously this could only be the case if the payment was shown to be remuneration for playing activities and not a non-repayable loan.

    I may be wrong but I though that the Court of Arbitration for Sport made a decision on this point in the Tevez case?

    Keep up the good work. It’s good to read your analysis.

  25. “assuming that anything in it has any basis in fact whatsoever” being the key point here!

  26. me says:

    Oh – well if you are making it all up as you are going along, I withdraw all my previously stated caveats, save one. You may still be liable under the previously described “learned deductions” chapter, if anything you have published actually has a basis in confidential fact, and is revealed in due course so to do. Just a “word to the wise”

    Good night sir, and good luck with this apparently well constructed (not erudite!), self admitted fairy tale.

  27. I doubt that an investment (i.e. someone treating the payment as a capital increase and receiving shares) could ever be considered to be a 3rd party payment. Anyone underwriting the tax bill would be daft to not want either shares or to treat is as interest paying debt. So the mechanics of MIH, Murray, or anyone else volunteering to pay the tax bill would be straight forward. Just finding someone willing to lose so much money would be the real challenge.

  28. Thanks. I do appreciate your comments. The situations you describe were fully considered when deciding to embark on this project. There is one flaw in your learned deductions thesis, but that would be giving the game away by posting a complete response.

  29. The auditors’ issues will be greatest around the issue of disclosure rather than the formulation of tax strategy. By not including the tax assessments as contingent liabilities in Rangers 2009/2010 accounts, they could face a bit of a grilling. They are supposed to obtain expert opinion (if they do not have it in-house) as to the likelihood of these bills ever crystallizing. In the fallout of the worst-case scenario, they could face questions as to how they could have dismissed this as being a negligible risk.
    The issue of disclosure of risks and contingent liabilities will be interesting when the Interim Results are finally released in the coming days.

    They will have several walls under which they can hide when it comes to having signed off on accounts containing tax expenses based on the EBTs. It would be a fruitless task to pursue them on this basis.

  30. Is Charlie Sheen Happy? says:

    Thanks for that. It is good to read the unclouded analysis of publically available facts. This is what a free and intelligent press should be doing. It is frustrating to read articles in the press which unquestioningly reprint nonsensical and unsupported statements (e.g. MIH will pay this and the liability will disappear.). It is quite hard to find an article which covers this matter in any detail and which does not contain an element readily identifiable of misinformation.

    I look forward to the next entry.

  31. JohnBhoy says:

    Aww, is “me” away already? And he didn’t even leave his full name.
    I reckon he missed out the “diahouse” bit.
    My, my, you must be getting awfa close to the bone when chancers like that come on with such transparent scare tactics and faux legalese.
    Just the sort of stuff that has cowed Scottish editors for the past few years. Shame on every last cowardly one of them.
    Now, all of a sudden, media commentators are mentioning the “A” word.
    But I think it’s the big “L” bomb they should be worrying about.
    My hunch is that Lloyds, if they want to maximise their recoverables from Rangers, will have to drop that bomb before May and grab what they can before a 60million-quid tax bill lands with a thud on the marble staircase.
    Cue two months of frenzy, panic and mayhem before Rangers of Glasgow 2011 are formed and granted a spot in the equally newly-formed SPL2.
    You heard it here first . . .
    “Me” talks about a “fairytale”.
    Nightmare on Edmiston Drive, more like.

  32. Me says:

    John Bhoy – some of us have to sleep!

    I care not one little bit about your comments, as I am confident enough in my assessment.

    My expertise does lie in legal matters rather than accountancy, but what little I know does show that your own lack of understanding of administration and liquidation of companies is quite astounding.

    It may be best summed up as follows – if a club such as Rangers owe £1m, that is the club’s problem. If they owe £100m, that that is the bank’s / HMRC’s problem.

    This means that Lloyds are not about to put either Rangers or MIH into administration due to the tiny amount they would receive. In any case, the bank are receiving repayments on a loan satisfactorily, by all accounts, certainly from the football club.

    HMRC, as unsecured creditors, would be unlikely to take the same step, for the same reasons.

    This blog is interesting given its apparent explanation of the case in question, but as I mentioned, such explanation may have be derived from privileged information, and that has been the subject of my points with the blogger.

    From what I know of public forums such as this (and that is more than my accountancy knowledge), obtaining the blogger’s actual name is not as difficult as either you or he may think, particularly if there is the possibility of any charges being laid against him.

    You are of course free to have your own opinion, such is the beauty of our society. It does not affect me in the least, nor does the topic of this blog. I was only interested in the blogger’s source & material, and given his repsonses have a worryingly accurate idea of who / where he may be. Worryingly in the respect of breach of confidentiality being unacceptable in business.

  33. Brattbakkk says:

    @Me. Since you are so keen on openess why don’t you go first and reveal your identity? Hmmmmm thought not.

  34. me 2 says:

    Me must have stumbled upon this blog by accident but has a lot to say . Odd

  35. cadizzy says:

    me

    it is the case that the amounts settled into the EBT by Rangers have been published so it is reasonable to assume that the reason for those contributions was to provide future benefits for past, present and future employees of the employer (the only rationale for an EBT). That can hardly be construed as coming from privileged information.

    Also, it is reasonable to assume that the amounts going into the trust will not be amounts over and above the total amounts budgeted to cover the cost of employing the players in question, in which case, the contributions to the trust will come out of that total remuneration and benefits budget. In other words, if those amounts had not gone into the trust, they would have been paid out to the players as (taxable) income. This is how all EBT’s work; even in the case of true discretionary payments, the employer decides between contributing to the trust or paying the employee a cash bonus. Not both. Again, this is hardly privileged information.

    It is extremely unlikely that the money will remain in the EBT; instead, it will be dropped down into sub funds (family benefit trusts) with the beneficiaries of each being the individual players and their family members. The reason for this is to give comfort to the individual that the trustees will not distribute ot anyone other than himself or his family. In short, the FBT ensures that the individual gets what would otherwise have been wages. It also makes it easier to borrow or have the benefits of the trust distributed in an non cash manner. Again, this does not come from privileged information. It is what happens.

    My only speculation (so not privileged information) is the mechanism that Rangers have employed to effect the recharacterisation of income into contribution. Given what we know about remuneration structures in the football world, it is reasonable to assume that players at Rangers (absent the trust) would have a high weekly/monthly wage and a bonus structure linked to performance where performance is measured by results on the field (collective performance rather than individual performance). The points mean prizes approach renders a discretionary bonus system inappropriate since the players can correctly argue that having delivered the 3 points or whatever, they are due the £xxxxx. Mutuality of obligation is very much an issue here. Again, very reasonable conclusions to draw and nothing that can be deemed to be privileged information.

    The only avenue left to Rangers, therefore, is the salary sacrifice route i.e. an irrevocable foregoing of amounts of money that, without the sacrifice, would have been paid as wages or win bonuses. This could be a very big problem for them if they cannot provide a good rationale for the arrangement other than it saves tax. This is a logical and reasonable conclusion to draw so, again, hardly the result of privileged information.

    All of the above I knew before I read anything that rangerstaxcase said on this blog (and I don’t have any connection to the case whatsoever).

    regards

  36. Me says:

    Are you kidding? Anyone who has said anything against Rangers or Celtic usually gets anything from coins thrown at them at their place of work, to windows put in, to death threats or chants, or stuff sent through the post.

  37. Me says:

    No, was interested in finding more, googled “Rangers Tax Case”, and look what I found.

  38. George A says:

    There has been speculation – no idea to what extent it has a basis in fact – that the club had offered £10m in settlement.

    If that were the case I would have thought that the auditors, taking a prudent view, would have to see that amount at least accrued in the accounts. That amount would seem to represent the directors’ own view of the minimum amount that had to be paid.

    As you say it will be interesting to see what emerges when the interim results are released.

  39. SamsayRmith says:

    @ Me – I’m Ramsay Smith and so is my wife, so are my 2 sons and as are all three of my 2 daughters. Now stop trying to impersonate ME or I’ll buy Jim Traynor yet another succulent lamb dinner and have him attack you in the press! if he’s not available then I’ll get another one of the supine compliant laptop loyal to do it.

  40. Chico says:

    i must have a different google from you ‘me’. I tried to google rangers tax case to find this page when i got into work this morning. 5 pages in, and still no sign of it.hmmmmmm

  41. So you were casually browsing the web, having sufficient interest in the subject of Rangers’ tax affairs to google the very name of this blog, but you are moved only to highlight some legal blind-alley? Interesting.

  42. Boab says:

    “This means that Lloyds are not about to put either Rangers or MIH into administration due to the tiny amount they would receive. In any case, the bank are receiving repayments on a loan satisfactorily, by all accounts, certainly from the football club.

    HMRC, as unsecured creditors, would be unlikely to take the same step, for the same reasons.”

    HMRC are indeed unlikely to put Rangers into administration. They are much more likely to do what they have done with every other case, move for the company to be wound up.

    With regard to the loans being repaid in a satisfactory manner, that’s fine so long as Rangers have Champions League money coming in. What happens when they don’t have, can they actually afford to service this debt. However that’s an entirely separate issue.

  43. Me says:

    Would not like to be condescending, so I googled it again. First 2 pages from someone called http://www.philmacgiollabhain.com, the next from the herald, then celticquicknews, which has apparently “mirrored” the content of this blog. Hey presto!

  44. Chico says:

    fair enough ‘me’. Now you have dsicoverd this, you should have a look apt phills site, and celticquick news. great discussions going on in them regarding the matter.

  45. Me- perhaps you could do me a favour and warn these other sites of the immorality and dangers of copyright infringement?

  46. Annie M says:

    Asking a Scottish football hack to write knowledgably about this is like asking the financial editor of the Times to have a grasp on Old Firm rivalry. They are out of their depth.

  47. Brattbakkk says:

    I look forward to it as I agree this will be the most explosive angle.

  48. suspicious minds says:

    Me comments above !!!!!

    Can we please get real. rangers lose their tax case and they will blame an internet blog ???

    FUD

    Microsoft are famous for spreading FUD.

    When an I.T. company look like launching something that may impact on them or they are worried about they spread FUD – Fear, Uncertainty and Doubt.

    It has been very effective for them and their PR company are very good at it.

    As are rangers’ PR company.

    Keep at it rangerstaxcase. caddizzy etc. Your work is very illuminating and some people don’t like it. Don’t let some FUD stop you

  49. Josh Lyman says:

    Another succinct, insightful read.

    Anyone on twitter who can be bothered, should chain tweet this link to the London- based business media, more credence than Dawyl or The Poison Dwarf guessing on Clyde 1.

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