One week to go

In just over a week, the First Tier Tribunal hearing Rangers’ appeal over the tax assessments in their possession will resume.  Of course, you all knew this already.  The blanket coverage of this issue in the Scottish media has been overwhelming.  Journalists have been hounding Martin Bain and demanding information on ‘what did you know and when did you know it’.   The saturation television coverage with experts explaining the intricacies of trust law to a spellbound public has been intense.  At least this is how the most important single event in the history of Scottish football should be reported.

It is not an exaggeration to describe the tax tribunal as the most important event in Scottish football history.  As Rangers’ Chairman admitted, if the full amount of the bills goes against Rangers, then the football club simply could not pay.  No bank would lend them the £36m for underpayment and interest which could crystalise sometime between July and August (holiday schedule permitting).  If Rangers lose this tribunal, another one will be scheduled to deal with the penalty for deliberately breaking UK tax law.  The penalty is currently £18m but could be finalised anywhere between 50-100% of the original underpayment if HMRC can prove that Rangers knew what they were doing was illegal. (And they can).  It could take another year before the penalty is finally determined.  This delay in getting all of the numbers creates a complication for any attempt to restructure Rangers’ debts in administration.  It makes arriving at a deal to which 75% of the creditors agree very difficult. That Lloyds have a security interest in Rangers assets which will ensure that most of Rangers’ bank debt will repaid before most other bills does not make for an easy restructuring.  It is hard to see how total liabilities of £90-96m can be satisfied by any sum that someone would offer for Rangers assets in administration.  Liquidation of Rangers FC is not a fanciful notion.  It is not by any means a certainty, but anyone saying that it will not not happen does not understand the situation.

So while Rangers enter the final stages of a process that has as a possible outcome its complete liquidation, what are the Scottish media discussing?

Granted the latest kerfuffle about sectarian singing is easier to understand.  However, the greatest significance of the sectarian debate is the effect of the singing and the potential reductions in vital European football money would have on a prospective buyer.  Yet this angle has not been discussed.
The on-going saga on the “fakeover / takeover” continues to promise ‘another 48 hours” or “the end of next week”.   Sources reported to be close to Craig Whyte have been breaking every principle of The Takeover Code’s disclosure requirements.  These disclosure provisions are designed to ensure that all shareholders gain information about a takeover at the same time.  They are not intended to drop a total secrecy blanket around any takeover.  Yet, the Scottish media conveniently protect their friends  by claiming that Murray, Whyte, Ellis, King [insert name of other “billionaire”] cannot comment.  They can.  Whyte and Murray are just chosing to say nothing.  Yet, the same journalists think nothing of receiving private information from “sources close to Whyte”.

The last two weeks were an interesting time to revive the takeover tale.  Rangers’ reported Interim Results that most expected to be better and that disclosed another tax problem.  Murray International Holdings Ltd reported its results for the year ending 30 June 2010, and they showed that the financial disaster surrounding this company continues unabated.  Then we have the resumption of the First Tier Tribunal that will determine whether Rangers FC will even exist in a year’s time.  It was a very good time for a distraction.

This blog has been clear that it suspects that Craig Whyte is nothing more than a willing participant in an elaborate deception to distract Rangers fans and the Laptop Loyal from these events.  Others tell me that Whyte really is  trying to line up financing for a deal.  Whatever his motivations, the story still has major credibility problems.  No one in their right mind would pay anything approaching the amounts quoted for a business that has a £54m tax bill hanging over it.  ‘Where is the fire?’  Why does Whyte want to move now?  Anyone serious about owning Rangers will simply wait a  matter of weeks until the result of the tax case is known.  Yet the Scottish media, from the taxpayer-funded BBC Scotland to those whose homes have been built on succulent lamb, continue to toe the party line like they worked for Pravda.

When Rangers fans’ anger eventually explodes and they search for culprits, I hope that they direct their fury in the correct direction: Rangers’ directors over the last ten years and the compliant Scottish media who have repeated lie after lie as news.

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.

261 Responses to One week to go

  1. Mark Dickson says:

    Clubs cannot be members of 2 Football associtions so 2 ‘Celtic’s would have to be separate and distinct legal entities with separate player registrations etc……… you could have bought Stalybridge Celtic on the cheap a few months back.

  2. Gary says:

    Excellent site which I have just found, information without bile wonderful. Earlier on you mentioned Hearts future legal case? care to expand.

  3. tomtom says:

    Sorry I should have emphasised that the two clubs were separate. I was thinking of a fictional character, let’s call him Desmond Dermot (for the want of anything better) buying the club from the lower leagues of England. In fact given the state of some of the clubs down south he could probably pick up a team from the championship and that would reduce the timescale.

    I know it’s not going to happen but would it be a possible, practical and desirable way of getting into the EPL whilst at the same time remaining committed to the SPL

  4. Mark Dickson says:

    What I can’t quite get my head around is who is misleading who in the proposed (alleged?) RFC take-over saga?

    Is Whyte misleading Murray about his appetite to complete a deal? Is Murray and/or Whyte misleading the Gers board about the likely outcome and timescale for a takeover? Are the Rangers board misleading the fans and possibly also McCoist & W.Smith about the likely timescale and prospect of a take-over?

    I can just about get my head around why the various parties might want to give the appearance why a deal might still be close or about to happen soon but I can’t see any sense in why they might mislead Rangers own football management & staff? Their job will be difficult enough without confusing their thinking and planning with confusion and delay about a take-over / fake-over?

    Given the close proximity of further legal action concerning the tax-case I don’t see why they don’t even just say we need to see the further outcome of this hearing even if they still keep up the appearance that this matter is agreed or provisions in place?

  5. Mark Dickson says:

    Tomtom – can football clubs cross borders without changing which FA they belong to? I know Gretna played north & south of the border at various times but afaik they also changed membership from the FA to SFA …….. I think it is highly unlikely that the FA or UEFA will allow any football team from Scotland or Glasgow to play in the English Premier League or Football League pyramid anytime soon. Apart from historical anomolies like the Welsh clubs and Monaco etc it would be opening a can of worms and set a precedent for say Portuguese teams playing in La Liga, Dutch & Austrian teams joining the Bundesliga etc etc. I just can’t see it happening or being allowed to happen. It would devalue the basis of national leagues and associations which is the foundation of football in europe especially when UEFA already provides it’s own transnational tournaments.

  6. tomtom says:

    Did Wimbledon not propose a move to Dublin a short time ago? I don’t remember it being against the rules then. As I said I can’t see it ever happening but I don’t think that legally it would be breaking any rules and, whilst I agree it would set a precedent, surely that’s what precedent’s are all about, setting a marker for others to follow. Why should the big clubs of Europe who happen to be members of smaller associations be denied access to the pots of gold that other teams have – after all as members of the European Union we all have freedom of movement – football clubs should not be any different and it’s only the will of the powerful that would stop this happening. At least this way clubs from the smaller nations would have an even chance of competing for the champions’s league instead of the winner’s always coming from England, Spain, Italy and Germany which is what will happening now. OK every now and then another nation will have a club that goes on a mazy run but by and large it will be these four associations that will be competing every year, surely that flies in the face of FIFA/UEFA’s attempts to make it a more level playing field with the nonsense about spending levels which everyone knows the big clubs will find a way around.

    I know if this were to happen we would technically be entering the champion’s league (hopefully) as an English representative but everyone would know who we were.

  7. Mark Dickson says:


    I can see why it appeals to clubs like Celtic & Rangers and others from the smaller or less lucrative leagues would want to cross borders but what’s in it for clubs already in the big leagues? what is their incentive to give up places?

    Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool, Arsenal, Spurs etc already play the other big clubs from Spain, Italy, Germany etc quite frequently in Europe and also games between the Old Firm and these clubs in the CL/Europa are not uncommon as are pre-season and friendly matches between the clubs.

    i think most clubs throughout Europe would still consider their bread and butter matches to be against their traditional local rivals ie so Man Utd apart from playing the other big 4 or 5 clubs would still see games against the likes of Everton, Man City, Leeds, Villa, Bolton, etc as just as much of an attraction and meaningful and historic rivalries and newly invented ones against the Old Firm or a Dublin team or whoever and the same is probably true in Germany, Italy, Spain etc where the big clubs there all have their traditional rivalries.

    It won’t happen because there simply isn’t the appetitie or will from the major clubs in the big leagues nor the political support in UEFA for it to happen. The benefit is only one way ie to the clubs currently excluded from the bigger leagues by geographic borders, especially when these clubs can already meet fairly frequently in UEFA tournaments.

    Again sorry everybody for going way off-topic.

  8. Ian Ferguson says:

    Am I missing the point in the discussions on the prospects of a quick recovery of RFC in the event they are found guilty?

    People have posted that IT could be finally settled quickly, In the event of a guilty verdict, and after all the appeals are exhausted.

    In other words RFC will drag it out, then settle, then RECOVER!

    IF that scenario arrives, there is still a problem.

    Why would HMRC settle for a lesser amount?

    I have seen comments that the BANK has 1st bite at their butt, while this is true, if HMRC are playing hardball they will point to the over-rated valuation of assets.

    Think on it, the official valuation of poxy park alone would clear the debt to Lloyds, leaving HMRC and the others to pursue settlement from the other assets.

    If the BANK had to settle for the park, or on it’s present valuation, Part of the Park? Then BOOM! watch the nice discussions go pear shaped.

    In reality, repairs of £10m to £14m are quoted by the LAPTOP as ballpark figures to make poxy park habitable, both assessments can’t be right, can they?.

    In my opinion Lloyds have a BIG problem. They have MIH, vastly in debt, probably insolvent without their support. To keep the MIH debacle afloat they have to stick with the over inflated valuations of RFC assets.

    It is ok to say they have taken shares for debt solutions… But the problem there is if that solution fails the BANK is left with it’s share of the Debt.

    The RFC situ can upset the Lloyds/MIH applecart, if sold, then the fictitious valuations of RFC assets are removed from the equation, leaving MIH more exposed and probably insolvent.

    If retained there is a BIG chance of HMRC tearing the holders of the RFC responsibility a new rectal orifice.

    Which way to go?

    Is the Whyte saga an attempt to put a better light on the situ and drag things out until Season ticket sales are optimised?

    If the Season ticket sales are not good, that could be the the decisive factor in the BANKS final resolution of the saga.

    OLD MINTY has a lot to answerer for.


  9. Ian Ferguson says:

    Mark, it is ALL contridictions.

    Would you expect any Local or National Gov body to take over an edivice which is valued at Circa £120M by the Owner and by the LAPTOP LOYAL as needing £10 to £14M.

    It is A white Elephant and Gov, both locally and Nationally are Skint.

    Best bet, relocate ABROAD and you will maybe qualify for AID.

  10. Annie M says:

    I really have terrific admiration for this blog and what it tries to achieve. But I remain confused rangerstaxcase by your continued implication that there is some ‘conspiracy of silence’ going on with the media. I repeat yet again, the ‘conspiracy of silence’ is no cover up, it’s ignorance. Just as a Financial Times business writer could not grasp the complexities of the Old Firm so it goes with the sports writers and the Rangers takeover. They don’t ask questions because they don’t know what questions to ask. And if they did they wouldn’t know who to ask. They just don’t get it. Simple.

  11. droid says:

    Good Afternoon Annie, is yourself the one and same from Mr Traynor’s show?

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