“Interesting times” for Rangers

The following post was written before news of bombs being delivered to prominent Celtic supporters was released. It seems incongruent to discuss trivialities like Rangers’ financial future while the lives of people are being threatened. These individuals’ crime is to have had the temerity to support their football team publicly and to speak truth to power. Anyone with an ounce of decency, regardless of creed or national origin, would both condemn and take action against those who incite or lend succour to those who would bring such shame on Scotland and our national game. This blog stands with all those who have been threatened. They will never walk alone.

The mythical Chinese curse “may you live in interesting times” seems to have fallen upon all things connected to Rangers FC in the past week. UEFA charges for sectarian singing by Rangers’ supporters at European games, the start of the First Tier Tribunal for the tax case, and yesterday, the beginning of what looks like a blood-feud over reported efforts to become the owner of the club. With so much going on, it is difficult to know where to start, but the freshness of information on the Whyte takeover effort should probably lead. We will cover Dave King’s tax affairs in South Africa in a separate post.

I received credible information in the past three days that Craig Whyte has indeed been trying to buy Rangers. He has been making strenuous exertions to line up debt financing, but does not have the money to make the move on his own. This helps answer some questions about recent reports, but poses several others:
– Why would anyone want to buy Rangers just now?
– Why does a ‘rubber-stamp’ board sub-committee appear to have such influence over a deal claimed to be done with the holder of 85% of Rangers’ shares?

To the first question, this blog has made clear that it views any attempt to buy Rangers would require a large amount of stupidity. However, an alternative hypothesis may be provided by the answer to the second question.

Murray International Holdings Ltd (MIH) currently owns 85% of Rangers’ shares. On the surface this should be a simple transaction. Agree on a price to which MIH will sell its shares and it really becomes a “done deal”. MIH is effectively owned by Lloyds Banking Group through the 165m in convertible preference shares issued to the bank’s private equity arm. So nothing can happen within MIH , in practice, without the bank approving. It is reported that the Lloyds wants to be free of the albatross that is Rangers and is insisting that any sale comes with a complete clearance of Rangers’ debt. So, the reported deal that Whyte is offering, clearing the debt and paying a little for the equity, should be a no-brainer. Whyte is obligated to offer the same price per share to every shareholder, but that would likely be pennies per share. It would not matter if not a single other shareholder agreed to sell. With MIH’s 85% of the shares, you own Rangers FC to a greater extent than Sir David Murray (norminal owner of MIH) ever did.

Which brings us to the strange situation of a ‘rubber-stamp’ board with no authority apparently wielding the authority to derail a deal between a willing buyer and an enthusiastic seller. As we have maintained from the beginning of this blog, what Rangers’ fans are being told and the truth about this situation will be very different. So it seems that the answer lies in the question: “What can you not do with 85% of the shares of a company that board support might grant you?”

Let us start by demolishing the ignorant and false statements made on Radio Clyde last night by Roger Hannah. This pathetic excuse for a journalist must have set a new record for the sheer number of false statements made by anyone in a single broadcast. I do not expect football hacks to understand corporate finance to any degree, but to not even know SPL rules regarding point deductions for administration and to bluster as if you do, is just embarrassing. His other claims that Dave King’s tax troubles in South Africa have been resolved are at variance with the facts. (Roger, why not just say that you do not know? Why just fabricate “facts” that provide a comforting narrative to Rangers fans in the face of disturbing truth?)

So we come back to the question: why would an owner of 85% of a plc care about the opinion of a board of directors that he can fire five minutes after concluding the deal?

The answer probably lies in the arcane nuances of The Companies Act. The only provision of this act that confers power on the missing 15% of Rangers’ shares is “you have the right to apply to court to object to a variation of class rights“. Unlike the feckless Roger Hannah, I will not pretend to understand all of the nuances of this aspect of the law when in fact I do not. In truth I post this information here in the hope of attracting input from people with more specific expertise than I have. However, I can speculate what is going on.

What is in this for Whyte:
It would make no sense for Whyte to borrow a lot of money in his own name and to use it to buy Rangers FC in advance of the a decision on the tax case. If Rangers lose, as seems likely, he would lose his shareholding and would be left personally bankrupted by the debt. It would be a double-crunch and would be breathtakingly stupid. However, the Glazer model is instructive. If Whyte is able to move the debt to Rangers FC he would not be personally liable for its repayment in the event of the tax bill crushing the football club. In fact, under such a condition, if he gets MIH’s shares for next to nothing, it would become something akin to a ‘synthetic call-option’ in financial jargon. In plain English, it would give Whyte a 100/1 bet on the tax case. If Rangers lose, he did not bet much and would not pay for the downside. If Rangers manage to win the tax case, he would be able to sell the shares for something close to a £15-20m rapid profit. The challenge is in getting financiers to lend money for the venture, and this may be where the need for board support comes in. The lenders would want to make sure that they have super-priority over all of Rangers’ assets in the event of administration and liquidation. Is it possible that to provide the super-priority required to assure lenders that they would get their money back, and could participate in the bountiful profits of the tax case going well, that the rights of ordinary share holders in Rangers FC would need to be modified? This would require that Whyte owned >85% of the shares to guarantee his prospective backers that their deal was foolproof and the MIH shareholding falls short of this threshold. Just some informed speculation, and I would welcome comment from those with experience in the significance of this or other thresholds.

Such a deal would mean that Whyte was in for a quick kill. His ownership would be brief under any circumstances: rapid progression to administration or a quick profitable sale. There would be no need to squander money on working capital. Rangers, the football team, would be left to twist in the wind. Thoughts anyone?

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.

168 Responses to “Interesting times” for Rangers

  1. Mark Dickson says:


    An administrator has 2 objectives 1) to try to sell the business as a going concern 2) to maximise the return for creditors – of course there can often be a conflict between the aims of 1) & 2) however realistically nobody is going to pay more for Rangers in it’s various parts than they would pay for the whole – unless there is competition to buy the assets or the company then they effectively set the fire-sale price and it’s up to the creditors and administrator to accept or reject this. Of course some of the higher valued players might be sold but unless Tesco or Asda have grand shopping plans for Govan then I think Ibrox Stadium & Rangers will remain interlinked.

  2. I am not going to post on the proceedings at the tribunal until they return a result. I don’t want to do anything that could affect the outcome. Once the FT tribunal comes back with a judgment (even if there is an appeal) I will be able to speak more openly about a lot of things..

  3. Boab says:

    Indeed, however if there is a CVA they have to agree it. That’s my understanding.

    Let’s say someone trying to but Rangers “lock stock and barrel” would be willing to pay £18m, just for a number. Remember the suggestion is that someone can buy them really cheaply from administration.

    Do you really think that Rangers assets, including all of the players registrations, all of the property, everything, could not be sold for more than that. If you do, fair do’s, no point to debate.

    If however the assets sold seperately could make more than that, and I think it’s a reasonable possibility. McGregor must be worth a few quid on his own, more than one club would bid for him, and the Rangers fans seem to think he is worthabout £8m, so call it £6m in a firesale. So I ask again, why would Lloyds (and possibly HMRC) accept the lower amount. They can simply reject it and the Administrator would then liquidate the business. That’s my understanding of the situation.

  4. Mark Dickson says:


    I’ve already posted elswhere earlier posts on this forum that I wouldn’t expect RFC to come out of any financial troubles with their first team squad intact indeed probably one of the first things and administrator would do would be to sell some of the more easily sellable players (assuming the transfer window was open and whether they are cup-tied for uefa tournaments at the time might alter their value downwards -depends on who bids etc)

    But regards Rangers football club ie the football operations and the stadium i don’t think many people would bid more for them separately than together – unless there is competition from various parties ie developers or retailers for Ibrox and it’s land rights etc.

    I think RFC will come out relatively intact although they might end up renting the stadium if a sale cannot be agreed outright but as I said I wouldn’t expect the first team to remain intact – but in the grand scheme of things that isn’t a major issue as Rangers will be able to then sign new players even if they aren’t as financially strong as they have been in recent decades.

  5. Thomas says:


    I’m not sure it was £0.16 per share. My point being that they were getting excited at a few hundred quids’ worth of shares changing hands.

  6. Boab says:

    We’re not talking about the football operation and the stadium, we are talking about everything.

    Like I said, if you think Rangers total assets, all player registrations, all buildings, all cars, all property, evereything would be sold for less than £18m if sold separately then fair do’s. There really is no point to debate.

    If however yo think they could be sold for more than that, which I do, then could you actually answer the question. Why do you think Lloyds / HMRC would accept the lesser figure. Surely that would be to the detriment of the Lloyd’s shareholders (I believe we own about 45%) and to the detriment of the country.

  7. The Count says:

    RTC I can’t access anything posted after 9.19 today….is there anything I can do to see more current posts?

  8. Mark Dickson says:


    Obviously not asking for any details about the case at all – however in your opinion do you know if the early proceedings have been more favourable to either party or is it still too early to establish an opinion ie is it looking better, worse or neutral for Rangers than it was before proceedings began? if you don’t want to answer i will understand why and that’s cool but if you could give an opinion if it’s looking better or worse then that would be great and helpful. 🙂

  9. Mark Dickson says:


    The value of anything is only worth what somebody is prepared to pay – unless an administrator has multiple bids or bids for separate pieces of the Rangers empire then the bidder(s) are effectively setting the price – HMRC and/or Lloyds and other creditors could reject those bids if they feel they are too low and undervalue the assets but then to whom would they sell if they decided to liquidate?

  10. Thomas says:


    I think the fans would consider investing in Rangers, via Whyte’s fund raising company, a lot more seriously than a straight forward shares issue. The fund mentions something about a 20% dividend on all capital raised due to turning around companies. The fans could be persuaded to buy into this – invest in an arms length company, who then take over Rangers and invest in the squad and assets, any profit will be returned at 20% (plus the original stake is residual) and in the meantime they can confidently buy season tickets and spend money as a fan knowing that it won’t be a bank or greedy owner profiting.

    A shares issue would basically be asking fans to invest in a company that may or may not be bust in the very near future.

    The form for Rangers fans tucking into their pockets is ridiculous. It just won’t happen.

  11. Boab says:

    Yup, sorry about that, I did get your point.

    I find the whole share price thing quite funny actually. Based on that share price (say 32p) the club has a Market Capitalization of about £35m. That’s the value of all of the issued shares. So if MIH hold 85% then their value should be about £30m.

    However if the stories are to be believed MIH are going to get around £6m. Which would mean they were getting about 6p per share, rather than the 32p everyone else gets when they sell them.

  12. Mark Dickson says:

    A wee true story about administration/liquidation and fire-sale of assets.

    Recently a company i know in Broxburn went into administration – one of their customers knew that they had recently bought some nice new office furniture costing several thousand pounds from a show room in Glasgow. The customer offered the administrator £500 for this furniture but this was rejected, the customer then offered £750 but this was again rejected. The company was eventually liquidated and it’s assets auctioned off – the customer bought the furniture at auction unopposed for £150!!! A sad but true story.

  13. Boab says:

    Well McGregor could go to the EPL, as could Davis. I’m sure that both Naismith and Wittacker (no idea how to spell that) would get a club without any bother. Lafferty, much as i think he is a doo would surely fetch a couple of quid. The boy Wylde looks a decent prospect as do a few others. I think most of the squad would be quite easy to dispose of, at reasonable prices.

    Cars and Office furniture could just be auctioned off the same as any other business.

    Murray Park might be of interest to the authorities, as is, to use as a community sports facility. How much would it cost to build something like that, in a location like that. Must be worth a good few million to them.

    So, even forgetting about Ibrox Stadium, which I know is of limited value due to the partial listed status, there’s quite a bit of cash to be had. Who is to say their isn’t a use for the stadium. There are plenty of development which still have the original building, or listed part of it, intact.

  14. MC1873 says:

    Ian, I answered your “why” both question, but I’ll repeat myself:

    A) because who is worse is irrelevant

    B) because the most effective sanction available to the SPL won’t be used unless it is on both clubs in my opinion.

    I’m not suggesting that the SPL should make up evidence to pin on Celtic but if it’s there then it would facilitate a solution which would solve the problem at a stroke.

    Finally, your portrayal of my suggestion as trying to deny / deflect the issue doesn’t stand up at all. What am I denying? All I’m saying is that you seem to think Celtic have a totally clean bill of health whereas I think that is delusional.

  15. Mark Dickson says:


    Unless there is competing bids for assets then generally a vulture mentality exists and bidders bid far lower than the assumed fair value of the assets – basically it’s a buyers market and the seller (ie administrator and creditors) face the unpleasant option of accepting bids lower than the asset is worth or else risk getting no better or even substantially less at a liquidation auction.

    other football teams might sense a bargain opportunity exists and bid for players but the value realised would be a lot less than it otherwise would have been and the same applies to Rangers stadium and other land assets – unless somebody has a strong demand to own that asset and is willing to pay a higher or fairer price then most bidders will chance their mitt with substantially lower bids.

  16. Timcognito says:

    I posted something similar a while back, although not with your clearly superior knowledge of how these things are done. If they get the assets (Ibrox etc) out before any HMRC verdict goes against them then they have protected those assets (and his investment) from administration. It’s a no lose scenario, either he is the owner of a HMRC bullet dodging profitable business or the owner of the ancestral home of post HMRC armageddon Rangers 2012 Ltd. He ‘ll end up either the owner or the landlord.

    Either way, plenty opportunity for him and his backers to make a decent return.

  17. Boab says:

    Whether it’s a “fair price” or not is irrelevant.

    The only question is, could more be raised that way than could by selling the club as a going concern.

    If you really think every asset Rangers own, sold individually, would raise less than my hypothetical figure of £18m then like i said, fair do’s.

  18. Mark Dickson says:


    I’ve already said i think the administrator would immediately sell the most sellable first team players and then he would sell the football club as a going concern – by limiting himself to only selling a few parcels of rangers assets ie the club itself and some players he is limiting his time/cost and probably raising the maximum he would (whatever that might be) than if he went for a total break up and sold off everything which would add time and expense and probably raise not a penny more and probably substantially less knowing the economics and mindset of forced sales. Whoever buys Rangers either in part or total will be getting it for a relative song – if Rangers go into administration and/or liquidation then the creditors are basically stuck with a Hobsons choice of taking some money now or even less money/nowt later on…………….

  19. Annie M says:

    Appeared on HMRC website yesterday rtc. Any relevance??

    Employee Benefit trusts, settlement opportunity
    HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) is offering employers who have used Employee Benefit trusts (‘EBT’) (and similar arrangements) the opportunity to resolve outstanding enquiries. These arrangements seek to minimise the Income Tax and National Insurance charge on remuneration to employees and directors and may also generate a claim for Corporation Tax deductions for payments into the trust. The Finance (No. 3) Bill 2011 published on 31 March 2011 introduced new legislation to put beyond doubt that such arrangements or schemes do not work. HMRC’s view on these schemes under existing legislation was notified in Spotlight 5 and published in November 2009.
    HMRC is inviting employers, companies and other users of these arrangements to settle without recourse to litigation. This will minimise costs to both customers and HMRC. Employers and companies concerned with how their arrangements will be affected by the new legislation can respond to this opportunity to obtain certainty about their tax liabilities.

    Employers or companies willing to reach a financial settlement with HMRC will be invited to discuss how this might be achieved. Any settlement will depend on the facts of the case, in particular whether the contributions to the trust have a link to employment or not.

    Dave Hartnett, Permanent Secretary for Tax at HMRC, said today ‘This initiative reflects HMRC’s determination to seek to resolve disputes without going to litigation where that can be done without detriment to the Exchequer and within the clear boundaries of the law. HMRC’s pro-active approach to customers gives them the opportunity to discuss their cases with us and work in partnership to establish how the facts of their case fit within the proposals. For this reason I would encourage customers to come and talk to us’.

    Details of initiative
    In situations where HMRC consider there is a link to employment (the majority of cases) the terms on which they would be prepared to settle will depend on whether there has already been a ‘relevant step’ under the new disguised remuneration legislation.

    This legislation for tax is in Schedule 2 to the Finance (No. 3) Bill 2011, which was published on 31 March 2011. Once this is enacted, the bulk of the legislation will take the form of a new Part 7A in Income Tax (Earnings and Pensions) Act 2003 (ITEPA). This legislation also allows for provision for credit to be given against Part 7A charges in cases where there has already been a settlement in respect of the remuneration which could also give rise to the Part 7A charge. The provision for this credit is contained in paragraph 58 of Schedule 2 (rather than being included in new Part 7A).

    The disguised remuneration legislation, once enacted, will have effect from 6 April 2011 and, in some cases, will apply to transactions that took place on and after 9 December 2010. HMRC intention is to make corresponding Regulations to deal with National Insurance contributions.

    Terms on which HMRC is prepared to settle
    Where HMRC consider there is a link to the employment:

    1. If the settlement is reached before a relevant step under the disguised remuneration legislation is taken:

    a. recovery of outstanding PAYE and Class 1 National Insurance contributions (Earnings Basis) on contributions to the trust, with a corresponding Corporation Tax deduction where permitted under the appropriate Corporation Tax assessing provisions

    b. the settlement will be an agreement for the purposes of paragraph 58 of the Finance (No. 3) Bill 2011 and the employee will be entitled to a corresponding credit against the value of a subsequent relevant step under Part 7A of ITEPA provided that the sums due under the settlement have been paid

    c. where a benefit-in-kind charge has arisen in connection with the amount that has been contributed (for example on a beneficial loan), the settlement terms will give credit for the benefit-in-kind charge provided that the tax and National Insurance contributions has been accounted for

    2. If a relevant step under the disguised remuneration legislation is taken before a settlement has been reached:

    a. where a tax and National Insurance contribution charge arises as a consequence of a relevant step and the relevant step relates to an amount contributed to the trust before 6 April 2011, HMRC will not pursue recovery of PAYE and National Insurance contributions on that same amount for the earlier period

    b. where the relevant step does not account for the whole of the amount contributed to the trust before 6 April 2011, HMRC will continue to be willing to settle the outstanding amount on the basis described above, giving rise to a corresponding settlement credit under Part 7A for subsequent relevant steps

    c. where a benefit-in-kind charge has arisen on amounts (for example on beneficial loans) for periods before the charge under Part 7A arises, HMRC will not give credit for the benefit-in-kind charge

    EBTs where there is no link with employment
    In situations where HMRC consider there is no link to employment (anticipated to be a minority of cases):

    HMRC will deny a Corporation Tax deduction
    amounts will not be subject to PAYE and National Insurance contributions at the point HMRC deny the Corporation Tax deduction
    however, this will not prevent a subsequent tax charge under section 62 of ITEPA or new Part 7A from applying at some point in the future if a later taxable event happens
    if a subsequent tax charge does arise, provided one is due, a Corporation Tax deduction will be permitted at that time
    Other practical issues
    Interest will be charged on duties in the normal way.

    The settlements will take into account all relevant duties. HMRC published a Revenue and Customs Brief 18/11 on 4 April 2011 that sets out the circumstances where Inheritance Tax and non-resident trust charges are due on EBT.

    Resolving these enquiries will depend on examination of the facts of individual cases. HMRC will write to all employers or companies who have open EBT enquiries before the end of August 2011 to invite discussion about potential settlements and provide contact details for the HMRC officer dealing with a case. HMRC have put arrangements in place to ensure that a consistent approach is taken to agreeing settlements.

    There is no deadline for the incentive but if employers or companies do not respond by 31 December 2011, HMRC will assume that they are not interested in engaging with them and will look to progress enquiries formally.

    HMRC will continue to enquire into open EBT cases and may open further enquiries during this period including seeking further information.

    Where HMRC is unable to agree settlement proposals with employers or companies then they will, as appropriate, continue to progress cases within the terms of the published Litigation and Settlement Strategy, and the new legislation will apply to continuing EBTs, and funds held in them.

  20. manila says:

    I think that horse has already bolted.


  21. Slimshady says:

    Happens all the time…

    You could get Ibrox for £200….sold as seen, TV’s don’t work and they haven’t got a TV licence

  22. Slimshady says:

    No, this is for those who haven’t been caught yet and want to come clean. HMRC will do a deal

    RFC were caught some 8 years ago (and yet continued using EBTs for years afterwards) and still haven’t come clean.

    Yet now they want to do a deal? Sadly for them, as Manila rightly says, that horse has bolted and now it’s the full force of the law.

    If they lose, it’s the tax, mandatory interest and penalties as well as probably a hefty 6-figure legal bill.(Andrew Thornill can cost £10,000 a day so work out how much time he’s spent on it, assisted by numerous solicitors tax advisers and accountants)

    They can of course appeal a First Tier Tribunal decision but to do so, they must lodge the tax with HMRC first and that ain’t never going go happen. No-one has that sort of money in a liquid form, not even Sir David Murray.

    Today is the queen’s birthday – there is a certain amount of irony as numerous Rangers’ message boards offer her birthday wishes, whilst the club they support has studiously avoided offering her the tax and national insurance contributions rightly due and payable to her .

  23. Mark Dickson says:

    To be fair to the Sticky Buns and Her Majesty it’s not really their fault that those run RFC for the last decade and also some of those who played for RFC had more loyalty to their own bank balances than to the Crown. 🙂

  24. Pedro says:

    I had wrote a whole reply to this and lost it. I can’t be bothered rewriting, but the jist is this:

    1. My comment was valid at the time – you made a comment based on no fact at that time. You have only been able to back it up this morning.
    2. I however stand corrected – I listened to the game on the radio and heard nothing. I have never defended any songs, on any of my posts – please re-read if in doubt.
    3. I think you are suggesting I am possibly sectarian with your comments. I am not
    4. I am willing to criticise Rangers – I have never defended or deflected, merely pointed out that Celtic fans aren’t perfect. Something you have yet to agree to – to quote you “Wonder how that could be??”
    5. It might be time for Rangers to be penalised financially in Scotland or points deducted. Not against that
    6. Still maintain the support are not to blame for the current bomb situation (in fact QC McBride has said it is one person and Rangers are not responsible – quite right)
    7. I am quite fair on every post I have made, which is largely a Celtic fans forum these days. I will not change my views just becasue people don’t agree.
    8. I won’t be commenting further as I think my views are clear (unless you say something damaging about my character). Maybe if both sets of fans were willing to admit their failings we might have a better chance of sorting the mess.


  25. Pedro says:

    Boab – it was something I heard through my profession. They seemed fairly adament he was pursuing a career in politics (although this has maybe changed given recent events).

  26. I STILL See No Subs Except... says:

    “They can of course appeal a First Tier Tribunal decision but to do so, they must lodge the tax with HMRC first and that ain’t never going go happen. No-one has that sort of money in a liquid form, not even Sir David Murray.”

    Is that true – if so, then an appeal would surely seem very unlikely?

    Are we looking at this coming home to roost wihtin the next few weeks then, assuming a likely HMRC win?

    I’d thought his would drag out until into 2012.

  27. Boab says:

    As I understand it HMRC will not demand payment of Tax etc prior to a tribunal if to do so would put the business into liquidation. I’m not sure if that is just the First Tier Tribunal or if it also includes the Upper. My gut feeling is that if Rangers lose their appeal will be allowed, bearing in mind that it is just a review of the evidence which the First Tier Tribunal made it’s decision on.

  28. bilbo baggins says:

    Hello Pedro

    thanks for your reply

    I watched a stream of the game and could hear the chants, thats why I made the claim. I was not certain of the times. You are correct re Dundee United’s complaint, I only found out about that later.

    I do not think you are sectarian and I am happy to state that.

    You are wrong however, when you state I have never attached any blame to Celtic support, I think I have. There are problems occassionally with the away support. I don’t regularly travel to away games, but I can pick up chants on the radio or on streams. Please see my first sentence re Rangers.

    I remain convinced that a large element of blame can be firmly be laid at Ibrox and its culture despite attempts to work on sectarianism. It takes more than words and deflecting the blame however. It is clearly the work of one or 2 demented individuals but they attach themselves to Rangers, they are drawn there and they are given cover there. I have been monitoring Rangers supporters web sites regularly over the past 3/4 weeks and I have to admit that it saddened me as I had not imagined that the scale of the problem was actually as big as it was. I would not recommend it to you, as you seem like a perfectly decent person and I would not want to put you through it. Likewise, Celtic supporters, Catholics and people of Irish descent or even non Rangers supporters should not have to suffer the consequences just because of who they are.

    I do however firmly maintain that Rangers have to accept the situation they are in and perhaps willingly try to resolve the problems with a fair chunk of their support. There also needs to be an acceptance that we don’t complain just to make a nuisance of ourselves but because we consider some chants racist and sectarian. As another poster here said, at Celtic Park anyone of our support tempted to sing something offensive is drowned down. Perhaps that could be tried at Ibrox rather than meeting those chants with silence or joining in. It takes all sensible people to resolve the sectarian divide.

    I wish you all the best!!

  29. oldagefanclub says:

    Mark, you asked a question of RTC earlier as to which way he seen the tax case going. In the opening post it says “Rangers FC in advance of the a decision on the tax case. If Rangers lose, as seems likely,” I hope this helps.

  30. Ian Ferguson says:


    Your reply sums up EXACTLY what is wrong in SCOTLAND.

    RFC Fans are acting in an ILLEGAL way but the Authorities WON’T act against them unless they can include CELTIC in the sanctions.

    Thank you for the admission… JUSTICE SCOTTISH STYLE.

    And please read what I wrote, I never said that Celtic’s support are squeeky clean, I said that Celtic are being dragged into a RFC problem and quoted when THEY ended up with the blame.

  31. And that, sir, is the most important point for Rangers fans.

    Frankly I astounded that there has not been a storming of the Bastille. Their club has been run by a combination of blind incompetents and crooks.

  32. bilbo baggins says:

    Hi Count

    you might not be able to read this if you can’t access posts after 9.19am. Try closing down and logging on again, site has been OK today for me.

    Good luck.

  33. Boab says:

    There have been some questions recently regarding whether Dave King (the latest saviour) has actually settled his affairs with SARS. In fact someone on a radio talk show recently “corrected” a caller who suggested that the matter was in fact ongoing. I have seen nothing to suggest that the issue is over, indeed not only does the tax matter seem to be outstanding but that the 322 charges against him are also ongoing.

    This in The Herald is a decent summary.


  34. If Dave King has settled his tax affairs in South Africa, he has uncharacteristically kept it quiet.

    After his last claim of a settlement, SARS came out the next day with a statement denying it. The South African media has not mentioned it in recent months (and it is a very prominent case). So until I see a government statement from South Africa saying that his tax affairs are now in order and that his UK restraining orders preventing him from buying so much as a car in Britain, we can dismiss take of Dave King the Messiah as more Scottish media bull.

    Scotland’s media has gotten everything wrong on this story so far. Now is not the time to start believing them.

  35. Evens says:

    The only rational explanation for the appearance of the ‘new deal’ , complete with Dave King as a backer (!) is that it’s just a smokescreen to cover the fact that Whyte has walked away….if he was ever really there in the first place.

    How about this as a scenarion ?

    The ‘new deal’ buys enough time for season book money to start coming in.
    The bank don’t care where the debt repayment comes from, and the debt has been serviced up till now through draining RFCs resources.
    The season book money could provide another few million for the bank, and see RFC through the close season.
    RFC still have some profitable assets, eg Jelavic, Davis, Bougherra. They could provide another few million.
    If RFC actually win the league then the bank can hold onto RFC for a bit longer and take any Champions League cash that is generated.
    All the while vetoing the purchase of new players unless there is a good business case -again Jelavic being a case in point. RFC start the season with more on loan players and Ness, Fleck, Hutton etc as a first team squad.
    By about October, the bank may have recovered as much as they think they can, and the final HMRC judgement is delivered after the inevitable appeal.
    They pull the plug and walk away.

  36. davytheloton says:

    Murray park is greenbelt, there is no chance of any building there, therefore it only has an agricultural value, Ibrox and surrounding property is,realistically speaking, worthless. If there as any assests of value, surely there woud be competing buyers? Last night’s Evening Times spoke of a group of people prepared to bail out whoever David Murray decided would be fit to buy his club ( Murray the Kingmaker), Everyone knows that Murray doesn’t own Rangers anymore, why the pretence? Say it’s all pish, there is no tax case, no shortage of funds, where are these blue knights?

  37. Boab says:

    Personally I think, and it’s just my guess, he will settle the tax case with them.

    He will do that by agreeing to pay the outstanding tax, interest and penalties. The deal will be that they will drop the charges for fraud, money laundering, racketeering and perjury. He does not go to jail, they get a shed load of money from him.

  38. Ian Ferguson says:


    In this scenario, given Ellis input & interest, is there a potential commercial development of Ibrox or the area around it that is owned by Murray?

  39. Ian Ferguson says:



  40. Weefatbhoy says:

    Hi Ian,

    No – Murray tried to get the area around Ibrokes planning for commercial development but was refused by the council (Asda to close????) however they do currently have planning permission (Car park area) for non commercial property (Flats)………………..

  41. tomtom says:

    Weefatbhoy says:
    22/04/2011 at 6:41 am
    Hi Ian,

    No – Murray tried to get the area around Ibrokes planning for commercial development but was refused by the council (Asda to close????) however they do currently have planning permission (Car park area) for non commercial property (Flats)………………

    Put me down for some of that then – I’ve got a spare £10k at the moment, that should buy a couple.

  42. Mark Dickson says:

    Is there anyway that HMRC could have legal recourse to Craig Whyte (or another buyer) if when buying Rangers FC from MIH/Lloyds they split the property assets from the football club operations into separate companies leaving any HMRC tax due to RFC-football but with very little in the way of meaningful assets other than a few football players whilst Whyte-RFC-property held security and title over Ibrox and the other property assets.

    I think the question has been asked before but i couldn’t find on which thread?

    There seems to be at least 2 parties willing to buy or invest in RFC but i simply cannot understand why unless they think they have a way of legally dodging or avoiding losing their shirt if RFC are soon landed with a massive tax bill.

  43. Boab says:

    Would I not be right in saying that one of the conditions for the new stand (Club Deck) was the additional parking (Albion). So if anyone was to use that for a different purpose, for example flats, then the permission for that stand might be compromised.

    Anyway, Mark seems confident that none of the land or properties owned by Rangers have any real value, in and of themselves.

  44. JJ says:

    According to today’s Herald, it appears Murray (and Lloyds) are determined to push through the Whyte deal.

    From this Celtic fan’s point of view, I hope he does since I am convinced it will all end in tears!


  45. Mark Dickson says:


    If Ibrox Stadium and all it’s associated baggage didn’t sit on the land then of course it would have some developemental value BUT Ibrox IS there and that will undoubtedly be a negative influence on any would be purchasers decision – I mean would Asda or Tesco really make RFC homeless & tear down Hubrox to build a new supermarket there or would anybody flatten it to build a shopping centre or flats or a business park? They might but they would risk a lot of bad publicity, public outcry and probably on-site vandalism if they ever did that – there is other land available to potential developers with way much less baggage or potential hassle involved – also it’s not exactly set in vibrant surroundings is it?

    They could of course keep the football stadium, rent it back to RFC and develop the land around Ibrox although it’s been a while since I visited Castle Greyskull so I not sure how practical that would be?

  46. Mark Dickson says:


    What I don’t understand though is why Whyte would be determined to push it through unless he believes he’s got some fool-proof way of protecting his investment being wiped out by a massive HMRC tax-bill. Unless Whyte and MIH/Lloyds have come up with a purchase plan to outflank any claims from the Taxman it simply doesn’t sense?

  47. Boab says:

    Craig Whyte is proposing to buy shares in Rangers, Rangers will still exist as an entity and HMRC’s issue will still be with Rangers. The fact that different people now own the shares is irrelevant.

    If Rangers,as a legal entity, were to start disposing of assets for insufficient payment that would be fairly obvious.

  48. Mark Dickson says:


    What Iam asking though is that could he structure the deal to buy the stadium etc from MIH/Lloyds separately from the football club so he now owns RFC football club and RFC’s property assets? HMRC would still have claim against RFC footbal club except they would have precious little meaningful assets? Is that possible is what iam asking – ie doing what slimshady suggested above so that Whyte would still be the owner of Ibrox stadium etc even if the footballing side was bankrupted?

  49. Timcognito says:

    I think if this bid goes ahead then you can assume that HMRC have no legal recourse to any asset transfers. Looking at Whytes business track record, he clearly knows his way round company law, especially when it comes to protecting his money from businesses going bust.

  50. Mark says:

    What a wonderful wonderful, thoughtful, insightful, intelligent blog, how my aching mind has sought this website. RTC, thank you sooo much for this.
    I read this now on a daily basis and many questions I have are constantly answered and also triggered by the debate on the rangers take/fake over and the tax case itself.
    Regardless of the outcome of both, I think we will be facing a much watered down and comparatively impotent rangers team/club/company whatever afterwards.
    A venture capatalist in it’s very nature is not in business to make others happy, they are in it for asset value only. Ellis to me is being wholly overlooked in his part in this.
    Let’s think back, originally Ellis wanted rangers and couldn’t get the capital etc right/ so here he is playing a minor role this time (staying out of the headlines) as he is not really a popluar guy in this, while a supposed “rangers man” fronts the deal…..so why is that?
    My opinion is (and it is only that) is that Ellis has identified prime real estate, development potential or whatever in the assets held by rangers. HE is the man rangers need to worry about, as the venture captalist surely Whyte is in this for a quick turnover and profit on the funds he brings (commission) to the deal, He’ll scarper and leave Ellis controlling the club abd it’s assets. Ellis will then “sell off” whatever he has to clear debt for the tax case to himself (a fronted company or whtever – maybe eveb Whyte) to then exploit in development thereby turning a large tax bill into to sold assets that he then buys and develops and sells for large profit? I know this is a simpletons view on the world but is this not possible?

    cheers and big ups RTC

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