Blinded by the Whyte

I am in little doubt that, in coming years,  at least one book or Ph.D thesis will be written about the takeover saga at Rangers.  If the author has any desire to faithfully record the events, much must be made of Scotland’s “Street of Shame”.  The most important aspect of this story is the way the journalism profession has plumbed new depths of obsequiousness and fealty.   In their fight to be next in the queue to receive the next “another 48 hours” exclusive, Traynor, Speirs, and Tom English have somehow managed to have daily conversations with their masters at Rangers FC, and with MIH’s notorious PR firm, Media House, without ever asking the the crucial questions.  (Or more accurately, they understood the issues that must not be discussed lest they lose their access privileges).  A host of minor characters from STV, BBC Scotland, and SKY Sports have also jostled with each other to sell their professional souls to be next in line to receive the next carefully crafted mendacious morsel from the Whyte camp.

It is the Whyte “camp” that we will discuss today.  One of Craig Whyte’s first actions when deciding to investigate a bid for Rangers was to hire a PR firm: Hay McKerron.  The Whyte project was masterminded by Gordon Hay, a partner at the firm and former Daily Express hack.  I am told that one the first objectives of the campaign was to convince the world that Craig Whyte is a Rangers fan.  That seems like a reasonable objective.  It would kill any innuendo suggesting that Whyte is a carpet-bagger intent on asset stripping Rangers FC.  It would reassure all concerned that Whyte would be a safe custodian for the club.  It would eliminate the need for David Murray to sit in a nice-London-hotel and ask: “ok, gentlemen, before we do this, can you tell me how you’re going to run this club?”  With a devoted Teddy Bear at the helm, Scottish football could finally breathe easy.    It should be a simple task.  You would have Whyte pull out all of those childhood photographs with him sporting the famous blue jersey, interviews with old school friends who could attest to Craig’s lifelong passion for the club, and you could include an interview with the man himself waxing lyrically about those great Rangers days of his youth: Souness’ first game for Rangers; beating Leeds United home and away in 1992; and winning 9 in a row.  At least it would be easy if the buyer of the club had any historical or emotional attachment to Rangers.

Instead we saw planted posts on claiming to know Whyte back in the old days in Motherwell attesting to the blueness of his nose and a three-line whip to Hay’s journalist friends that their supply of stories would be cut-off if anything with a negative tinge was to be printed.  Such actions helped kill a line of enquiry that had many Rangers fans wondering: “Who is Craig Whyte?  Is he one of us?  Why does he want to buy Rangers before the tax case is settled? ”  With journalists refusing to do their job, the information vacuum was filled with a constant stream of “almost there!” and “another 48-hours!”  It worked.  Rangers fans were marionettes with Gordon Hay as the puppet-master tugging on their heart-strings.  Distracted by the excitement an imminent deal, few Rangers fans (and no journalists) have found time to ask the obvious next questions:

  • Where did Whyte get the money? (He has no publicly verifiable track record of legally obtained wealth)
  • Does Whyte understand the gravity of the tax situation and how much the bills could be?
  • If he does understand the tax case, then why would he buy Rangers now?
  • Is Whyte just buying the bank debt? i.e. that Rangers’ debt will not change?

Of course, the Scottish media will be rushing to curry favour with the new man. They will need to kiss-up with extra vigour out of fear that they could have their lunch-lines cut as the Ibrox ‘Old Guard’ prepare to exit.

The facts of Rangers under Whyte’s ownership remain the same:
– A tax case that was scheduled to finish this afternoon
– Tax bills of £36m (underpayment and interest) and a penalty case to start in some months
There are no other questions worth asking until Rangers supporters receive honest and forthright answers about Whyte’s plans for the various tax case outcomes. This blog has made clear that the only financial model that makes sense for Whyte is that he will have purchased the debt from Lloyds Banking Group directly (preserving their security interests and preferred creditor status) and will have paid £1 for MIH’s shares. He must then be ready to sell any playing asset that attracts a reasonable price. If the tax bomb detonates, he would exercise his security rights. If HMRC do not agree to just walk away and accept zero (or close to it), the only way for Whyte to claim what is his in law, is to see Rangers liquidated.

Rangers fans also need to understand that the terms of the deal that have been leaked so far would not leave Rangers debt-free. Firstly, only the £18m bank debt will have been paid. That would still leave at least another £6m in other loans (used to pay for Jelavic), capital leases, and negative working capital. If he has just purchased Lloyds’ debt, Rangers’ debt will not have changed at all! They will just owe the money to Whyte and whomever has funded him. (Who would be more reluctant to foreclose on Rangers FC? Lloyds Bank or a shadowy group of barely known investors?)

We should be in no doubt that Rangers are now much more likely to be about to jump out of the frying pan into the fire.  That Scotland’s media has been so easily placed in Whyte’s back pocket is a testament to the skills of Gordon Hay.  As his company’s own website boasts:

Often keeping something out of the news is as important as securing publicity. As poachers-turned-gamekeepers, we know how the media thinks and how it works. Our easy-to-follow 12-point plan for dealing with the media in a crisis could make all the difference between making or breaking your business.

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 are for one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

459 Responses to Blinded by the Whyte

  1. JJ says:

    Craig Whyte has clearly established his exit strategy and excuses at that interview.

    He is very confident RFC will win the tax case because the lawyers have said so. When/if they lose, it will be the fault of the bad advice of the lawyers to blame. Pre-dates his involvement, “nothing to do with me Guv”. He will grab what he can and head for the hills.

  2. chico says:

    SO Craig Whyte is 100% confident rnagers will win the tax case. hmmmmm. That being the case, David murray and Lloyds will have had the same outlook.

    So why sell for £1

    shirley, SHIRLEY, if they were that confident, then Lloyds/murray shares would have been sold for a lot more ? no ?

  3. Fuzzy Dunlop says:

    To ensure Rangers are in good hands we all need a satisfactory answer to a simple question that needs to be put to Craig Whyte:

    “From which of the companies you have invested in did you make your vast wealth?”

    In 1998 “Dragon” Theo Paphitis purchased La Senza for £1 and an FA Cup Final (with Millwall), a house in St. Georges Hill and a TV show later he sold it for £100 million in 2006. All clear and above board. With Craig Whyte nothing would appear to be clear.

    The bear facts that don’t appear to be in dispute are that in 1999 Craig Whyte left Scotland to live in Monaco, where he lived for 8 years as a tax exile, before buying a Castle in Granton-on-Spey. But do we know for sure that even these basic details are correct? Did he live in Monaco for 8 years? Does he own the Castle?

    Why is Craig Whyte Scotland’s only multi-millionaire (nee billionaire) that nobody has ever heard of?

    Why despite the newspapers telling us almost daily that Craig Whyte is a multi-millionaire does he not appear in the Sunday Times Rich List?

    Why are none of the British companies he is linked with worth any significant amount of money?

    Why has Craig Whyte set up a company in the British Virgin Islands?

    Why does said company have a similar name to large American & European companies?

    Why does said company have an empty “office” in the Genevan equivalent of an industrial estate in Coatbridge?

    Are Wavetower Limited borrowing any money?

    Is the money being put into Rangers/Wavetower from Craig Whyte’s personal wealth?

    If the money being injected into Rangers/Wavetower is not from Craig Whyte’s personal wealth where is it coming from?

    During which period did Craig Whyte “own/rent” an Executive Box at Ibrox?

    Does the SFA not have a “fit and proper person” test to buy an SPL team?

  4. manila says:

    Credit is due to Adam for being one of the few gallant souls to stick his head above the parapet and deal with the issues head-on, after a fashion. I hope he comes back to see it to it’s conclusion, and if it all goes The Rangers way, then he’d be entitled to a big massive GIRFUY. The evidence “so far” and the held-in-reserve that RTC teasingly alludes to, gives us the hope that all is not well down Govan way. Other dissenters, in the main, have been simply content to dissemble the premise of the blog and pay little attention to the detail. Pity. An informed contention would have added mightly to the discussion.

    Returning to Adam and his sliver of hope/belief that The Rangers are debt free “Coz pyoor Craigy said so innat”. That’s all their is, blind optimism. That no official statement from The Rangers has surfaced through all of this pantomime to directly address the HMRC case beyond AJ’s nod is beyond preposterous. The single biggest issue affecting the future of the club has been dealt with by the turning of the all-seeing-eye by owners, directors and the media. The ingrained belief that the Mhedia, Radio Catolica, The Blatantly Broadcasting Catholicism, The Sunday Liam, The Daily Rhebel. The Phress are all siding against The Queens XI is laughable in the context of their “investigative” journalism with respect to this issue. Really. No matter the outcome – the depressing fact is that it will be a sordid three-legged race by each and every publication to bring you the “exclusive” … and this sorry circus will pitch it’s tent at the next venue, with punters happy to roll-up roll-up.

    Anyone who has watched the Craig Whyte interview on Rangers.TV, could only take from it the image of a cat/rabbit caught in a hot-tin headlight. Unconvincing brox-ticking as he “I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I,I-ed” his way through a bunch of inocuos stage-managed questions. Desperate stuff.

    Aye – The Rangers are “Debt-Free” … LOLZ!

  5. Adam says:

    I actually cringe at some of the comments made by fellow Gers fans in relation to most things but the bravado in this situation is beyond crazy. There is a few tormented souls like myself puting their heads on the block online, only to be called “tims” and idiots. Its clear in my book who the real idiots are though.

    By the same token, and i do get to read Celtic online stuff, there are equal amounts of idiots who say Rangers are dead “just coz they pure ur man” Its funny you mention “Mhedia, Radio Catolica, The Blatantly Broadcasting Catholicism, The Sunday Liam and The Daily Rhebel” because on your side there is nicknames for all of these only the other way around. Heres a thought. None of them are biased one way or the other. Its just that the IDIOTS think everybody is against them. Oh and include referees on that one as well by the way.

    Anyways, my views on the interview was “WTF ?” Is this the guy who is supposed to have a Billion pounds with a fake put on accent, a penchance for repeating himself in 2 different questions and a style of answering that suggests he is uncomfortable speaking for more than 1 paragraph at a time.

    Everything about this guy stinks. Stinks to the high heaven.

    But given the past 6 months of me hoping the guy didnt see light of day, and given my utter dismay on the 5th May when he finally “bought” the club, i have been given one wee speckle of light at the end of the tunnel.

    What if……………he is telling the truth and Wavetower have taken that debt and not assigned it to any of Rangers assets. Some say it might be a foolish move on his part, but NOONE on here can say for 100% FACT that he hasnt, and that includes me, probably his biggest critic in Rangers online world.

    I give the floor back to my learned friends. ;-)

  6. manila says:

    Your honesty almost makes me stop hoping that your club will burn in hell – almost. “Walang personalan, trabaho lang” as the locals here say …

    You are smart enough to understand how all this works – so the boot is going to go in no matter what. A few little petrified violets complaining “Ooooh oooh ooh RTC you let sumbdae type hun and this like toatle blog that startit aff brullyint is no’ noo that brullyint pyoor coz it’s no’ an’ sumbdae sed hun an’ thatz no’ fair an’ that toatly negates aw that stuff yoo posted coz aye it duz an’ fuck in mah argmint is thit yoor Timz whit wid say that stuff cauze yer aw Timz innat that ur Timz”

    If I have mis-interpreted TheStephenHawking Loyal … please provide corrections.

  7. Boab says:

    From memory the rangers Chairman said that the debt had been assigned to Wavetower. It would be madness to somehow remove the security at the same time, why would anyone give rangers (or anyone else for that matter) an unsecured laon when it would be just as easy, if not easier to give a secured one.

    It would also be madness from the point of view of any potential administration / liquidation. If is was caused by the tax bill It would make Wavetower a major creditor but not the major creditor. HMRC would be entitled to two, or even three times as much from the liquidation than Wavetower. Whereas if it is secured Wavetower would get everything available from those assets, up to the limit of their indebtedness.

    Do we know the debt has been assigned to Wavetowr. Yes, the Chairman of the PLC said it and it makes sense.

    Do we know that it is the same as the Lloyds debt it paid of, i.e secured. That is very much a reasonable inference, as it would be silly to have done anything else, well it would in my opinion.

  8. tomtom says:

    I refer to my earlier post Adam.

    If he is the real thing why does he need anyone else in with him? As I have said I don’t care either way what the outcome of the tax case is. No matter what happens there will still be a RFC in some shape or form, supported by the same fans, playing in the same colours and probably playing in the same stadium. Of that there is no doubt.

    What I do want to see however is a league that is won by a team that plays enjoyable football and is capable of challenging in Europe. Neither Celtic or Rangers have been that team in the last few years. They have won our league because they were the best of a bad lot (forget the conspiracists, leagues are decided over a season not in the few bad games that ref’s have) and like mugs we renew our season tickets year after year hoping for something better. If Whyte does what would seem to be his only option then Rangers will suffer and in turn Celtic will suffer. I want to see Celtic kicking your ass because we are a far better team not because you are crap and I’m sure you feel the same way about Rangers (I’d be concerned if you didn’t) but the more we hear from Whyte the more it is apparent that this whole thing stinks.

    However, if it turns out that he is the real thing and does what he proclaims, I will hold my hands up and wholeheartedly apologise to all and sundry. I might even go as far as to put money behind a bar of your choice for you to drink to his health. Somehow I think my money is staying in my pocket.

  9. Mark Jason67 says:


    Great Blog mate, I have been lurking daily since the beginning, very informative indeed and some great debate going on, there is numerous blogs out there on the net which been up and running for a few years yet struggle to get 4 or 5 comments per day to their articles/posts, just shows the thirst for information regarding this subject ie The Tax Case.

    I’m always outside daily with no access to my lap top, so I rely heavily on my blackberry to keep up to date with this blog/comments/debate, but with the large amount of traffic/comments and ‘nested comments’ I find it difficult on the ‘phone’ as because of the nested comments you need to scroll slowly past every comment which takes forever (400+ comments) to make sure I don’t miss the recently added reply’s.

    Can I make a polite suggesting please, would you consider maybe breaking down each page to say a minimum of 50 comments per page, with the older comments located at the top of each page, a bit like the CQN set up, and if someone is going to reply to a previous post they could maybe do what they do on CQN, example below ;

    JJ says:

    10/05/2011 at 9:14 am (Page 1)
    I think this would make the blog easier to read, for me anyway and probably for those other lurkers/contributors to this fine blog who rely on the mobile phone.

    If you do decide to try this set up for the blog, then all that is required is for you to locate the ‘Administrator’s Dashboard’, and down the left hand side of the Dashboard you can click on ‘Settings’ and within ‘Settings’ you will find ‘Discussion’, click on that and you can administer the changes from there, turn of ‘Nested Comments’, and the rest is straight forward.

    Keep up the good work RTC, this is one of the best blogs I’ve came across the last couple of years and your work is very much appreciated indeed, Thank you much….

    Mark Jason67. Hail Hail

  10. I appreciate the problem. One of the challenges I have is the need for secrecy. So I do not want to contract a 3rd party blog design / hosting firm to manage the aesthetics of this site.

    Yet we have clearly outgrown the default settings of the wordpress tools. I would have to learn to provide advanced functionality on my own. I do have a professional life outside this little obsession, so time is very limited.

  11. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    Sorry to change the topic away from Whyte and the tax case – but still on the subject of huns bending financial rules….(and NO, HUN is not sectarian, and i make no apology for using it and i will not refrain from referring to the club and it’s fans as huns. It doesn’t mean a protestant and to highlight my point……Jock Stein, Danny McGrain – protestant, Nacho Novo and Lorenzo Amaruso – Huns)

    anyway……….Huns new striker, Jelavic.

    I have to concede I’m a bit of a fan of the guy, he has certainly picked up the mantle from GOAL MACHINE Kenny Miller and I would say he has almost single handedily kept the huns title challenge on track

    However, i’ve heard a few folk suggesting the deal under which he was signed is actually illegal under teh rules of the SFA and UEFA

    Sadly, the people who have told me this, have failed to provide the details…I think i saw on here someone suggest that the deal was funded by a 3rd party, not rangers. but there were no details and more importantly, no explanation why this might be dodgy

    it could of course all be nonsense……can any of you good folk throw some light on the matter?

  12. cp1888 says:

    Don’t have any of my own knowledge on this topic but I think it was suggested that Rangers may have raised funds by hawking some of next season’s season books in advance. They may or may not have then used this money to get Jelavic. I can’t see how this would be breaking any rules though it might have been something else Mr W would have been interested in.

    Like I say though, i’m just repeating what I read on here (which puts me one up on the Scottish media).

  13. Adam says:

    Hun is sectarian. You can believe what you want. Go into a Police Station and call them a dirty hun bassa. You will be found guilty of a sectarian breach of the peace. Thats FACT.

  14. Tired old argument this one, but I will indulge you.

    I would prefer that people did not use the term on here as some of us would like to have a more open discussion. However, if you look at the case law for your claim it is not supported. One ned wanders along Paisley Road West after the Rangers v Zenit UEFA Cup Final with a t-shirt with words to the effect of GIRFUY Huns and he got charged. Given his previous, he was advised to plead guilty and did so. The word ‘Hun’ has not been established in court to be sectarian.

    I do not believe it to be sectarian: Aberdeen fans (religiously indestinguishable from Rangers fans) used it as an insulting perjorative about Rangers fans. Celtic fans do not call Aberdeen fans Huns.

    For the record, there are no sectarian words, just sectarian intent. If some feeble minded lowlife starts bawling “ya orange masonic Hun bastards” at people walking to a Church of Scotland on a Sunday morning, I think we know that he is full of generalised hate. None of those words are illegal in the way you are trying to imply. Likewise, the word “Fenian” is not sectarian either. But when “die Fenian scum” is daubed on the walls of a Catholic school, we get the message. The words draw their meaning from the context.
    In the context of Scottish football, “go home ya Huns” refers to supporters of football clubs in Scotland who regularly express a degree of anti-Catholicism: Rangers; Hearts; Falkirk; Motherwell; Airdrie; Dundee; and Kilmarnock. I do not see the problem with that.

    Rangers fans simply do not like, what has become, a very good insult and are trying to attach meanings to the word that it does not have in common use. (I love those followfollow debates about the word Hun being sectarian but “those fenians are the real Huns! They stole the word from us.” Real QCs in the making.

    So, while I don’t want to censor words, I don’t think that the word is appropriate for this site. There are plenty of other places to indulge in internet insult hurling.

  15. Torquemada says:

    Rubbish, Adam. Hun is offensive (and meant to be). It is NOT sectarian, despite the ramblings of an ill-educated sheriff in a Mickey Mouse Scottish court when judging a breach of the peace case about what some kid had written on his T-shirt.

    Uefa has already deemed it non-sectarian and so will Scots law on the very first occasion that a lawyer appears to defend someone accused of sectarian breach of the peace for using it.

    By the way, do you get taught at your schools to suffix all sentences containing opinions with FACT! to make them more authoritative? You all seem to do it. lol!

  16. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:


    This is your site, and you are our host, so I will refrain from using that word further as requested by your good self.

    Adam, this is NOT an apology for the use of that word in reference to Rangers fans, but a courtesy to RTC. His board, his rules.

    I’m interseted to know how you know for FACT this action will get you charged for a sectarian breach of the peace – have you tried it? maybe someone you know has?

    I think anyone calling the police any kinda bastard would be charged with breach, you are just making up the sectarian bit in an attempt to maintain the O** F*** myth that one is as bad as the other.

    Now Atilla…..of you trot :-)

  17. Pedro says:

    I don’t think Gary is probably helping himself here, but I find it quite ironic how his belief that Rangers views on the tax case (i.e they are confident on their legal advice and beleive they will win) are mocked by people who are quite willing to fully believe a blog from a guy or girl who claims to have inside knowledge.

    If you believe either side you are taking a leap of faith. If you believe the blog (and as I have said a few times before, I am not saying the blogger is lying) you are taking for granted everything that is said is true. Granted, the blog is a decent quality, but its still an unproven source of information.

    If you believe Rangers you are taking a leap of faith that they are not lying, and that they firmly believe their legal advice is correct.

    The point is, until the reasult is announced, either could be correct. I take everything with a pinch of salt. What will happen will happen, and I am sure the discussion will continue until that day and many days after.

  18. Ciarans Dad says:

    I for one am not taking RTC’s postings as gospel or anyone else’s for that matter. What i believe has been the mainstay of this blog is that the majority of posters (yes most of us are timmy car crash watchers wanting to see the corpse of RFC dragged heavily bleading from the vehicle that is the fakeover) have been incredulous at the lack of investagative journalism and information from any camp in this saga.
    What RTC, Boab, Mark and others have done is to ask those questions and then debate as to their answers and the possible outcome.
    Other than this site where do you get any credible info as I earlier posted the link to wikipedia about the whyte Knight, and it is plainly fantasy to match Lord Of The Rings, and this was being held up as fact on Folly Folly.
    So de we go to the chip wrappers, listen to the talk in’s, where??
    At least on here we get to ask the questions, what we then take out of the answer is no more spurious than what we read or hear from the laptop loyal.

  19. Pedro says:

    I am not criticsing the quality of the debate (most of the time), just the unwavering oppinion of some that this blog is gospel and anyone who dares to state an alternative belief is either some employee of Whyte, Rangers, or an idiot (I’m sure some comedians would say all 3 are one of the same).

    Personally speaking, the last few weeks have proven to me that nothing is what it seems, as I never thought for a minute, as a Rangers fan, that Whyte would buy the club. Most people agreed hence the term fakeover that seems so popular now, even though it actually went through.

    So I, as I have been doing from the start, will wait to see the final decision. In the meantime, there is some football to be played incase anyone has forgotten thats why we support these teams in the first place.

  20. Boab says:

    Once again you seem to be of the opinion that people’s only source of information in relation to this is either this blog, the media or Rangers themselves.

    That may be the case for you, presumably it is, given your comments. It is not the case for everyone here.

    The bottom line is that Rangers may win their appeal, they may not. That is a matter for the tribunal to decide. However not being able to predict that does not mean that people do not have knowledge in the field and knowledge of how the Rangers appeal may be viewed by the panel.

    Their “whataboutery” appeal may work. There may be legal niceties which HMRC have not complied with. On the balance of probabilities the tribunal may accept that Rangers acted in good faith and are not wholely to blame for not paying the correct amount of tax at the correct time.

    That does not make anything a leap of faith. Just that, even with a lot of the facts, it is not always possible to predict the tribunal’s decision.

  21. Pedro says:

    The majorty of the people on this blog will only get their info from the media, blog or Rangers statements.

    I work in tax – but that doesn’t mean I have inside info to Rangers case or HMRC’s case. Only the blogger from what I can gather has claimed to have inside info.

    As for a leap of faith – maybe I should have worded it better. However, if peoples subsequent views&discussion are based on the bloggers initial disclosure of inside information, then they are taking that info at face value. That is what has formed most peoples (not all) basis of argument to build on – that Rangers were at fault, they used the EBT’s incorrectly and that they have little defence. If that whole basis is wrong, then everything that follows is inaccurate.

    If you are saying you have inside info of the tax case then that is different – your views will be based on that information.

    Look, we are almost agreeing anyway – as you say “The bottom line is that Rangers may win their appeal, they may not”

  22. As always, you are a voice of reason.

  23. Fair point again Pedro. On everything from evolution, the existence of God, to the JFK assassination, people pick a narrative that they want to believe.

    In my case, there have been several newpaper articles, in particular the News of The World series from last year that got the amounts and general facts of the case correct. Rangers did not deny the stories or take legal action. Yet, when Darrell King got a few peripheral facts about the situation wrong, they forced retractions from the Evening Times and The Herald immediately.

    One of the best negotiators anywhere accepted one pound for his shares in Scotland’s second greatest institution. That Lloyds Banking Group pursued a bizarre policy towards a customer in otherwise decent financial shape. That Alastair Johnston admitted that insolvency was a possibility if Rangers lost the tax case. That the IBC of Rangers FC expressed concerns about Craig Whyte’s ability to pay the tax bill given the size that they know it could reach. That Martin Bain confirmed the existence and size of the tax assessments in an interview with the NOTW almost a year ago. That no one from Rangers will deny the tax case facts as presented here and other places, preferring to hide behind deliberately vague words and theoir confidence of winning.

    All of this information is available to support anyone who chooses to believe the information that I have been putting forward here. So, I do not think that it is fair to say that people are just taking my words on blind faith.

  24. Gary says:

    My hats off to you Pedro I couldn’t have put it better myself

  25. Senor says:

    How will Craig Whyte manage to pay the £60m tax bill and at the same time, provide Ally McCoist with a £25m ‘war chest’? This has really got me stumped.

  26. cp1888 says:

    The man’s a billionaire. Really Senor, keep up ;-)

  27. ramsay smith says:

    Craig Whyte has said that he is confident they will win the tax tribunal because that’s what the lawyers have said.

    I hope for his sake that the lawyers did actually say that.

    Because if they didn’t, and Rangers lose, the lawyers professional reputations could well have been damaged.

    I assume that the names of the solicitors and counsel involved are in the public domain. Could someone perhaps tell us who they are.

  28. Boab says:

    The QC dealing with it is Andrew Thornhill. He is very much a specialist in the field and was co-author (with this Baxendale chap) of a book on EBT’s several years ago. I believe he is either headof, or a leading light, in Pump Court Tax Chambers. As I said they specialise in this type of thing.

    He was the QC in the Dextra Case, also in relation to EBTs

  29. tomtom says:

    If Thornhill was the co-author of a book on this scam he’s hardly an independent judge on the outcome. “Er you know that book I wrote and the scheme we devised, yeh, well actually it’s illegal”

    I hope that he’s working for free. I’m bloody sure that I wouldn’t be paying any lawyer who got me into court to defend me.

  30. cp1888 says:

    The last thing Rangers would want is him to be independent :-D

  31. Paul Mac says:

    And if he expects us to believe that he purchased the club on the back of a lawyers opinion about a future possible tax liability, then as a so called businessman he must have calculated the possibility of losing the case and how that would need to be dealt with?

    So I am waiting for the Scottish media to ask him the question…

    “hypothetically Craig ..what if you lose the case”….

    “but we wont…we will win it”…

    “but lets just say…imgine if you will..the tribunal returns a verdict in favour of HMRC to collect”

    “but we wont lose it..are you no listening”

    “I hear what you are saying Craig…but lets suppose…just for a second..that for some strange reason…what Andy told you doesn’t happen..and you are suddenly presented with a £60m tax bill…how would you manage to pay it?”

    “so..Im going to give Ally £5m a year..and we are going to win the tax case..right must go”

  32. George Mac says:


    I used to be a tax inspector – I know a wee bit about how it works. If RFC have, as reported, made two offers to settle does that not indicate to you that perhaps they are not quite as confident about the outcome as you? The figures are not in dispute – see RFC accounts – the effect of the legislation involved is to render RFC’S actions worthy of a penalty under the tax system. Factor in interest (8.5% with variances from 2000 to 5 January 2008 and 4 or 5% thereafter) Then there is the penalty loading. Could be 100% but likely around 60% – this is my guess although the other two components are set in stone.

    Think about it, why offer to settle, paying millions, if ultimately there is no liability. Why do it?

  33. Adam says:

    Another “story” that lacks any evidence whatsoever. Rangers made no offer to settle. Prove me wrong. ;-)

  34. Jeepster says:

    I think Phil macs telephone interview might just cover that

  35. Gary says:

    They can’t all you’ll get is another blog post link to phil mac’s site lol

  36. BromleyBhoy says:

    Hi again RTC,

    Still enjoying the blog.

    One observation I have noted in 99% of the statements made by RFC or it’s representatives…. it’s not what they say but what they don’t.

    Look at AJ after his blooper… he then did a carefully worded interview with Traynor.. who allowed him to make the statement (without any probing at all) ‘ I never SAID we would go bust’… true because he nodded.

    Now we come to Whyte… he has stated repeatedly that 5 million will be allocated to spending on players… yet not one journalist has asked 2 simple question – is that NET spend and/or does it include player wages. Both are critical and both make a massive difference…

    Interesting that not one journalist is prepared to ask though don’t you think… gives them lots of wiggle room.


  37. OnandOnandOnand says:

    Has anyone seen Andrew Ellis? Where is the alleged 25% shareholder? I think we should be told…

  38. tomtom says:

    Trust me he is lurking in the shadows waiting for the right time to come out.

    Let’s see who attends the final game at Kilmarnock.

  39. Mike says:

    Has CW/Ellis actually paid anything?

    One pounda to MIH for shares.
    18m to LBG negotiated down to say, 12-15m in exchange for transfer of asset securities.
    12-15m comes from Huns cash-positive LBG bank ACC with rolling overdraft facility remaining in-situ.
    Overdraft used to serve operational costs, pre ST, cup/league winners (sic) and, CL revenues arrive.
    Total cost for purchase – One pounda.

  40. Paul Mac says:

    Adam, a fair suggestion, what if he is right?!

    If as some are suggesting, he is a man of considerable wealth, he has taken over the club simply as a supporter who loves the club, he has every faith they will win the tax case thus avoiding the payment, and that his medium term plans for the club are based on a solid, considered, well planned fiscal strategy, then good on him.

    If all of the above is true, then this being Tuesday the 10th of May, I would expect a full length interview by Craig by the end of this week to the Scottish media outlining the following;

    1. His future plans
    2. That he used his own cash to pay lloyds.
    3. That the debt has not simply moved from Lloyds to Wavetower and that any existing debt is of a small amount,
    4. How he intends to deal with the HMRC case should they lose.

    Not much to ask, and lets be honest if the deal is genuine, and honest with no hidden agenda, then clearly the above should bear no difficulty in answering.

    But HANG on a second, he cannot possibly answer the tax question, he purchased the club on the back of his lawyer telling him they will win the TAX case before a judgement has been passed???

    This would confirm he has no contingency for losing the case to HMRC!

    However in order to avoid discussing the TAX issue, I would expect him to continue with the mantra of…”we expect to win it”…which is fine, but surely he must be able to consider the possibility of defeat and how that is handled? To avoid that discussion simply confirms there is no safety net, no plan B.

  41. DavyLaw says:

    This is just hair-splitting nonsense – comfort-blogging. If anyone was “just saying” anything why all the furore in the aftermath of a certain nod? Why sell for a pound? etc etc etc. The list is almost endless, and on another blog, might be of interest. Not this one. As for investigative journalism, when the opportunity was there to do so, experienced journos sought to either dismiss each other on live radio or become evenhanded tweeters. Can we have a straight answer to a straight question? can I have my PR people with me? No chance!

  42. TootingTim says:

    Very artful, Adam.

    Having failed to ego-stroke RTC (“your watching masses”) into queering the whole pitch by publishing something, you have now moved on to creating the impression that there is significant wriggle-room for RFC to offer them hope in this case.

  43. jamie says:

    So, is everyone in agreement that if Craig Whyte starts dishing out 6 year contracts to guys like shagger and signs a few players in the summer then he is simply an idiot and not an asset stripper?

    You just have to wonder where the “Front Ended” 10 million will come from, not to mention the 10 million working capital?

  44. Fuzzy Dunlop says:

    Craig Whyte can dish out all the contracts he wants but does he have a track record of honouring contracts? The GMB Union may have an opinion on that. On another point, are LBG still Rangers bankers?

  45. Adam says:

    Hopefully sticking to the sensible debate, as no-one has thankfully taken me down the normal route you get on Old Firm forums, a thought has just occurred to me whilst reading through this blog again and in particular some of my own statements.

    If i wanted to go and buy St Mirren FC for £3 million tomorrow and the total value of their assets were £10 million, would i be able to go to a Lender and say, can you give me £3 million please and I will give you a charge against St Mirren park if it goes through ?

    Would the Board of St Mirren FC not have to sanction this charge against their asset, or would i be able to do it without any intervention whatsoever as long as Stewart Gilmour was happy to sell me his shares for £3 million ?

  46. Boab says:

    If you buy the shares the business is yours. You can do what you want, once you have some niceties out of the way.

    The board still run the business and if they don’t do what you want of them then you need to replace them. They can resign, but if they refuse to do so you as the shareholder can call a meeting, vote them off and vote your own people on.

    If you are in a similar position to Craig Whyte it is really just a nuisance, your block vote means you get to decide who stays and who goes. Who comes on and who doesn’t. You can do what you want, it just takes time.

    Oh and no, the board couldn’t (or shouldn’t) deliberately hurt your business before this happens. As shareholder their main responsibility (amongst others) is to look after your best interests.

  47. Adam says:

    But can you do it BEFORE you buy it. IE – I know Whyte can now force the issue, but the question is, could he have secured the assets before he bought the shares. Buying a company/shares is not like a mortgage or anything.

  48. fergus says:

    I have been an avid follower of Minty’s dealings in Ibrokes since Hugh Adam spoke of his running of their club .
    Now he has sold the whole lot (and the chance of a £700 million casino complex )for one of the queens pounds .

    Are we likely to get some loose tongues appearing in the near future ,regards some puzzling things during his stewardship .
    Hail hail

  49. fergus says:

    Adam regarding your St Mirren post
    I always wondered how DM persuaded the board of MIH to agree to underwrite the failed share issue to the tune of £50 mill
    If I was on that board I would never have voted to underwrite that kind of deal in any SPL club or football club for that matter .
    Were they simply told or persuaded to let it happen .
    Were they given any assurances ,I only ask as a lot of cash injections into ragers seemed to later turn out to be loans IMO

  50. Kip Kane says:

    As far as my source is concerned, there is no tax liability. Now he told me again today that Rangers are confident that they have gotten away with this. I say again that in UK tax circles the word is that a certain person was in distress and he made sure on the first day of the tribunal that at least one of the judges knew about it. Whether that swings it we’ll have to wait and see. It’s my opinion also that they are used to dealing in this manner and they are used to getting their own way with people when a distress signal is communicated.It’s the kind of corrupt and degenerate society we live in. Some people on here will know what i’m on about but they will never admit to it or discuss it in any way.That’s how they work.In secret.

  51. fergus says:


  52. hadalonghardthink? says:

    After lurking on sites directly related to this issue it occurs to me that the following scenario is possible.. ?…
    Ease my paranoia please. shoot me down:)

    Whyte “aquires ” rfc for a pound.
    hrmc win case.
    rangers liquidated.
    Whyte?ellis ..having been utterly ridiculed in the interim by ex board take the flak.

    new company created by whyte as we watch, ,owning Murray park,Ibroz and all land not “involved” in transactions/negotiation.

    New .???.. owner funded by Murray,P buy “new rangers” then lease back the ground and training ground from whyte ellis.. producing an asset from nothing.. as in .. “we can lease for a pittance..noone else wants to.but we’ll sign a lease for 25 years “- whyte may or may not have to agree..he’s already the villain.. tim nice but dim in a jungle..poor greedy capitalist puppet that he seems.. can almost see the strings.

    rfc end up renting hampden as whytes strange mind has discovered a use for swampland.. “Govan Flumes- Ride the Mine shafts in yer orange boiler suit”..kind trip down memory lane for all the worldwide visiting masses of exiled rangers fans who never actually got to a game when it was a foootball park.John grieg at the door waving people up the marble staircase to level 1?:

    Several contradictatory stories about who to blame as Murray,D laughs up his sleeve at his extended supply deals clinched recently as part of the deal to mitigate his “£6m” loss. i.e. he does swtill own the subsidiaries no? start making an income that lbg approve of ; all food etc at the theme park /rfc20011 inc. is his to milk?

    rfc reenter league in top league starting on a one season handicap accepting defeat??
    positing the theory that if rangers start next season at some points deduction or euro exclusion due to uefa rules on admin/liquidation status then would we see that the refs cant proscribe a 25 point deficit^^?? …the honest mistakes would be laughable. regan i hope ur reading this btw.

    euro football is the route to pay back the debts incured. media black out or not u can assume the peepul are still seething and the briefs have got much more couched now. rats in a corner really do fight dirty.

  53. Gary says:

    And as for the H*n debate the man was convicted with religiously aggravated breach of the peace.

    Sectarianism is bigotry, discrimination or hatred arising from attaching importance to perceived differences between subdivisions within a group, such as between different denominations of a religion or factions of a political movement.

    Ergo H*n is sectarian as proved in a court of law.

  54. Lord Wobbly says:

    Sorry Adam but that’s definitely not correct. I don’t have any hard evidence that RFC (or a third party on their behalf) have offered to settle with HMRC. However, as has been explained elsewhere, there are other reasons why a company would offer to settle ahead of a verdict. If offering to settle at £x was deemed to be a cheaper option than the time and expense involved with defending a case (even a winnable one) would be attractive to many. The path of least resistance if you will. In those circumstances you would only pursue your day in court if making a point was more important to you than the cost of making your point.


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