The Waiting Game

Another Scottish season has drawn to a close with Rangers FC taking the lion’s share of the spoils.  With the possibility of qualification for the UEFA Champions’ League and profits for the 3rd year running, it will have been a great financial year for the Ibrox club.  That 85% of the shares of such a business should be sold for just a touch more than a millionth of a penny each should not be forgotten. We are left to choose between the image of Sir David Murray as a benevolent team-player who made “yet another” generous gift to the club he loves or a man so gripped by fear for the consequences of his reckless illegality that he would give the club away to get off stage.  We are all free to make our own choice as to which we think is more likely.  However, those poor souls naive enough to believe that Murray bailed-out to help Rangers fly, at a price of £1 for control of Scotland’s “second-greatest institution” and at a time of strong profits, need to ask themselves: “Why did no one else want to buy Rangers’ shares at such a price?

As an aside, let us also dispel the myth of David Murray as Rangers’ benefactor.  Of the £165m that Rangers lost under his stewardship, not a single net penny was contributed by Murray himself.  In fact, when we look at the net balance of related-party transactions between Rangers and Murray’s other companies, businesses from which he took personal cash dividends, it is clear that Murray removed cash from Rangers FC.  However, as much as it pains me to say it (as it is what he wants) Murray is yesterday’s man and no longer a moving part in the on-going saga of Rangers FC and their illegal tax schemes.  Given the loyalty of the Scottish media to Murray, he is unlikely to ever be blamed for anything that follows.

Next, let us just re-cap what we know to be the facts of this situation:

  • Rangers are now owned by Craig Whyte’s newly formed “The Rangers FC Group Limited” (formerly Wavetower)
  • Whyte’s company paid £1 for 85% of Rangers’ shares
  • This same company purchased the debt owed by Rangers to Lloyds Banking Group
  • Rangers’ debt has not changed as a result of this transaction
  • The sale to Whyte’s venture has no direct effect the tax case
  • I am still waiting for confirmation that the First Tier Tribunal completed on time

In a previous post, I covered Whyte’s “reluctance” to be questioned on either the tax case or the source of his funding. Until we know who has lent Whyte (a man of little legally traceable wealth) the £18m to purchase the debt from Lloyds, it is difficult to understand what the motivations of this transaction really are. Why has Whyte rushed in where other angels feared to tread? We will look at a few possible scenarios later this week.

However, before we look at these permutations, I would like to mention the rumour that was circulating this weekend: that Rangers have had a third offer to settle the tax bill rejected by HMRC. This time the offer is apparently for £23m.  I know nothing about this.  It is possibly true, but I have not heard anything either way.  (Previous offers of £4m and £10m have been rejected in the last year.  These offers were made by Rangers and were rejected by HMRC).  While this rumour is possibly true, a £23m settlement cost on top of the cost of acquiring the bank debt for £18m would put the cost of owning Rangers well beyond any financial logic. With a total invested capital of £41m and a minimum required return of approx. 9%, Rangers FC would have to be capable to returning an average of about £3.7m per year to its owners, and that is before a single additional penny is invested in the playing squad. If this rumour is true, it would rule out the idea that Whyte is a rational financial investor. We would have to look at other motivations for owning this football club.

It would not be unusual for new owners to seek to settle long-running tax disputes with HMRC.  If history is a guide, HMRC’s attitude has been to be flexible to new owners on interest and (even more so) on penalty payments where there is a willingness to pay the core tax bill in full.  Where a settlement offer requires time to pay, flexibility on historical interest would be harder to obtain, and interest would continue to accrue.   If the new owner was someone with a normal history with HMRC it would be easier to imagine that concessions might be made.  However, the new owner is Craig Whyte. (At least he is the public face of the new owner).  Craig Whyte is a name attached to numerous bulging files in the cabinets of HMRC (and possibly other government departments).   A frontman with a famously chequered past?  It would be surprising if HMRC would see any approach for a settlement as a chance to turn over a new leaf.

In coming posts, we will look at a matrix of motivations and outcomes for Whyte and the tax case.  Despite the efforts of his PR henchmen [google the following phrase: “A self-made businessman (he started an accountancy course but failed to complete it”)], the core facts of this situation have not changed.  The Scottish media remain a mixture of spineless cowards and craven paid-off lackies.  The tax case remains a threat to the existence of Rangers FC.  Until we know more about who has funded Whyte and what he expects to achieve, Rangers FC will remain an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

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.

140 Responses to The Waiting Game

  1. TMWTL says:

    Good to see you back RTC

    Keep the articles coming!

  2. Charlie says:

    Welcome back RTC. I hope you enjoyed your break.

    It’s really good to read your clear, concise summation of the situation. I rarely read the Scottish papers, but after the initial hoohah, Mr, Whyte has seemed to slip into obscurity again. Is it a case of nothing to report by the LL, or a reluctance to reveal what they do know? I know what I would bet on.

    Keep it up, hopefully to a successful conclusion.

  3. Thanks Charlie and TMWTL.

    The Scottish media are reverting to type on Whyte: Silence broken only with obsequiousness. Hay McKerron appear to be earning their fees as evidenced by The Telegraph pulling their less than flattering article on Whyte.

    It is hard to figure out. It may in time become like those who mocked Warren Buffett in 1999 when he famously said that he did not understand businesses and would not invest in them. His detractors said that the old man had lost it and was wrong. Yet they could not provide a coherent analysis of why he was wrong. They just threw out a pile of non-sequiturs and insults.

    Rangers supporters who breathed a sigh of relief about the takeover have yet to explain why a man with a fraction of the legally demonstrated wealth of David Murray is better placed to continue the insane over-investment in their club.
    We are left with the fundamentals: this deal does not make financial sense.

    If we are to believe the Hay McKerron version of events, Whyte has accumulated a massive pile of cash by non-visible means in a startlingly short period of time, and does not care about losing up to £80m before investing in any new players. Even if true, the sources of that wealth could come back to haunt Rangers. Let’s not mince words. With not a single “successfully turned-around” company that can be held up as an example of where Whyte has legally made money, we are left to wonder about illegal sources.

    Even then, what type of crook just wants to drop £80m when he could have waited a matter of months and picked up the assets for less.

    If Whyte is so confident about the tax case, why has he structured his takeover to retain the security interests that will allow him to be first in line in an insolvency filing? Why not actually clear the debt? With Rangers accumulated tax loses, there will be no corporate taxes paid in any of our lifetimes. So there is no tax from which to deduct interest payments. The old cliche about businesses needing to have some debt does not work for Rangers (or Celtic for that matter). The only benefit of retaining Lloyds’ debt is to retain Lloyds’ priority in insolvency. Whyte’s three-line whip about not asking him about the tax case would also appear to betray a lack of confidence on the issue.

    In the period before we get the FTT result, we just have to endure the sneers from those who still believe what they read from the propagandists in the Rangers friendly media.

  4. Ciarans Dad says:

    I see the laptop loyal have still to break ranks with Murray and start an in depth look at his tenure at the death star. Will be interesting when it all goes pete tong and Whyte starts blaming Murray, who’s side will they take???
    Interesting times indeed

  5. Posting structure should also be back to normal.

    Lesson for anyone planning on writing a blog: don’t change any of the appearance settings outside of the cycle of a new posting. The software does not appear to like it.

  6. andycol says:

    Welcome back, many people were concerned about your legal and physical wellbeing. Can I ask what your views are on the approaching transfer window. On 1 July virtually all Rangers supporters, inside and outside the media, expect Alistair’s warchest tto be opened and new, younger and better players to climb the marble staircase. If there has been no result from the FTT what will Whyte do? If players are bought then are they not assets which could be disposed of if liquidation is enforced? On the other hand if this drags on how does he explain the lack of purchases to the troubled masses. I suppose blaming it on the uncertainty created by HMRC is possible but I really cant see the more extreme elements buying into that. Is it possible he actually has the wherewithal to settle in full? The activity of the old Ibrox board suggests not and that really would be economiic madness. I am perplexed but I believe this could be the most entertaining close season of all time.

  7. Thanks. I can assure you that I was very well during my break and enjoyed some sun drenched relaxation. While Whyte’s pitbulls have been getting articles pulled from the mainstream media, I have yet to hear from them (other than a few sinister sounding posts on here that may have come from them). In the light of the Ryan Gigg’s issue, if British law is not changed soon, blogs like this may become the primary source of news before too long. Certainly, they are becoming the most trusted sources of news given the failures of the mainstream media. Remember the takeover? £33m/52m price? Tax bill would be paid by Murray or Lloyds?

    To answer your questions, player contracts survive an insolvency event and remain assets which can be sold. (Although, unless a bidding war starts for individual players you can expect firesale prices).

    What will Whyte do in the transfer window? I do not know. It will all be a function of who funded him and why. Whyte has not provided any answers to these questions, primarily because he has not been asked by the compliant Scottish media.

    Buying Rangers now is economic madness if for anything other than a bet on the tax case. If he starts investing substantial sums before the outcome is known, then it would end that possibility. Almost all of football is madness from a financial perspective, so idiocy cannot be eliminated as a driving force either.

  8. abrahamtoast says:

    Regarding Rangers’ activity in the upcoming transfer window, I don’t think it will make too much difference whether Whyte decides to allow McCoist to “splash the cash” or not. Rangers will find it difficult to buy players as other clubs will not be keen to sell to them, UNLESS they get paid 100% up front. This is not the way Rangers like to conduct business, but they will be forced to do it that way if they want any new players.

    Likewise Bosmans (Bosmen?) aren’t going to be willing to accept their signing-on fees spread over the length of their contract, as is often the case. Any decent Bosman signing will have a hefty signing-on fee and they will demand this up front (if they have any sense). So although this figure is not generally publicised, it will now need to come out of whatever budget McCoist has for new players, whereas under the old regime it was less visible, as it would just have been lumped in with salaries etc as it was spread out over thelength of the contract.

    Until some of the uncertainty is lifted, Dignity FC will find it very difficult to progress on the field. Let’s hope the Celtic board has learnt from its mistakes of the last few years. This may be their last chance to bury Rangers, for god’s sake don’t let them f*ck it up again!!

  9. paul says:

    Good to see you back RTC – another quality article.

  10. Eeramacaroonbar says:

    Good points andycol

    I was wanting to get RTC’s views on this as well. For me most of the assertions on this great blog hinge on the upcoming transfer window. If Whyte does indeed start splashing the cash – then it would blow a lot of the opinions on his motives out of the water. To me it would suggest that he has indeed got money to burn (dodgy or not) and he does have Ranger’s best interests at heart. Either that or he is a bigger gambler/chancer than we all originally thought.

    Your point about the bought players being assets in liquidation does not hold up. In such a scenario they would practically lose money on EVERY signing they made. This is why forking out for players in the window would not make ANY sense whatsoever for Whyte…….unless as I said previously – he is the REAL deal for Rangers and their fans.

  11. Yes. I think you have it summarised nicely.

    The only point I do not get is about losing money on players sold. The price that the previous owners paid is irrelevant in such a situation. It is simply whether they can recover their initial investment (and some change) from player sales.

    You are right about significant net outlays (and be careful about some minor signings as a smokescreen to cover larger departures). It would mean that Whyte was acting in Rangers best interests- at least as far as he understands what those interests are. However, the issue would still be clouded by his ability to pay the tax bill.

    Rangers board went from mouthing the same empty words about being confident of not having to pay anything to expressing concern over Whyte’s ability to pay the bill. Rather odd if Whyte is getting his prognosis from Rangers own legal team? ;-)

  12. Eeramacaroonbar says:

    “The only point I do not get is about losing money on players sold”

    The only players I was referring to here were the potential signings made in the upcoming transfer window.

  13. Auldheid says:

    Never mind the residual asset value of a player, how does a player get paid and for how long?
    What half decent player would enter a contract that might just add him to the list of creditors.
    Papac has apparently signed for another year, any contract over a year is a huge risk to any player thinking of signing.
    Players and agents will be asking the questions the media should be asking but will actually expect answers that stack up.

  14. Thomas314 says:

    Don’t be suprised if in the next couple of if rumours start appearing in the compliant media that Rangers may loss the tax case (someone has already suggested this in a previous blog), and that as a precaution they will have to curtail there spending plans.

    Papac signed a 1 year deal, thats not a long deal. There’s nearly six weeks to go to the start of the transfer window. Plenty of time yet to cook up a story.

  15. Certainly if you are Craig Whyte you will want to push the blame for any bad news on the mismanagement of the previous regime. He will get to plead innocence and ignorance and how any change in plans has been forced upon him. It would be a lie of course, but do not expect that he will ever be questioned about it.

  16. Thomas says:

    A 1 year deal on the same terms probably?

    Davie Weir for another year on the same terms probably?

    Not exactly setting the heather on fire. I will be less sceptical should they bring in a few million quid worth of players without selling anyone first.

    Until then it’s all smoke and mirrors.

  17. ramsay smith says:

    Is it true that Whyte has given a commitment to waive the debt owed to him by Rangers plc after two years?

  18. This was dropped in the media. The truth is that we don’t know, but it would be a pretty strange commitment. Why not drop the debt now?

    As I mention above, there are no tax advantages to paying interest on debt in Rangers’ case. They have such substantial historical losses that most of us will be dead and gone before the club would have to pay corporation taxes again. So, to drop a bit of finance theory in here, Modigiliani & Miller demonstrated that in the absence of tax advantages, it makes no difference whether the capital of a firm is held as debt or equity.

    However, if you think that your business could go into administration, it is better to hold debt. I think that is a clue.

  19. Ciarans Dad says:

    A commitment to whom?
    LBG, Murray? they’re out and probably dont care what happens now.
    The independant board, probably, but sounds like they saw right through him.
    The fans, who he has told nothing about his plans other than warchests the like of which haven’t been seen before.
    Or is this another Hay McKerron moonbeam to the press to pass onto the hordes, me thinks this the most likely.

    Talking of Hay Mckerron, pity they hadn’t been around when wee fergus did his takeover, he would mibee have had a better deal from the laptop loy……. Oh!!!!!!!!! nothing to do with your PR company is it!!!

  20. ramsay smith says:

    My take on it is that the parties to the takeover were working on the assumption that the tax case was lost and that the tax bill would result in Administration. It might take eighteen months to finalise any appeal but Administration would be the outcome.

    That’s why the shares changed hands for a pound.

    If Administration occurs then obviously any undertaking to waive the debt is superseded. It flies off.

    But what if, for whatever reason, the tax case isn’t lost, or if the final sum due is manageable and Administration is unnecessary? And Minty has sold his shares for a pound? He’ll have been done up like a kipper and any surviving claim he has to be a big swinging dick is completely trashed.

    The undertaking to waive the debt squares the circle.

    Minty sells the club for a pound on the assumption that Administration is inevitable, if Administration is avoided the price in effect becomes a reputation saving £18m.

  21. DavyLaw says:

    Good to be able to read this level of analysis again. Thanks too for the clarity on the securitisation of assets. This taken together with all the cloak and dagger media manipulation would suggest that the “real deal’ remains highly speculative. Keep it coming!

  22. manila says:

    YAY ! … you’re alive.

    What’s it been now, since Scotland’s meterioc Billyionaire, Mr Whyte, dug in his pocket for the change from his taxi to Ibrox and slid a solitary one of Her Majesty’s pound coins across the table to Sir Mint … a couple of weeks?

    And in that time, the only thing offered to the salivating Huneratti by the Grand Whyte Wizard has been that tortuous in-house interview. Where he ay’d and ay”d and ay’d and ay’d and Rangers and ay’d and ay’d and Laudrup and ay’d and ay’d and Tax Case and ay’d and confident and ay’d. Hardly a stellar performance. Perhaps he’s too busy, perhaps he’s got the overalls on and is in fixing the undersoil heating or the big screens. Perhaps. With this information/pronouncement vacuum, where are the Scottish Press? Shoorley … “the fans have a right to know”

    What is also hunbelievable, is that once they mainlined the takeover, you now have a Rangers support tripping on Warchests, domestic domination and CL last-eight achievements. Did Whyte do his homework and realise that they could all be bought off so cheaply?

    On transfers. I agree that this wil be the litmus test. One thing though. It cannot be just this little blog and Celtic messageboards that are solely aware of the huns precarious financial position, their impending Tax Case and it’s impact for many football clubs. Therefore, surely any club they approach is going to be a little more cautious with respect to payment terms and “ah couplah ginger boattles doon and six years to pay”. might not cut it. If I was the selling club I’d be looking for a considerable amout of cash upfront on the basis that in a few months they didn’t exist. :eek:

    It’s all a pile of wrong … but very few want to know that. It’ll make the [alleged] demise all the more enjoyable.

  23. Ciarans Dad says:

    Great to have you back, was starting to get withdrawal !!!!
    You make a point “Of the £165m that Rangers lost under his stewardship, not a single net penny was contributed by Murray himself”
    Agreed, but he was good at getting others to splash their cash, ala ENIC & Dave King. Any thoughts on the Dave king scenario, how does this foil his future plans if ‘even Dodgier Dave’ still owns approx 5%?
    Alson on the transfer window, we have seen him possibly safeguard his investment by securing Ibroke and MP etc against debt, could he not also do the same with players purchased before the tax case outcome and therefore stop any sale of players or even go down the same route used to buy Jellyfish?

  24. DoctorMaturin says:

    When the FTT decision is made it will be published here:

    There seems to be a lie-time of 21 days or so between the decision and publication on the website. If the tribunal was concluded I would expect a couple of weeks avizandum before the judges made their decision.

    Even so, I think its remarkable that no-one seems to have the first idea of where we are in this process. Either that or someone is using some kind of legal device for preventing press reports of news they don’t want in the public domain.

    Hang on – that sounds familiar…

  25. paradisebhoy says:

    Good to see you back and on form RTC . I thought I’d share this little gem of homespun Philosophy from Rangers Media on 17/05/11
    “Anyway we WILL win this tax case hands down. The position Rangers are in is very very similar to say driving down a road at 40mph (which was the speed limit) and then the next day the road was changed to a 30mph. Should Rangers be guilty of speeding doing 40mph in a new 30mph zone?- NO of course not.”
    They really don’t get it do they ?

  26. Ciarans Dad says:

    See on Folly Folly one of them has actually started a thread asking a lot of pertinant questions about ye olde Whyte Knight and where his wealth has come from etc. He’s getting the usual shite from all the inmates. Laughable if it wasn’t a fact they have just won 3 in a row. Lets hope for some good news on the tax front :-)

  27. Mark says:

    makes you wonder, a more apt analogy would surely be….

    If you are doing 70mph in a 40 mph zone and you mow down a family killing all, then they change the speed limit to 30 mph a week later should you still be done for murder/manslaughter, of course you should…..muppets

  28. Thomas says:

    You’ve got to wonder how these people’s logic works.

    They think HMRC are closing/closed a loophole – correct.
    They think this loophole was used by Rangers – incorrect.

  29. On the subject of loopholes, we have addressed this several times on this blog, but it does merit repeating.

    People are collecting snippets from cases that have nothing to do with Rangers and, while armed with no more than they have read in the Scottish media, are trying to draw comfort from these unrelated cases.

    Vodaphone: “The tax man will do a deal of pennies on the pound”. The tax man only does deals when there is genuine ambiguity in the law. There is no ambiguity about what Rangers have done.

    “Human Rights: you cannot change the law retrospectively”: Regardless of the rights and wrongs of this issue, it does not apply to Rangers. The recent law change was targeting contractors who have jumped to successive tax schemes that had been identified as avoidance schemes. As each scheme would hit the courts and be found to be illegal, they would jump to the next and avoid taxes indefinitely. This has nothing to do with Rangers’ case.

    “Amnesty; HMRC are now offering deals”: Deals are being offered to those who used EBTs who want to come forward and admit to underpayment. It is cheaper for all concerned than going through the courts. Rangers would have to be willing to pay the £24m + £10-12m interest before amnesty could be considered. Even then it does not apply. The amnesty is intended for those who took bad advice from tax firms i.e. they wandered over the line rather.

    As mentioned before, Rangers did not follow external legal advice. A significant number of Rangers directors were aware that what they were doing was illegal. Yet they continued with their illegal activity for years regardless.

  30. Jeepster says:

    welcome back RTC hope you enjoyed yout hols, if they sell jelavic as is being mentioned for say 12 million would the profit be theirs???? or would tickitus own this?

  31. Thomas says:


    I’m sure Ticketus only have security over the season ticket revenues.

    Although it wouldn’t surprise me if Ticketus have security over what the loan was intended for. Much in the same way that if you apply for a bank loan they might go easier on you if it’s for a car (because it’s an asset) rather than say a holiday.

  32. Thomas,

    Do you have any information on Ticketus. Rangers’ interim accounts revealed a rise in short-term borrowing that was consistent with the Jelavic purchase. However, I have found no other evidence of the involvement of this firm.
    As for security interests, I am sure that any creditor would have insisted upon it, but it would be difficult to get a new creditor to line up with (then) Lloyds. Lloyds could have and should have blocked any effort to push them down the priority list for any of Rangers existing assets. In the absence of evidence, I would suspect that any new loan would have been secured against a new asset i.e. Jelavic himself.

    The short-term nature of the loans to pay for Jelavic will be interesting. Either, Rangers find another institution willing to restructure this into a long-term loan, assets will have to be sold to pay it, or Whyte’s backers will have to dig deep to repay it. I suspect that this crunch will come in August, but strictly speaking the Interim Results only imply that it has to be repaid by 31 Dec 2011.

  33. Thomas says:


    I only know what has been guessed at on this forum.

    I read a little about Ticketus and the Bradford(?) situation in that it was not long after that they were in serious doo doo.

    Then again they might have used it as a last ditch cash flow solution.

    I would guess that the loan would be secured in some form or another.

  34. Torquemada says:

    Welcome back, RTC. I’ve missed you (in a manly man way, of course!). lol!

    A question you’ve probably answered six times so far but I am still not sure: If the FTT goes against Rangers and they appeal, do they have to pay the tax bill up front BEFORE they appeal and then get it back if successful? This would have a cataclysmic impact on them, much more so than if they just spin it out hoping, Micawber-like, for something to turn up.

  35. Thomas says:


    My understanding so far was that should the FTT go against Rangers AND they appeal it straight away then HMRC can in fact pursue the bill up front IF they feel that the appeal is vexatious (e.g. Rangers are trying to stall payment).

    Should Rangers lose I would bet on HMRC asking for the core amount up front. I’m sure Rangers have opted for two seperate hearings – one for the core amount and one for the penalty/interests – but I could be wrong?

    An appeal would a desperate recourse for Rangers.

    Resistance is futile?

  36. Torquemada & Thomas,

    You are right that HMRC would have the right to demand payment shortly after winning the FTT- even if Rangers appeal.

    However, HMRC’s policy has been that if enforcing payment would drive a company into bankruptcy, they would wait until all appeals have been heard first.

    The issue is that HMRC are increasingly irritated by the idea that companies can use the appeals process just to delay payment. This delay usually reduces HMRC’s ability to collect. So there is a new willingness to put the boot in where they see the appeal as simply a delaying tactic.

    How will they view an appeal by Rangers? I have no idea but my guess is that tolerance for Rangers is pretty low.

  37. George Dallas Peat says:

    The laptop loyal are behaving in exactly the same way if not worse since Murray has supposedly left the scene. Murray by transferring all his shares in MIH to an offshore company is protecting himself for the day of reckoning. The fact that Whyte is being treated like Murray by the laptop loyal makes me think that Murray is still behind this. It is after all the only part of MIH that is still making good profits and generating lots of cash is it not ?

    Whyte has always wanted to be a big time charlie but never managed it hence why he has been hand chosen by Murrays team. Originally it was Andrew Ellis son of the former QPR chairman, David Ellis, This earlier attempt by him was vetoed by Murray. He didn´t have the funds and had a poor financial history especially in the football industry. I would suggest that it would also highlight the long standing relationship between David Murray and David Ellis who have rubbed shoulders within the channel islands for years.

    So what I am suggesting is that Murray is actually still the main architect behind all of this. That would indicate that this is all been done for Murrays benefit , whether Murray is mad enough to through Whyte to channel money from gangland Glasgow

    Here is Whyte taking in a game at Ibrox with James Mortimer and if you look at it. Whyte is clearly subordinate.

    As well as being a high profile attendee, along with the Prime Minister, at the Labour fundraising dinner the day before Steven Purcell’s little moment of cirsis, Mr Mortimer has entertained some intriguingly high profile people at his Club 29 in Glasgow.

    Such links between the Scottish Labour party and the mob have been raising eyebrows for the last few years. Like the Red Rose Dinner attended by Labour First Minister Jack McConnell and John Reid. It was also attended by a drug dealer by the name of Justin McAlroy who ended up dead six days later. James Mortimer also attended that dinner.

    His father, Tommy McAlroy, who is a close friend of Labour whip Frank Roy, has also been implicated in drug baroncy. And it’s also not the first time John Reid – a former Home Secretary for goodness sake – has had family connections reported that raise eyebrows – his father in law was arrested in a drugs bust.

    So you might be getting an idea why Gordon Brown was not exactly keen on drawing attention to the UK media about a story which has him and numerous senior Labour leaders wining and dining with people who have some seriously dodgy connections and backgrounds. If its full implications broke before the sixth of May it may not just destroy Scottish Labour but bring down Brown.

    above is taken from here

    Now if Gordon Brown wasn´t to keen to get involved as prim Minister .. maybe Murray or Whyte/Ellis is willing to get involved.

    Football clubs for years are excellent vehicles for washing money.

    Personally I think SIr David Murray would stoop so low. Either via remote unlinked involvement or prepared to go down this road and turn Rangers FC into the gambling casino that he originally wanted. All the players are there the dots just need joined up.

  38. Jean says:

    Welcome back RT……….thought that they had managed to shut you down! Loving the blog as ever and eagerly waiting in anticipation for the final outcome of this. If follow follow fans are starting to question Whytes financial situation the rumbles are starting from within. Whyte, I believe, said that he would put at least 10 million up for operational costs and 5 million to McCoist for signings. 5 million wont go far in todays world! Well unless you’re Neil Lennon of course! I find it hard to cast McCoist as being in the same mould as Lennon and I’ve a feeling the Rangers fans are going to be calling for his head before too long. You don’t really get time with these teams and if you don’t hit the ground running you’ve had it.

  39. Boab says:

    I laugh at the figure of £5m for signings. They spent more than that last year so it’s hardly the headline figure it’s intended to be.

    I also laugh at the £25m over 5 years. How can anyone realistically say that. They have no way of knowing how much their profits or losses will be in those years, football is famously unpredictable. Unless of course Rangers are willing to go deeper back into debt, and someone (Whyte’s backer(s)) is willing to lend them that money.

    It would be funny if Mr Whyte were to claim that they could no longer afford to spend as he promised, because of unforseen problems which had appeared. It would not only be the longest period of due dilligence in history, it would also be the worst.

  40. On the issue of McCoist, obviously new coaches are higher risk than established ones. However, we really don’t know anything about McCoist’s coaching abilities.

    Just as many Celtic fans were passionate that appointing Lennon would be a disaster, McCoist stands as good a chance as any to be successful.

    Lennon was a winner all his days. He had the example set by O’Neil, he played with Larsson and Sutton, he knows what it is like to knock Barcelona out of a European competition, he beat Man Utd (and almost everyone else) at home. He played in a European final.

    McCoist has the advantage of having studied under Smith. If he continues with Smith’s approach, Rangers will never be easy to beat regardless of how much they have to spend. McCoist also knows about success, but perhaps not to the extent of Lennon. We should not dismiss McCoist.

  41. Mark says:

    If that offer of 23 is realistic and true, rangers must be absolutely cr@pping themselves. To own up to 23mill tax debt they must fear at least the same again in penalites etc…..please be true PLEEEASE….oh yeh it if does come true no doubt Neil Lennon will be to blame?

  42. Ciarans Dad says:

    But who offered it, MIH, Murray, LBG or Whyte?
    Or is it a configuration of any of the above!!

  43. Tommy1690 says:

    re: Torquemada’s question on Rangers submitting a further appeal, should the FTT result go against them.

    Correct me if I am wrong but Rangers do not have an automatic right to further appeals up the chain. My understanding is that should Rangers appeal this result then a court/tribunal will review the evidence and grounds for the further appeal. If it considers that the FTT decision is not flawed then it will not allow Rangers leave to make a further appeal. Even if it does grant a higher appeal, does it also have the power to insist on Rangers lodging a substantial sum in advance of the hearing to deter them from using it as a time-to-pay stalling tactic?

  44. Fritz Agrandoldteam says:

    Thank Gawd you’re back RTC! I was beginning to think the Forces of Darkness had nobbled you.

  45. peter lamb says:

    as confident as we all where that you where ok and just aff on holiday……am sure we where all bricking it that “me” and his cronies had got to you!!! glad your back and on as good form as ever! looking forward to the posts on the next possible steps for whytes rangers. i can see some free transfers coming in to help with funds during the fire sale!! this will keep the hordes of mordor happy and mean he doesn’t have to spend any of his “billions”!

  46. Mark says:

    RTC, don’t give too much away about your holidays or whether you are at work or not, this could be investigated to see which employee this all correlates to. “Holiday in Sun” could mean “busy at work” correct?

    I wonder when we are going to see a “cambuslang” miniature displayed for the press to goo over on the site of Ibrox?

    It put the timeline at 12 hours after the published results of the tax case.

  47. peter lamb says:

    where are the rumours of the £23m offer coming from i mean i haven’t heard anything in the mainstream press………………………….hahaha i almost couldn’t type that!! hahahahaha!! mainstream press!!
    but seriously where has the rumour come from cant find it anywhere on the interweb!!?

  48. If you search on twitter you will find several mentions.

    As I say, I know nothing about this one. While it is possibly true, I am a bit skeptical. It would take Whyte’s investment far beyond any amount on which he could ever realise a profit.

  49. Mark Dickson says:

    RTC – it wouldn’t cost Whyte or his investors a penny if they offered to ring-fence potential Champions League money to pay HMRC ?

  50. The Black Knight says:

    RTC, a great article again and some very pertinent comments.

    I for one am starting to believe that the “Whyte Knight” is increasingly becoming a lowly Pawn, used in an ever expanding and complicated game of financial chess.

    I can only construct from recent developments that he has been solely brought in for two reasons:

    1. A new owner that has pledged to bring success to the club. This “investment” will bring the hordes to purchase their season tickets and a chance to invest in the future of Football Rangers Club Ltd. This will generate an interim sum of money to cover running costs and the servicing of the operating costs and repairs. Perhaps some purchasing of new players? (Only if others are sold)

    2. By “shifting” the debt from DM to Whyte (or whichever company it is that “owns” Rangers) it gives two clear signals. One, DM has left Dodge City in a hurry and Two the bank are now in a key position to get the money which is owed to them. Previously under DM and MIH this was becoming increasingly unlikely.

    I think wider questions have to be asked in regard to the goings on at this club. You have touched on these previously. This isn’t just about the potential tax bomb. This has more to do with the running of a club, that with despite very successful domestic campaigns and trips into Europe over the past 10 years or so, this club (company) has made NOTHING in terms of real profit.

    I am led to believe this is most apparent on p10 (?) of Rangers latest interim accounts, that show a loss of £76M (citation required here) being wiped off the balance sheet by setting against the grossly overvalued estate.

    I await Whytes next move with interest.

  51. Ciarans Dad says:

    From Folly Folly
    Tinhat on here but lets be honest just because the guy doesn’t want the world to know his business is not in itself a reason to doubt his credentials.

    He satisfied SDM and Lloyds that he had the money. So although both had an interest they weren’t going to sell to someone who would put us straight into administration.

    Re the tax issue, Goldman Sacchs recently did a deal with the tax man on EBT’s where they paid only NI contributions due, no penalties. So just maybe Phil is wrong and the advisors the Club have are right and it is not a huge issue.

    But more than anything else surely we should give the guy a chance, lets see what he can do to transform Rangers.

    At least wait until we have a problem rather than trying to create one before it has happened. The guy seems to have a good knowledge and track record of turning companies around and that is what we need.

    Of course the other lot want to see us fail, it is the only way they can succeed is by our failure.

    Lets enjoy what we have at present and give Craig Whyte some time to lay out his plans for the club which he will surely do in his own time.
    See “whataboutery” is alive and well. They forget their situation is different from Goldman Sach’s.
    Will be interesting to hear the benefitting players evidence on EBT’s.

    I like the line “The guy seems to have a good knowledge and track record of turning companies”
    Does he know something we and the press dont know????

  52. I love that idea: “The guy seems to have a good knowledge and track record of turning companies”

    Can anyone can name a single company purchased by Whyte and sold for a profit or operated for substantial profits? I would genuinely like to know if one exists. (Along with the evidence of having made any money).

  53. Ciarans Dad says:

    “There are none so blind as those who will not see”
    Never a more apt phrase comes to mind when discussing their belief that all will be ok.

  54. LightingMonkey says:

    I think in terms of the amount he’s invested, he’s ended up making at least a couple of million out of MHG. He’s consistently been able to sell blocks of shares at 2-3 times what he paid for them due to the options he got for bailing the company out.

    Not even close to the amounts involved with RFC obviously but an indication that he knows how to make money from a failing company. :)

  55. LightningMonkey,
    Can you point me towards any documents to this effect?

    The complex chain of firms that Whyte invests in looks more like a boiler room scam to me.
    Co. A buys shares in Co. B which buys shares in Co. C… …which buys shares in Co. A.
    It looks like a lot of money is changing hands but I have not been able to track anything more than a few hundred k actually changing hands. [This would replicate how a boiler room scam works. The trades are designed to boost the prices of all involved and then you have someone who owns a small stockbroking firm to sell the inflated shares to “marks”. Then the scammers do a runner to pocket their profits]

    What companies has Whyte actually turned around? i.e. which companies were able to operate much more profitably after Whyte got involved? All I can find is a collection of shady firms with poor filing track records. So it is impossible to say what he has done. I would love to look at a good example of Whyte’s work.

  56. LightingMonkey says:


    Sorry didn’t realise you’d replied.

    In terms of his money making from MHG it’s pretty much all in the company RNS releases on the investor news section of their site and it took me an afternoon to trawl all the way back through them. And having just checked back through I’ve realised my post above is a bit wrong.

    It’s more correct to say he has the potential to make about £2M (as it stands) from an investment of around £650k. Which is a decent return but obviously doesn’t dent what he needs for Rangers and more importantly has yet to be realised and at the moment 30% of the company is only worth £400k.

    At various times he’s sold shares into the market then exercised warrants/options to generate cash although never in massive amounts.

    As an aside, I’ve seen some tipping MHG as a share to watch that may increase in value up to 10x or so. It may yet turn out to be a decent punt.

  57. LightingMonkey says:

    This is a wee bit spammy but I’ve just registered for a new company info site called duedil. Seems to be quite a good source for eg directors of companies and key financials etc. It’s free. if you want to check it out use it’s here

  58. timtim says:

    Goldman Sachs are the most corrupt company on the planet (after JP Morgan)
    they practically own the US Govt, their power and influence is almost unlimited
    Rfc only own the Scottish media
    sorry offtrack a bit there
    IF Rfc offered £23m to settle where on earth would that money come from
    (selling Jelavic,Buggeraw, McGregor and the rest of the 1st team squad ?)
    I doubt it was true tbh

  59. Timtim,
    We can say what we want about Whyte, but when you start attacking Goldman Sachs I really do start to fear for my own safety. :-)

    [They are not as bad as they are often painted, but Goldman understands the importance of cornering a market. Once they own the market in a trade, they will manipulate it for their full advantage. Their defence is that it is for governments to make doing that illegal. That brings us to your point over the influence they wield over governments].

  60. Mark Dickson says:

    Assuming the rumour is true and not just baloney ………………

    £23 Million pounds seems to be a close approximation of what RFC could expect to earn by qualifying for the Champions League group stages next season plus other European revenues so perhaps the Sticky Buns thought they could use that money from UEFA to settle the Tax-Bill ?

    Of course automatic qualification is not certain and a few qualifiers to be negotiated first but Rangers will enter via the Champions qualifying route and thus should avoid many of the big clubs from bigger leagues so that strikes me as what Whyte & co might have thought they could have bargained on offering HMRC the Champions league money to make it all go away?

  61. Mark Dickson says:

    Sorry to quote myself but they key point I wanted to make and omitted was that IF my scenario was accurate then Whyte wouldn’t be using any of his own or his investors money to settle the Tax case and instead would use Rangers potentially considerable additional revenues from their Champions League participation …. now if HMRC knocked it back because it is not 100% guaranteed revenue that would also make sense.

  62. Boab says:

    It would be a “financially compelling argument” to ther businesses (I know HMRC aren’t a business it’s just easier to put it that way) and under different circumstances. These are not normal circumstances for HMRC, particularly in relation to tax avoidance schemes, and very much so in relation to EBTs. There is much more to it than a simple, “what is the most cost effective solution here” consideration. One of them being, can we actually accept a precedent like this and basically invite others to do the same.

    At the very least HMRC will establish the debt. If you know how these things work that is a significant step. They will then try to collect the debt, and will do all they can to achieve that. They may even insist that the stadium actually be sold, assuming that Whyte now holds it’s value as security. They will certainly question any value put on it which only goes to “clear” the debt to Whyte. I say again, for HMRC to get nothing one has to accept that the total value of the assets in the business are about £22m. They would fight that valuation, and that itself would drag things on. Why would they be in any hurry to conclude matters when someone is clearly trying to shaft them. Someone who has done it before.

    Whatever happens in a scenario like this they will impose a security on any “phoenix” company. That is just standard practice now, and certainly for avoidance cases. Having a debt established will help them in doing this.

    People are still seeing this as analogous with what happened at Dundee and how creditors, including HMRC were shafted. It would not be the same in this case, not if more than half of the debt is owed to HMRC. Remember a large proportion of the debt is now actually owed to another arm of Rangers “parent” company.

    On that, I will be interested to see how that is reflected in the accounts for YE June 2011. Who are the actual creditors, is it the same business as the one who holds the shares.

  63. I think a simpler explanation would be that they simply would have offered the underpayment and hope to save on interest and penalties.

    The core argument Rangers will have made in any of their settlement efforts would be:
    “Look, the bank (now Whyte) have security interests on the first £18-20m. After statutory payments, you (HMRC) will be lucky to receive anything through administration. So why don’t we save you further legal bills and we will pay you £4m / £10m / £23m?”

    Financially, it is a compelling argument if viewed narrowly. There must be a bigger picture issue involving Rangers for such offers to have been rejected.

  64. Mark Dickson says:

    Rangers offers might have been rejected because they simply don’t or didn’t have the actual money to pay?

  65. Boab says:

    My last, just above, is in the wrong place, sorry. It was supposed to be a reply to RTC. The quote at the start should make that obvious.

  66. Sorry Boab. I am hoping that it was your mistake. The wordpress application should have settled down after the mess that the last post replies got into.

  67. Boab says:

    Assume that it was my mistake.

    Occums Razor and so forth.

  68. Chris says:

    Mark, I know (with the exception of RTC and his inside info) we’re all kind of throwing bones in the air and seeing how they land, but I don’t think that the idea of paying off HMRC with CL money works, even outwith the fact that it’s not guarateed.
    Over the past two years rfc paid back roughly £5million/year to Lloyds which suggests that they would be left with an ~£18million shortfall to operate their club in the coming season if they used all of that to ‘remove’ the tax case.

    Welcome back RTC!

  69. Chris,

    You raise a point often overlooked in all of this mess: the general mismanagement of Rangers FC.

    For all of their complaints about dealing with “the meany bank”, for Rangers to have failed to have cut operating costs significantly should be a cause for concern. Three years of CL money will have given them about £60-65m of incremental revenue with few costs attached. They should have been able to wipe their debts and make a substantial down-payment on a legal contingency fund for the tax case.
    That their profits have been small over this period shows the extent of investment that they have continued to receive beyond what makes economic sense.

  70. Adam says:

    Rangers have cut their operational costs though. The reason our “debt”(as in the one you hear about and not the hidden one that includes creditors which you described on the last thread but perhaps missed my counter question on it) has not decreased is because a lot of the cash we have been getting from CL participation has been paying off transfer fees we got on credit from seasons ago.

    On the 1st July 2008, we owed £17 million to trade creditors which in the main was transfer fees.
    On the 1st July 2010, we had reduced that to £2.4 m due to trade creditors.

    Thats where all the additional cash has been going.

    Interestingly enough, as a comparison figure, Celtic had £16.5 due to be paid as at 1st July 2010 but as you rightly pointed out on the last thread, this is hidden from the fans for the smoke and mirror debt figures that both clubs produce. :-)

    I read elsewhere an amazing stat and having checked it up, its true.

    During Peter Lawwells reign as CEO of Celtic, including forecasted results this year:

    Rangers = £0.5m profit
    Celtic = £3m loss

  71. Boab says:

    That’s interesting Adam, I wouldn’t mind seeing the figures which you have used / checked to come up with those results.

  72. Adam says:

    In response to Boab


    2004 – £7.5m loss
    2005 – £8.7m loss
    2006 – £4.2m loss
    2007 – £15m profit
    2008 – £4.1m profit
    2009 – £2.0m profit
    2010 – £2.1m loss
    2011 – £1.6m loss forecasted


    2004 – £6.8m loss
    2005 – £11.8m profit
    2006 – £1.2m loss
    2007 – £6.3m loss
    2008 – £7.2m profit
    2009 – £12.7m loss
    2010 – £4.2m profit
    2011 – £4.3m profit forecasted

  73. Adam,

    I was allowing for the accruals for previous years’ purchases. I am still very surprised that expenses have not dropped faster. Perhaps something to do with having to start paying PAYE??? (Just a guess).

    That the accruals from unpaid purchases have been such an issue also puts paid to the myth that the club has not been spending. The splurge after Unirea and last summer cannot be discounted. A club complaining about the bank, but which still spent more than would be wise for any business? It makes you wonder how reckless the “independent” board members would have been had the bank not been restraining them.

    However, I am genuinely surprised that expenses have remained as high as they have. I know that the water damage would have been expensive, but that is just a reflection on the management.

  74. Adam says:

    Sorry, bottom set of figures are Rangers and not Celtic as i have wrote Boab.

  75. Adam,

    (Edited your post- and this one).

    That is more like it. Although, Rangers received at least £20m more than Celtic for European football in the past season. This money should have a very high contribution margin (i.e. it costs very little extra to play these games). Yet, Rangers report a disproportionately small profit?

  76. Adam says:

    RTC – What makes you think we are forecasting a loss ??

  77. Adam says:

    Fair enough RTC, but the bottom line is that without those huge trade creditors around our necks then the outlook for this seasons results and next seasons, should we manage to get past those 2 tricky ties (not a given) is good especially when compared to the £16.5m that is owed by Celtic for these interest free transfers.

  78. Adam,

    I misread your post above. I thought you were saying Rangers were projecting a loss. hence the edit.

    I am firm in my belief that both Celtic and Rangers need to have budgets that do not assume CL qualification in this day and age. Anything else spells eventual disaster for either or both clubs.

    Celtic’s expenses are still too high, but the sale of McGeady means that Celtic have no immediate crisis. However, Rangers’ expenses are absurdly too high given the difficulty of qualification. Fantastic if it happens, but you would have to be a dreamer to bet the house on it.

    Remove CL qualification and Rangers will face something close to a financial crisis even without the tax case. There are many questions over RFC’s access to credit lines now. You may be relying on the generosity of your new owners rather than existing lines of credit. If you new owners are not considered credit worthy, that could be a problem.

  79. Adam says:

    Find this quite a strange statment “Yet, Rangers report a disproportionately small profit?”

    Of the last 8 years, if forecasts are correct then Rangers will have recorded 4 out of the top 5 Profit performances between the 2 clubs, 3 of which have came in the last 4 years.

    On what grounds do you think ours is disproportionately small given that the only comparison out there is our greatest rivals.

  80. Boab says:

    Thanks for that Adam, I appreciate the effort

    I’m surprised that Rangers profit forecast for this year is just a bit over 4m, that seems a bit low to me. Given the amount of income from the CL.

    I’m also surprised that Celtic’s forecast loss is as low as it says there. That does seem overly optimistic. I had thought it would have been higher.

    Anyway, what does jump out about those figures is that Rangers make money when they play in the Champions League and that is what has made the club profitable. That is a testament to the players and the management that they have done this and basically kept the business afloat. In spite of what the owners and board have done. More power to Mr Smith and his staff, they are to be congratulated.

    However, and here’s the big however. What would those figures have looked like without that Champions League money. This is the big issue which people seem to always miss. What happens without that money. Where does profit come from.

  81. Adam says:

    PS – I 100% agree that neither club should budget for it. I am also of the opinion that neither club will make a profit in the foreseeable future without it though.

    Thats the reality, and the unfortunate beast, that CL football has created.

    the above statement is easily backed up if you look at the last 5 seasons.

    On every single occasion Rangers or Celtic have been in the CL group stages, they have recorded a Profit. In every single occasion they havent been in it, they have made a loss.

    Thats 10 sets of results out of 10 that prove the reality of where we are right now.

  82. Adam says:

    Boab, read my other replies. The forecasts will mean 4 out of the top 5 profits over 8 years have came from Rangers. Im surprised you think this is low when the evidence from your own team is that you havent done any better on 4 previous occasions with CL money.

    And as i have said above, without the CL money, we would be on a one way ticket back to debtville. Which is exactly the way Celtic are heading as well, and have been for the past 2 years.

    PS – before anyone starts, thats not to say Celtic will be meet the same constraints that were put on Rangers, just stating a fact.

  83. Adam,

    I have to go out, but we will come back to this issue. It is worth some more detailed analysis, but my point is the size of Rangers’ loss without CL money. It is a huge risk to take given the qualification path now.
    Have Celtic made similar assumptions about qualification in the past? Absolutely.
    However, the superficial read looks as if Celtic have a better handle on their fixed costs than do Rangers.
    I will do some digging and post back later (or I would be grateful if you or someone else was to look into it).

    The key point here is that when one or both clubs had a decent chance (and one club had a guarantee) of CL money, there was some logic in building that into budgets. Today, that seems like crazy talk for either club.

  84. easyJambo says:

    Some figures that may help tie in with the benefit or otherwise of CL progress
    Figures in £ks from annual reports
    Celtic Turnover Wages Ratio
    2004/05 62,168 37,394 60%
    2005/06 57,411 32,490 57%
    2006/07 75,237 36,421 48%
    2007/08 72,953 38,981 53%
    2008/09 72,587 38,751 53%
    2009/10 61,715 36,483 59%
    2004/05 55,134 27,303 50%
    2005/06 61,165 27,989 46%
    2006/07 41,768 24,258 58%
    2007/08 64,452 34,339 53%
    2008/09 39,704 30,662 77%
    2009/10 56,287 28,133 50%

  85. Adam says:

    Just in case my answers get lost.

    Ok had a look at our Net Operating Expenses.

    2008 = £56.8m
    2009 = £48.2m
    2010 = £43.8m

    Had a look further back to see what we were in 2005 and it was £57m

    So in short, our Net Operating expenses reduced by £13m over the period of 2 years.

    As a comparison Celtics were

    2008 = £64.1m
    2009 = £61.4m
    2010 = £57.2m

    Difference between Celtic and Rangers = £33.9m over 3 years.

    Easyjambo – so on average Celtics over that period has been 55% and Rangers 54%.

  86. easyJambo says:

    Same T/O and Wages stats as before with European progress included

    Celtic Turnover Wages Ratio Euro Progress
    2004/05 62,168 37,394 60% CL Group
    2005/06 57,411 32,490 57% Lost CL qual
    2006/07 75,237 36,421 48% CL Group + last 16
    2007/08 72,953 38,981 53% CL Group + last 16
    2008/09 72,587 38,751 53% CL Group
    2009/10 61,715 36,483 59% Europa League Group
    2004/05 55,134 27,303 50% UEFA Cup Group
    2005/06 61,165 27,989 46% CL Group + last 16
    2006/07 41,768 24,258 58% UEFA Cup last 16
    2007/08 64,452 34,339 53% CL Group + UEFA Cup Final
    2008/09 39,704 30,662 77% Lost CL qual
    2009/10 56,287 28,133 50% CL Group

  87. Mark Dickson says:

    It depends on how much they’ve cut their costs, their profitability etc. Anyway as Whye appears to have used Other Peoples Money wherever possible it strikes me as he would try to cut a deal to use Rangers / UEFA money to try to settle the tax-case and thus not his own obviously!

  88. Boab says:

    It would also mean him getting a “time to pay” facility. All of that would have been dealt with pre-tribunal.

    Kind of like eating your cake and still having it.

    We want to appeal and go to tribunal.

    Fair do’s tribunal it is.

    Presentation of evidence (possibly to completion).

    We want to go back a stage, make an offer and have time to pay please.

  89. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    why wouldn’t Whyte use RANGERS money to pay RANGERS tax bill?

  90. Boab says:

    What money would that be. If you are talking about potential Champions League money they haven’t actually qualified for it yet. If they do they will have to wait to get it, some of it will be next year.

    It’s hardly a bargaining chip to take to HMRC, we can pay this with money we might earn. If it does become “Rangers money” as you describe it then there is no reason why they wouldn’t use it to pay “Rangers tax bill”. Quite the reverse, I would encourage them to do exactly that and pay what they are due. I’m sure Her Majesty’s Government will do exactly the same thing.

    Apologies if you are referring to some other money which is “Rangers money”.

  91. peter lamb says:

    if they where able to pay £23m with champions league money then why where they still in £27m debt before the takeover why didnt they just pay off lloyds with this money last year and murray not have to sell their club.i dont think this holds up at all to be honest!

  92. Truth seeker says:

    So glad, this blog is back in action, there was a massive hole in my life. Need to look after this addiction. ha ha

    Seriously tho, I think a lot of people are wrongly focusing on whyte, what about ellis, who was orginally bidding for rangers last year?

    I thought that his bid was in a consortium with ellis? could ellis not be putting up a reasonable about of money for the 18million debt payment to LLoyds? Surely as a recognised property developer, his true wealth will be easier to confirm.

    Whyte is clearly the ‘rangersman’ frontman of this sham??

  93. I suspect that in time you will be proven correct i.e. the focus on Whyte will be a red herring to a lagre extent. However, we need to know more about who is backing him. Ellis? He has no money either.
    As a wise man once said: “Follow the money”.

  94. Mark Dickson says:

    There are only 2 possible ways for Craig Whyte / RFC to be able to make a £23M offer to settle the tx-case

    1. Further investment or loans in RFC by Whye & his investors.
    2. Using a proportion of Rangers own revenue or generated funds (with Champions League revenue being the most easily identifiable source of a possible £23M apart from RFC season ticket sales of course!)

    Whyte’s track record thus far has been a minimal amount of unsecured money to buy the club and transferring back debt but crucially also transferring the securities over assets.

    I think it s FAR MORE likely and in keeping with Whyte’s modus operandi that he would use other peoples money to settle with the tax man than any of his own or his investors.

  95. Boab says:


    What sort of dividends would these people be looking for.

    As you say, so far Whyte has spent £1, and appears to have used other people’s money to buy the secured loans from Lloyds. Taking on that debt, but having it comfortably ensured against assets. So not a huge risk involved there, even if rangers do go under. Whyte and his backers are covered.

    However any payment to HMRC, however large, is simply money spent. It is money down the drain with nothing back for it. Anyone paying into that particular black hole will surely be looking for a pretty hefty return on it.

  96. Mark Dickson says:


    That is why I think Whyte assuming the rumour is true would only have offered the potential ‘free money’ that Rangers get from the Champions League – that is a huge financial bonus for whoever qualifies and probably the quickest and easiest way to raised a sum of approx £23M ??

  97. Boab says:

    That’s not free money though, it’s what has put Rangers in profit for the last couple of years, so he certainly couldn’t have offered all of it. He would at least have needed to keep enough to break even, plus presumably a small profit for working capital

    There’s also two major stumbling blocks. Firstly it is not guaranteed, not yet anyway. Secondly they don’t get it all straight away, at least some of it would be next year. So the “offer” would be based on money Rangers can’t guarantee having, and even when they do it won’t be for some time.

    For this “offer” they want to cancel all interest and penalties and get time to pay. All things which would have been discussed prior to Rangers going to a Tribunal.

    It just doesn’t sound very likely to me.

    Oh and one last thing. Why would MIH / Rangers not make the same offer.

  98. To the abusive “Bob” complaining that his replies are not getting through moderation, where did I ever promise to stop posting if the takeover went through? (If you want to repost in a constructive way, I will allow your questions. Plenty of criticism is allowed on here. However, if you just want FF style bile hurling, start your own blog. Funny that I am accused of being an obsessive, by people who insist on reading everything I write!)

    I was pretty sure that the story being spun in the Scottish media was untrue i.e. that Rangers would be sold for £33m/£53m, that the tax bill would be paid by Murray or Lloyds or the tax firm, or that the tax case was nothing to worry about. This much I knew was PR lies because it made no sense.
    Read the blog posts. I discuss the possibility of a deal going through and about six weeks before the deal went through, I spoke openly about being told that Whyte was seriously trying to raise funds.

    The only aspect where I have claimed specific knowledge is over how Rangers’ tax scam operated and why it is very illegal. You might be a tad surprised about how I came by this information, but we might cover that when all of the dust settles.

  99. Lord Wobbly says:

    Great to have you back RTC. I was beginning to think that Whyte’s (lets call them Whyte’s) legal team had sought an Interdict against you! (Have you got Paul McBride’s number? lol)

    Good to see the usual suspects wading in and a good few ‘new faces’ also. Do you get the feeling that we’ve missed you?

  100. Thanks. It is nice to be appreciated!

    As mentioned early in this blog, I did not start posting without working through the risks and attacks. Suffice to say, I am reasonably comfortable that I will be fine. There are a few insurance policies out there. The end result of a legal challenge would be me presenting my evidence supporting my views on a few individuals in open court. I think they would be wiser to leave me as a “Kerrydale St accountant” spewing his fantasies on the internet. ;-)

  101. Adam says:

    I agree its a risk.
    I agree they shouldnt do it.
    They probably dont, anymore.
    But if your budget says a £4 m loss and youve went through every line and cant find another dime, then its still going to say a £4 m loss. Especially in an industry where “winning” is the only option available to you.

  102. Bawsman says:

    Great blog my friend, good to see it back.

    Where do Rangers stand with respect to gaining a licence from the SFA to compete in UEFA competitions this year?

  103. Adam says:

    Ok had a look at our Net Operating Expenses.

    2008 = £56.8m
    2009 = £48.2m
    2010 = £43.8m

    Had a look further back to see what we were in 2005 and it was £57m

    So in short, our Net Operating expenses reduced by £13m over the period of 2 years.

  104. Adam says:

    As a comparison Celtics were

    2008 = £64.1m
    2009 = £61.4m
    2010 = £57.2m

    Difference between Celtic and Rangers = £33.9m over 3 years.

  105. Boab says:

    You’re comparing apples with oranges when you just look at purchases, Adam.

    Rangers and Celtic operate differently in relation to merchanding. Rangers only report their net profit from it, as they have outsourced that part of the business. Celtic on the other hand record both sales and cost of sales.

  106. Lord Wobbly says:

    I take your point Adam. But the glaring difference is the level of financial shite that both clubs have got themselves in. If Celtic had been staring down the HMRC barrel that Rangers have, then I have no doubt that belts would have been tightened and figures improved. We have stared oblivion in the face once before and survived. Rangers may yet survive, but I suspect more belt tightening has yet to come before your future is decided.

  107. Adam says:

    Thats fair enough Boab. My reply was to the original accusation that we have “failed to cut operating costs significantly” made by RTC.

    I would suggest that a £13m reduction in Annual operating expenses is “significant”

  108. Boab says:

    No problem with that Adam, just pointing out that the comparison part didn’t really work when the businesses worked so differently.

    With regard the cost cuts, clearly they were needed and Rangers have managed to do that. If I was a fan I would want to look a bit deeper than the headline figure. Where have these cuts been achieved. I think some will be cuts in the overall salary budget, but some may be other things like maintainance. If stories are to be believed the stadium could do with a bit of repair and this may just be building problems for the future.

    They have clearly done well in cost cutting, and clearly needed to. However at what cost long term.

  109. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    do those operating expenses include money that SHOULD have been paid to HMRC? :-)

  110. tomtom says:

    RTC do you have any information on the shareholdings in Wavetower (or whatever name they are going under at the moment)?

    The media has widely reported that Craig Whyte purchased Rangers shares from Minty. If the debt has been transferred to Wavetower then surely it must have been them who purchased the club and not Craig Whyte personally. As I have previously posted Wavetower was set up by Ellis last September and Whyte only appears under them in February. That being the case unless Ellis has sold Wavetower to Whyte then it surely follows that Whyte did not actually buy Rangers.

  111. tomtom says:

    Sorry but Truth seekers post is basically asking the same question. (I’ve just driven up from London, I’m dog tired, and I didn’t read all the other posts before I posted mine!).

    You know my feelings on Ellis. I think that last year Murray probably cacked himself at the prospect of being seen to sell out to a property developer. Kinda knocks his statement of only selling the club to someone with Rangers interests at heart into touch. Who knows maybe he told Ellis to go away and find a “supporter” who could front the deal, Minty saves face and gets rid of the monkey.

    However, Murray = Property Developer, Ellis = Property Developer – they couldn’t be in it together could they? Strange things have happened.

  112. Brendan says:

    …2nd week in July, Mcgregor deal nearing completion,3rd week in July Rangers receive offer for Boughera, last week in July Mcgregor deal hits snag..head being turned by EPL giants,Sally promised significant funds to strengthen squad for CL qualifiers. August..Mcgregor sold for 5 million, Boughera for a million, rumours of Davis heading back to the EPL…WHyte dissappointed with Mcgregors lack of loyalty and now too late to complete a major signing before CL qualifiers. End of August Rangers will not be held to ransom in bid for Willo.Jelavic signs for Norwich.

    Happy days LoL

  113. ciarans Dad says:

    I’m not an accountant but just wonder if you factor in the £51m moved from RFC to MIH (dodgy daves move the debt about but make it look like a shares issue) and then the £24m under payment in PAYE, how does the last decade look between Rankers and Celtic given that there was no financial fair play as SDM helped in his own way to bring ruin to the financial institutions!!

  114. Adam says:

    ciarans Dad, the £51m was a share issue. It wasnt moved from RFC to MIH. It was a MIH company who underwrote the £51m and put it into Rangers to clear the massive debts we had at the time.

    Like Rangers, Celtic have had share issues to ease debt problems over the years. To the tune of £47 million(minimum as i can only remember 3 but think there was a 4th) i believe.

    As for the PAYE, well thats an ongoing case and we need to wait to see the outcome of that. I think though we are starting to lose the point here. The point being that neither club can be profitable without CL money and that we have reduced our Net Operating expenses significantly over the last couple of years, contrary to what was stated.

  115. ciarans Dad says:

    Sorry, posted before I had finished. What I was going to ask does the above mean that ranjurs would have still been around if another £75m of losses had been on the books or that they would have been able to buy all the players they have over the last few years, so basically what I am asking does it all amount to financial doping.

    PS. Still waiting for Carlos Duvall to answer the questions put to him a few weeks back..

  116. Adam says:

    If it was financial doping, then im sure we will see people in court.

    If i was you though, i wouldnt hold my breath on that.

    They had advice. They had the scheme working elsewhere in the Group. They had the pressure from a multi-millionaire businessman who surely knew what he was doing. They got it wrong. Probably. Perhaps. Potentially.

  117. jac smith says:

    Nicely Put.

    No one makes a penny when one invests in a Soccer Club.

    Why should Mr. Whyte expect to make a peny,either?

    My guess.

    He is investing in Rangers for their real holdings.

    What do you say?

    Do you agree?


  118. ciarans Dad says:

    At least the Celtic share issues were to raise capital unlike rangers to wipe out years of overspending. Also Celtics at least had the semblance of an issue with fans and financial institutions oversubscribing to each issue where as Dave had to buy his own shares as everyone, even his own brethren, seeing it for what it was, a get out of debt scheme.

  119. Adam says:

    Not sure what any of that or the share issues have with the topic in hand but if you want me to concede that Celtic fans chucked £40m into the club whilst Rangers fans clearly saw what Murray was up to and refused to bail HIM out then yes, i agree.

  120. Boab says:

    Subscribing to a share issue is not “chucking money into the club” Adam. It is buying a share in it.

    Ppeople talk about fan ownership all of the time. We already have the facility to do that, it is called buying shares.

    However you are right in one thing, Celtic’s share issues have been succesfull. People have wanted to buy the shares, and that is new money being invested in the club. Sales, share issues or borrowing. That is how you get money into a PLC.

  121. Adam says:

    Boab, buying shares in a football club is “chucking your money in” Ask the £600 quid subscribers of the first share issue at Celtic Park what their ownership is worth now and what they get out of it.

    Its a purchase of the heart and fine well you know it mate.

  122. Boab says:

    I didn’t say it was a wise or profitable investment. I know a lot of people with shares in Celtic and not one of them thinks they will ever make any money, or even get their investment back. It is as you say an investment of the heart rather than of the head.

    That however does not mean they were “chucking money at the club” as you described it (in deliberately emotive terms). It was buying a share in the club simply to know that they not only supported it but were also part owner.

    Out of interest Celtic shares have held their value reasonably well over the last couple of years if I remember correctly. Rangers on the other hand dropped from about 48p to about 30p over the space of a year (again from memory). That’s ignoring the fact that 85% of them recently sold for £1 obviously.

  123. Ciarans Dad says:

    What it has to do with Adam, is that you were showing the money that was/could be made from rangers if involved in champions league whilst trimming costs. The point i was making is that rangers moved a lot of debt from one part of MIH to another to shore up what was an already bankrupt institution and that was before they illegally underpaid their PAYE bill.
    So factoring in the removed debt along with PAYE, even with CL money which is not guaranteed you have to wonder where Whytey thinks he can make this work and get a return on his benefactors money.
    The issue of Celtic having succesful share issues is that they never spent what they didn’t have until they had it, where as Murray was attempting a share issue to pay off an overdraft. Big difference!!

  124. Adam says:

    Celtic shares have dropped from 69p to 39 p in last 3 years. In same period rangers shares have dropped from 57 p to 30 p.

  125. Boab says:

    I didn’t know they were as high as 69p that recently. I thought that the had gone from about 52p to 44p, is that in a shorter period. I have to confess to rarely looking back further than1 year.

  126. jbj712 says:


    did the RFC not say that Whyte would send a letter to their shareholders – setting out where his funds came from?

  127. Adam says:

    He did jbj. Said originally by the 16th May, then changed it to 6th June.

    Im on record as being one of the few, so it seems, Rangers fans who is very wary of this whole deal. I await with interest to see what he has to say and I hope im wrong about him.

  128. I missed this promise of transparency. It will be interesting to say the least.
    Do you have a link or source that quotes him giving these dates?

  129. Adam says:

    “As a condition of this dispensation, Wavetower is required to send to shareholders, no later
    than 16 May 2011, a circular providing further details on Wavetower and further disclosure in relation to the terms of the acquisition.”

    “Further to the announcement made on 6 May 2011, the Company announces that, with the agreement of the Independent Board Committee of The Rangers Football Club P.L.C. and the Takeover Panel, it has extended the timetable within which a circular will be posted by the Company to all of the shareholders of The Rangers Football Club P.L.C. to a date on or before 6 June 2011.”

  130. Martybhoy59 says:

    followed this blog since its inception can’t claim to understand all the financials fascinating stuff. There is no doubt our “esteemed” (ahem) sports journalists dip in and out of here, this is the particularly sad part not in an emotional context but in relation to the journalistic integrity of the Scottish compliant media. I just can’t understand how any journalist worth his salt refuse to acknowledege that the story is out there and that they have a moral duty to robustly invetigate the intentions of Whyte.
    Don’t get me wrong as a Celtic supporter I am happy they continue to peddle the myths and untruths that come out of Ibrox but my god if the roles were reveresed, my club have been dragged through the gutter by these same self styled journos for a hell of a lot less than is going on at this corrupt club.

  131. droid says:

    !Viva RTC!

    I note a significant increase in the use of the term illegal when describing the actions of rfc in the use of EBTs. I do not recall the same degree of conviction some 6 or 8 weeks ago (maybe I am mistaken?).

    Is there the potential for some form of criminal action being taken against directors?

    Is this what the last stand off was about in trying to warn against Mr Whyte taking over ie there was no safety net for the directors involved in the EBT decisions?

    I noted on Mr Betts’s et al site there was a case study of how a director’s home had been ‘saved’.

    Could there be similar developments afoot?

  132. I think the chances of a criminal case coming from this are very slim (unless someone has perjured him or herself).

    A bigger risk for directors would be lawsuits from stakeholders. Shareholders, creditors, and trading partners who have relied upon directors statements of confidence in the outcome to retain shares or continue trading with Rangers. They would have a claim on the directors’ personal assets.

    The two largest claimants are likely to be HMRC and The Rangers Bond holders. HMRC have not typically gone after directors like that, but this is not an ordinary case. I have no inside knowledge of how they would proceed following a result, but it seems a little coincidental that David Murray has been placing his ownership of some assets in offshore trusts. This may well be a defence against a UK government action against him. When you get into a scheme as flagrantly and as deeply as Rangers did under Murray, you have to wonder what else he has been up to.

    Alastair Johnston might have enough assets to be worth going after, but I think that his 1 April head-nod was designed to give himself a defence that he did provide a warning.

    However, while it was at HMRC’s discretion, criminal charges are very unlikely for anyone.

  133. jbj712 says:

    Thanks Adam – for a while I was beginning to think that I was making it up !
    Like the way you defend your fellow supporters by inferring they didn’t invest because they were sceptical of Minty
    Does that mean that now he’s gone you are all poised with cheque books at the ready to help brother Whyte?
    Or is cut too much from the same chancer cloth as minty?

    Must say that I’m glad RTC has returned – stay safe and keep up the good work!

  134. Adam says:

    Its as if you didnt read my reply. Strange.

  135. Auldheid says:

    ” When you get into a scheme as flagrantly and as deeply as Rangers did under Murray, you have to wonder what else he has been up to. ”

    “By their fruits you shall know them” springs to mind.

    One fruit being the worst ever season in the history of Scottish football.

    What else indeed?

  136. AsDryAsADeadDingoesDonger says:

    Heyyy G-Day mate, It is great to see you back at it RTC (and others of course). I was getting worried re your absence! I had visions of a bloke being carried off backwards as his heels dragged the dirt to an awaiting vehicle!! I was desperately searching web based chat sites for signs of life from your good self. So, it’s great to see there is still a pulse.

    What is the possibility of Wyte and Murry being in cahoots? Kinda like “heerah you hud this fir me the noo”, I need tae hide fae rah polis en at”!

    lets say that the tax meteor is about to land on the marble staircase and lets say Mr True Blue (Murry) is land owner with the money making big Castle (asset), and Mr Whyte is the concierge etc.
    Mr True Blue say’s help me Mr White all the kings horses and all the kings men are coming to take the Castle and it’s Play Park away if I don’t give them 80mil dues? Mr White say’s o.k, lets play pretend then. “fir a pounda” sign here and let me put my name plate on the Castle and Play Park door and you supply me with a ($20m) fence around them so they can’t touch them! You hide in the shadows till they go away! Kings Calvary arrive only to find there is nothing to sell now other than some old bits n bobs and some live stock etc. Kings Calvary return with nothing or minimal gold coin and believing Mr True Blue has rode off into the sunset and the Castle is owned by new owner now! (Case Closed?) The local natives that have enjoyed there weekends around the castle so far, Well they start to get restless and discontented with the new name of Castle “United” and the pseudo owner as he won’t maintain their previous lifestyles around the grounds and so get rebellious! What’s this, Who’s that, there is a silhouette on the horizon, It’s, It’s Mr True Blue on his prancing horse, he’s come back to save the day for the natives and buy the Castle back “firrah poundah” (an a wee hidden bonus for his trouble). He’ll maybe change their name again to “?” (Gers, Bears, GRFC or hopefully the Rump Rangers LOL) and sit comfortably upon the throne. The natives were all joyous and happy that they did not ask why all this had happened in the first place they just rejoiced and idolised the return of the saviour and lived happily ever after! (Therefore saving himself/Rangers $XXX amount due to HMRC)

    Could Mr True Blue ever be held accountable if this was the arrangement between him and Whyte?

  137. George Dallas Peat says:

    If Rangers shares are worth a millionth of a penny each then the only way that the price would increase is if there is major investment in the club. With a tax bill a bank loan stadium repairs and a penalty fine needing to be repaid and that is before any quality players have signed up. I am therefore interested in how any further proposed fan investment would hold up.

    Quite simply as has been debated already. The only place to make profit within the confines of Scottish football is within Europe and more specifically the CL. Now knowing this would you take this ultimate gamble with your tens of millions knowing that if I got a ticket to a European Rangers game and sang a sectarian song then it would be a 3 year ban and the games a bogey ?

    Is any sane person actually going to tell me that this is a gamble that you would be prepared to take ?

    With the background that I have described I feel I can safely predict that Rangers FC will be lucky to shift season tickets in a dilapidated stadium with an SPL squad that is on a downward spiral and with a rookie manager. The haunders that the national association provides will also start to decrease.

    Now Ally Mc Coist may be the new Bill Shankly in waiting but with this background i.e knowing that the future profits to be made within Scottish football are practically non existent

    Is it a venture that the fans will buy into ?

    In these credit crunch days they will not get a bank loan for it when genuine well run businesses cant.

    The banks cannot see Rangers football club far enough. They are both synonymous with wasting millions upon millions of our cash especially now that LBG is publicly owned

    Are the fans really convinced that Murray has left the scene ?

    Also dont forget that Dave King and/Or SARS have still not left the scene either. Which is an irritant but a big irritant. Cant see Dave Kings mother selling her shares for a millionth of a penny either. Why ??? so that situation is also hanging around causing a stink.

    So when you remove the cloak of financial possibilities and look at the reality of the situation the only instant solution is a move to a more lucrative league.

  138. Billy says:

    I don’t think any Rangers fan will refrain from renewing their season book on the basis that their purchase could be deemed worthless should RFC fold. Much better for them to protect their spend by using a credit card when making their payment, thereby having adequate insurance should events take a turn for the worse. How ironic it would be should they use a card supplied by Lloyds to complete the transaction.

  139. Alan Coupar says:

    However, before we look at these permutations, I would like to mention the rumour that was circulating this weekend: that Rangers have had a third offer to settle the tax bill rejected by HMRC. This time the offer is apparently for £23m. I know nothing about this. It is possibly true, but I have not heard anything either way. (Previous offers of £4m and £10m have been rejected in the last year. These offers were made by Rangers and were rejected by HMRC).

    As all tax dealings are private by law, I can only assume you are at the heart of this investigation and are employed by HMRC. If so you are a brave fella as your job, I assume, will be on the line if caught…

  140. George Dallas Peat says:

    The board announces that Cairn Financial Advisers LLP has been appointed PLUS corporate adviser to the company with immediate effect.”


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