The Devil Is In The Details

Complex legal contracts do not make for light reading.  However, within the boilerplate, information can often be found that will raise eyebrows.  The contract between Murray Holdings Limited (MHL- the MIH subsidiary used to hold Rangers’ shares) and Wavetower (the original name for The Rangers FC Group Ltd) is no different.  I am told that the Share Purchase Agreement that transferred ownership of Rangers to Craig Whyte’s Wavetower is a treasure trove of interesting details.

For example, the CONSEQUENCES OF BREACH clause states what will happen in the event of Whyte failing to make good on his many promises.

In the event of and upon the Purchaser failing at the required time to satisfy any of its obligations in accordance with Clause 6.3 above the Purchaser (or any person who has been assigned the Total Purchaser Debt pursuant to Clause 6.3) agrees that the Total Purchaser Debt is automatically released or waived or otherwise extinguished in terms to be agreed by the Company, the Purchaser and the Seller.

This means that Sir David Murray, in making good on his promise to only sell Rangers to a responsible custodian capable of taking the club forward, has included a provision that promises that Rangers £18m debt owed to Wavetower will be cleared if Whyte fails to make good on certain specific promises.  So what did Whyte promise?

The Shareholder Circular released by Whyte provided some details, but let us summarise what Clause 6.3 actually says:

  • It provides for the £18m debt to Wavetower to be extinguished 90 days after the conclusion of The (Big) Tax Case
  • It prevents Whyte from charging interest on the debt prior to the tax case being resolved (but interest can be back dated if there is an insolvency event)
  • The debt to Wavetower will be capitalised (i.e. converted to shares and the debt written down) 25 days after the completion of any reorganisation that brings the club out of insolvency’
  • Whyte will pay in all working capital promised (£5m is specified, but more detail is defined in related contract documents).

So the critical questions is:

Has Whyte paid in all of the working capital promised?

I have been told that he has not.  As part of the conclusion of the deal, Whyte’s lawyers, Collier Bristow, provided a letter confirming that they had received £5m in funds from Whyte and that it would be held for Rangers FC to draw upon.  However, it is believed that this money has not actually been transferred to Rangers.  Whyte can clear up any doubt or uncertainty with an accounting of his working capital cash flow.

Rangers fans seeking to avoid or delay the turmoil of insolvency should be asking for an unambiguous answer from Whyte that all of the working capital investment provisions of the sale agreement have been fulfilled.

If they have not been fulfilled, one man has the power to pressure Whyte: Sir David Murray.  Murray was press-ganged by Lloyds Banking Group into signing the deal, but he did insist upon the provisions outlined above.  Were they just cosmetic insertions designed to allow him to argue later that he tried to do right by Rangers?  Or did he mean them?

If Whyte has not made good on all of the provision of the contract already, Murray can threaten to invoke the CONSEQUENCES OF BREACH clause.  This would see Rangers’ debt to Wavetower eliminated and would be a strong incentive for Whyte to make good on any difference between what he has paid into Rangers and what he has promised.

Forcing the debt to be reduced to zero would remove the protection of the floating charge for Whyte.  If the debt to Wavetower is extinguished, Rangers could even have a CVA (a Company Voluntary Arrangement) where repayment to HMRC is negotiated and the legal entity which traces its founding to Flesher’s Haugh in Glasgow Green in 1872 would continue with its history intact.  The threat of a three-year ban on European competition from UEFA would also be eliminated.  If Whyte has not made good on all of his working capital promises, Murray would have a chance to provide Rangers fans with the best possible outcome from the supporters’ perspective.  The only “victim” would be someone who would have had to have reneged on promises for this plan to have legal standing.

Mr. Whyte: have you fully implemented all of the obligations of Clause 6.3 of the Share Purchase Agreement?  A simple listing of your net payments into The Rangers Football Club plc would answer the question.

Mr. Murray: if Mr. Whyte has not fulfilled all of his obligations, why have you not enforced the provisions you negotiated?  It would be the best gift you could give the fans whose club teeters on the brink today?

Rangers Cash Flow: A Huge Problem

Following on from my previous post, I am enclosing a screen capture of Rangers cash flow projections for the current season.  It provides a numerical insight into the scale of the problem facing Craig Whyte’s Rangers.

Before we wade waist deep in numbers, I should explain that the data has been anonymised.  By this, I mean that all of the numbers have been adjusted slightly.  However, the net effect of the adjustments on the totals is negligible.  The original raw data  was much more granular and more easily verified.  At the request of the source, some values have been aggregated.

The first point to observe (for those who are unfamiliar with cash flow projections), is that this sheet starts with the 2010/2011 season ‘Actual’ cash flow values as a baseline.  The rest of the numbers represent increases or decreases in cash flow compared with the same period in the previous season.

Next, we should note that Mr. Whyte has some degree of flexibility over when bills are actually paid.  This means that this analysis has an accuracy of approximately of plus or minus one month.  Additionally,  there is currently no evidence of Craig Whyte having made good on the pledges made in the takeover documents to invest cash.  Therefore, I have not shown any investment in working capital from Rangers’ majority owner.

Without Whyte’s investment, the spreadsheet shows that Rangers could survive through the October pay period and hitting a brick wall by the end of November. However, this could also be interpreted as projecting Rangers filing for insolvency before the end of October.  (Rangers fans will be hoping that cash can be stretched out until the end of December when the opening of the transfer window would hold out hope of liquidating assets to extend the life of The Rangers Football Club plc.  I am told that this is highly unlikely.)  Values are in £ 000’s.

Of course, if Whyte has recently made good on his promises of working capital investment, Rangers can breathe for a while longer, but it would be unlikely to even cover the next month’s cash requirements.  To survive to February or March 2012 when the First Tier Tribunal can be expected to return with its findings in “The Big Tax Case”, Whyte would have to invest close to £15m to keep Rangers going.

So where is the investment from Whyte’s “Wavetower”?  (“Wavetower” is now more formally called The Rangers FC Group Ltd and Whyte claims that he owns it 100%).  The takeover documents do provide a watertight promise of investment.  If insolvency is inevitable, the smart move for Whyte is simply to pay off the obligation to a receiver rather than to Rangers prior to insolvency.  If Whyte opts for receivership (and if he defeats any legal challenges to his appointment of a receiver), he will get all of that payment back less expenses.  (As regular readers of this blog will know well, a receiver acts solely to recover the debt owed to the holder of a ‘floating charge’.  In buying Rangers’ debt to Lloyds, Whyte has acquired this legal privilege of priority repayment above everyone else except recipients of statutory payments.  Only once the secured creditors are paid in full would other creditors receive anything).  So, rather than seeing his money consumed by “old Rangers”, Whyte is able to keep his powder dry while satisfying his legal obligations too late to do the current company any good.  (Viewers of Mark Daly’s recent BBC Scotland documentary on Whyte’s business history will feel a sense of deja-vu).  Alternatively, Whyte might be more benevolent than many believe and he may choose to pour in cash until the tax tribunal returns a result.  That would indeed be a surprise.  This would take his investment in Rangers up to a figure of about £33m.  The prospect of a return on his investment would disappear at such a figure.  Basically, Rangers’ failure to qualify for the Champions’ League scuppered any sensible prospect that Rangers could survive to face down HMRC in “the big case”.  Only a substantial cash injection now will prevent insolvency in the coming weeks.

On the subject of return on investment, quite how Whyte plans to turn a profit on Rangers has mystified informed observers of all hues.  Noting that the bubble in Scottish football has long since collapsed and our game is fully decoupled from the continuing financial madness of the English Premier League, anyone making an investment in a Scottish club must value the business based upon the free cash flows (money available to be withdrawn by shareholders).  There are two major ways for Whyte to handle Rangers.  Either he liquidates assets and destroys the football club in the process or he runs the club as a going concern and tries to find a buyer (or pockets an annual dividend).  Whyte has had ample opportunity to liquidate Rangers and make a quick profit.  He has not done so.  We are now left with the going concern option.

Let us look at how Rangers would be valued as a going concern.  Sparing you the details of asset valuation theory, if an owner expected to withdraw £1 million for himself from a business each year, he might pay £10-12 million today.  (This is very reasonable for a high risk business in today’s low interest rate environment).  Leaving aside the idea that supporters would tolerate any owner withdrawing £1 million per year for himself, if the future sale value of The New Rangers as a going concern is at most £12 million (i.e. the most a rational buyer would pay), how does Whyte plan to turn a profit having paid £18 million for Rangers’ debt?

What sort of lender would give Whyte £18m for such a high-risk investment while expecting no more than £10-12 million in return?  No one else would touch Rangers.  What did Whyte see that no one else did?

Rangers Insolvency: Is it inevitable?

Sleep has become a precious and rare commodity in recent weeks and I find myself trying to pry my eyes open to absorb the details of a data-packed Excel spreadsheet. For any normal, well-adjusted person, thoughts of forcing one’s eyes to move cell-to-cell, checking formula-after-formula, deep into the small hours of the morning would evoke a dystopian nightmare from A Clockwork Orange. However, this is not just any spreadsheet. This material has me transfixed. Commonsense says “leave it until the morning”, but I cannot sleep.

This is Rangers’ cashflow projection for season 2011/2012.

Naturally, I cannot disclose the origin of the data in the spreadsheet. However, I have confidence in its authenticity and its accuracy. I believe that it portrays genuine insight into Rangers’ cash flows for the current season. While I anonymise the data and figure out a way of presenting it on a blog, I will just give you the conclusions.

  • Rangers FC face a cash shortfall by the end of this season of about £19m
  • Without a fresh cash injection, Rangers will run out of money in October / November

And most significantly:

  • Without a fresh cash injection-

Rangers will be insolvent before the result of the EBT tax case is even known

Whyte’s new-found candour has him admitting that there is a crisis at Rangers, and that insolvency is a distinct possibility. However, it is tempered with the narrative that he inherited a mess. Any crisis, according to Whyte, is a result of the EBT dispute with HMRC which goes back to a time before owning Rangers was even a gleam in his eye. Whyte has started to spin insolvency as drawing a line underneath the club’s longterm problems. His hints that he might not appeal a decision against Rangers in the First Tier Tribunal (FTT) could be a clue to his real strategy.

To blame the previous regime at Ibrox requires that insolvency can be staved off until the judges sitting on the FTT return with their findings. However, Mr. Whyte will probably be mistaken if he thinks that the tribunal will return a result within a few days of it concluding. An insolvency event prior to that point would reveal the nature of the immediate problem: Rangers’ failure to qualify for the Champions’ League group stages. The arrestment of almost £3m by HMRC and Bain & McIntyre (ex-directors) intensifies matters.

Readers of the replies section of this blog will be aware of the complicated permutations that face Whyte. Delaying an insolvency filing to beyond 60 days after an arrestment weakens the claims of a secured creditor (himself) to reclaim that cash. Delay also requires Whyte to up the ante and provide additional working capital. In return, his reputation would survive the mauling that would accompany a filing without an adverse result in the FTT to hide behind. Whyte also faces uncertainty over the timing of a response from the judges. If Rangers maintain a staunch defence to the end, it is possible that the FTT findings might not be published until February or March 2012. That would require pouring in more cash to survive to this point. (Surely Whyte would not countenance “throwing the game” in the last days of the tribunal to arrive at a speedy conclusion?)

It is worth explaining cash flow for anyone who has not spent much time thinking about the monetary needs of a football club, it is extremely uneven. Cash accumulates over the summer months as season ticket holders renew in great numbers and drops over the autumn as players are paid their monthly salaries and bonuses. A good European run bolsters cash receipts in the short evenings and if post-Christmas European football is on the calendar, then a good season is had by all. Without significant European cash after September, Rangers (like Celtic) face a long period of outgoings being in excess of incoming cash. This funding gap can only be filled by a bank overdraft (short-term debt), a loan, or with the shareholders throwing in more equity. Traditionally, Rangers (and Celtic) have dipped into their overdraft facilities to pay wages and other bills during the months of negative cashflow. There is a problem this season however: Rangers do not have a credit facility with any bank.

Since buying Rangers’ debt to Lloyds Banking Group (who were desperate to escape from the headache of being Rangers’ primary creditor), Whyte has failed to open another line of credit. It would appear that no bank wants to lend to a club facing crippling tax bills or one that has a fan base who will organise a boycott if it has the nerve to ask for its money back. (While discussing Rangers’ debt, a much forgotten fact is that Lloyds were not Rangers’ only creditor. An additional £4m in creditors is still on Rangers’ books bringing to total debt to about £22m when we include the money owed to the club’s parent company).

Are Rangers facing imminent insolvency? If Whyte, or his backers, decide to pour in cash to delay the filing then obviously not. Without additional cash infusions insolvency seems inevitable within the next month.

In coming posts, we shall examine the cash flow projections for Rangers in more detail and ask some of the questions that naturally follow about this case:

Did Whyte really just gamble on Rangers qualifying for the Champions’ League group stages? Was insolvency part of Whyte’s plan from the beginning? How can Whyte hope to make a profit from his £18m + £1 investment in Rangers?

As this blog has maintained from the outset, the story being parlayed from the top of the marble staircase does not make sense. We now have a few more pieces of the jigsaw and will be able to make more sense of this case as time goes on.

In the meantime, I need some sleep.

Disinformation and Deceit

Coming hot on the heels of the public acceptance of truth that this blog has been bringing you, the disinformation campaign has stepped up a gear.

A rumour has recently started to take hold that HMRC’s case against Rangers is in trouble because of a 6-year rule for bringing assessments against taxpayers.  This rumour, which we will see is entirely false, has been taken to heart for the comfort it provides by the less sentient creatures who inhabit the world of Rangers messageboards.  Let me clear this up now:  it is rubbish.

The real rules are as follows:

HMRC “normally” have 24 months from the end of an accounting period to start an enquiry.

Where a company has provided “inadequate disclosure”, the statute of limitations was recently reduced to four years, but remains six years where a company has “acted carelessly”.  Sounds promising for Rangers fans?  Well, do not get too excited.  In cases involving “deliberate misstatement”, HMRC has a full 20 years to open an enquiry (let alone conclude it).

Those who have been following this blog will be in little doubt as to in which category Rangers will find themselves.  “Deliberate misstatement” is so much at the core of this case, it could be the title of a film about it.  Not only did Rangers FC repeatedly misstate the facts (to fans, ordinary shareholders, and HMRC alike), they got caught in a very provable way.  (The patient will be rewarded with a full explanation in time).

Back to the 6-year myth: where did this particular piece of disinformation originate?

This yarn first found life on a blog:  What follows is a comical (well it amused me!) tale of the extent some will go to try to prevent the truth from taking hold.

A poster on that blog by the name Louie posted:


Sorry Paul have been busy with papers, to clarify Malcolm is not sitting on the Tribunal. He was asked to scan the developments in Edinburgh and give opinion on the arguments presented, he was not overly impressed by the naked naivety of some of the HMRC positions. He picked up on the six year rule immediately a very grey area that no self respecting Silk should or would stray into, Whytes people are using it in their presentation and defences.
All in all I am told he thinks Andrew has driven a coach and horses through HMRC submissions, he is annoyed because he wanted a clear run at the matters involving English clubs, he will be HMRC lead in any proceedings, however he feels Edinburgh matters could put this event some way off.

Interesting?  It might keep the candle of hope burning if you did not know the facts.  Firstly, the posting tries to invoke the reputation of Malcolm Gammie QC.  That particular Malcolm is a very highly regarded English tax lawyer.  He has no role whatsoever in the current case against Rangers.

The bit that tickled me most is that I asked Paul McConville, publisher of the blog in question, to forward me the IP address assigned to Louie for his posts.  I compared it to the IP addresses used on  “Louie” has posted on this site no less than 120 times.  Regular readers might be surprised to learn this as they will not recognise the name.  Breathe easy, for Louie is better known on this site by his other names:

  • rasputin
  • cannon
  • stewy
  • malky
  • rhuari
  • theaccountant
  • jinkyal
  • sam
  • … and in his latest incarnation: ashton
Many of the posts of this character have not seen the light of day as they have been moderated and sent to SPAM heaven.  However, this might be a good time to resurrect some of this guy’s efforts over the life of this blog:
Submitted on 2011/03/29 at 6:30 am

I can tell you that you will need a bigger shovel to fill in the hole you are digging. The “Tax Inquiry” involving Rangers FC, will be formally abandoned at the Edinburgh First Tier status, on 18th April 2011, do have a nice day.

Submitted on 2011/03/29 at 11:49 am | In reply to rangerstaxcase.

It is not a continuation, there never was a hearing last October, hence First Tier status. Believe me I should know and I do know, c’est la vie.

Submitted on 2011/03/29 at 1:59 pm | In reply to rangerstaxcase.

Any secret dossiers on the go, you know the sort, refs, tax cases, care in the community, lack of care in the community that sort of thing,cos your taxation fairytale is just that..must dash is a calling,,,tout de suite…

Submitted on 2011/03/31 at 8:37 am

Now that scotzine has saw sense and capitulated to whyte’s lawyers, who’s next.

Submitted on 2011/08/16 at 8:57 am

Story is , Thornhill of Pump Court Tax Chambers, is suggesting that those favoured by the scheme, were not direct employees of Rangers, that they were in fact subcontracted due to the nature and structure of disputed scheme. There could be a problem there with SFA registrations, however Thornhill is said to be claiming that the players/subcontractors gifted control of said registrations to Rangers FC, which would also affect tax status.

Appears he has blind sided HMRC with this justification of the scheme, insisting no defence is necessary, for a perfectly legal use of taxation law and legislation. The general consensus is that Thornhill is leading by a country mile, HMRC being a poor second at this stage.

Submitted on 2011/09/05 at 9:37 am

Word going round at Centre 1, that the big case is being abandoned.

Submitted on 2011/09/05 at 9:58 am

I wasn’t suggesting anything BK, I may be a lowly maintenance worker, but I overheard several high heid yins, while I was doing some maintence on the exec floor. The rank and file seem to be talking about it that way now also, seem to think it would have also been not went this length of time, if it was nailed on. Strange that the owner dismisses ant view, his own apart as comedic.


I still don’t get it, if rangers and their bosses have committed a criminal offence, evasion, they would face criminal charges, if they have committed no offence, avoidance, why is taxpayers money being wasted, it is one or the other, criminal or not.

Submitted on 2011/10/11 at 9:39 pm

Paranoia is alive and well and being practised by a few here.. RTC has been consistent in his doubts as to any outcome.

Well whoever you are, you have had a good run! 🙂  Thanks for the sport.
I have had some negative messages from more  professional and sinister origins, and I really think that this guy is just a Rangers fan doing his bit to try to spread disinformation.  He probably thinks that it is in the best interests of his club, Rangers, for this story to be derailed.
I wonder where the followfollow brigade will find their next crumbs of comfort?

The Wee Tax Bill: a scam explored

Monday evening’s Newsnight report on Rangers financial troubles came just three days before BBC Scotland’s much anticipated documentary “Scotland Investigates: Rangers – The Inside Story”.  It is now clear that this blog has achieved its central mission: to open up discussion on the most important story in the history of Scottish football.  I found it difficult to sit back and listen to the conspiracy of silence within the mainstream Scottish media.  Their failure to do their jobs allowed the many falsehoods promulgated by the club’s executives to fill the void and be accepted as truth.

It is hard to believe how far, and how fast, this story has moved since May 2010.  Stories of Rangers’ tax troubles were initially derided by many as just malicious Internet rumours.  A skillful disinformation campaign left Rangers fans with the clear impression that it was Sir David Murray’s Murray International Holdings Ltd (Rangers’ parent company until just over four months ago) who would be responsible for paying any tax liabilities.  The amounts of the bills were ridiculed by journalists briefed by senior Rangers employees.  We were told that the club had expert advice saying that the risks of the tax case were negligible.  In any case, Rangers’ tax advisers’ professional liability insurance would be picking up the tab!  This was all typical of mainstream opinion just a matter of three months ago.  It is with some degree of pride that I look at how far the truth has come.

This blog is not solely responsible for bringing light to the darkness.  A small cadre of bloggers, messageboard posters, and journalists were on this story before this blog was even a gleam in my eye.  However, it would be disingenuous to not acknowledge the role that this blog, and its many contributors, have played in establishing the truth in the Scottish public’s consciousness.

In particular, we all owe a lot of gratitude to the real heroes of this story: the sources who had the courage to approach an anonymous blogger with information that could end their careers or worse.   When I publicised the leaking of the Bain Papers, this story was forever altered.  Craig Whyte’s claim that this blog was “99% crap” became laughable to even the most sceptical reader.  I believe that this was the  point when this story moved mainstream.

Yet for all of the sense of vindication regarding our revelations related to ‘the big case’, Rangers appear to be grasping at the last straws of solvency over more prosaic issues.  The failure to qualify for the group stages of either European competition, the arrestment of cash by former executives and solicitors, and money blown on expensive PR agencies in a forlorn effort to paint a picture of confidence and competence around the club’s new owner, have all combined to drain the Ibrox coffers faster than Craig Whyte had imagined.   Survival to the end of the current season without filing for insolvency seems unlikely.  Some even say that matters will come to a head in just a few more weeks.  If this long dance comes to an abrupt halt in just a few more movements, it will have been the less heralded ‘wee tax case’ that delivered the knockout blow.  While Scotland sits back to absorb BBC Scotland’s take on the larger issues that make insolvency a virtual certainty upon losing ‘the big case’, I thought that some more background on the ‘wee tax case’ might be interesting.  It is a tale that will leave the layman surprised at the transparent sham and fraudulent nature of the transactions.  As we will see, HMRC must have had very strong evidence indeed for Rangers to admit liability for the underpaid tax and interest.

We will simplify the facts to explain the concept, but the following is a good facsimilie of the Discounted Options Scheme used to compensate some players.  To execute this scam, a club would form an offshore company in a tax haven like the Bahamas or the British Virgin Islands.  Cash would be deposited in a bank account owned by the newly formed offshore company.  Let us suppose that £10 million was deposited.   Rather than paying players this money as wages that would have seen about 50%  taken in UK PAYE and NIC taxes, players would be given options in the offshore company.   Options provide holders with the opportunity, but not the obligation, to buy shares in the company at a predetermined price by a certain date.  As the shares in this company do not trade on the stock market (indeed the offshore company does not do any meaningful trading of any type), their real value will simply be a function of the amount of cash held in its bank accounts.  So the decision to buy the shares or let them expire worthless should be a simple one.

So let us hypothesize that ten players are granted 1 option each in the offshore company.  Assessing the taxable value of each option is easy.  (Let us suppose for simplicity that 1 option buys 1 real share).  With 10 options for £10 million cash, the value of each option would be £1 million.  Each player would be able to convert his option into a real share and would then receive a dividend, tax-free, that would pay him his £1 million cash.  So far, this story is just a blatant money laundering scam and transparently illegal if tax is not paid on the full value of the cash received by the players.  However, here comes the “clever” bit: the football club issues itself with, let us say, 9,999,990 options.  This would mean that there were now 10 million options for £10 million cash in the bank.  The value of each option is now £1 each.  By a flaw  UK law at the time, the players would only pay tax on the value of the options at the time their issue.  So each player would pay 50p in tax.  You might be asking yourself:  “So what?  The club owns most of the options!”  – and that is where this scam gets clever.  The football club allows its options to expire worthless a few weeks later- after each player has paid his 50p tax.  The players all exercise their options and divide the £10 million in the bank between them.  (The money is actually held in an offshore trust to prevent any squabbling between the players later.  A trustee pays each player according to rules provided by the football club).

Such a scheme is obviously a way to avoid paying the tax that mere mortals have to pay every day.  I am told by tax specialists that this scheme is not as illegal as it might seem.  The use of a Discounted Options Scheme like this would straddle the line of legality.   For Rangers to have rolled over and signed an agreement to pay tax and interest of £2.8 million rather than delay payment by appealing the assessments  (just as it did in ‘the big case’), HMRC must have had a massive degree of leverage over the club’s (former) executives.  While I have received confirmation from two independent sources that Rangers did indeed use a scheme like this, I do not have specific information that would indicate an inept or criminal implementation of this scheme, but I do know what they were doing with the EBT scheme during the same period.  It does not seem unreasonable to think that something must have been seriously wrong with how Rangers implemented this scheme.  Why else would the old board have folded when an appeal was the obvious next move?

Even more interesting is the curious case of the bill for the £1.4 million penalty.  Whyte was reported to have been ‘foaming at the mouth’ when this bill was received.  Rangers would have had 30 days to appeal this bill and defer it until it is decided by its own First Tier Tribunal.  Rangers have made no statement claiming to have filed an appeal for this penalty.  My enquiries have failed to produce any evidence of an appeal having been filed at all.  (A late appeal would almost certainly be allowed).  Why might Rangers not appeal?  The tribunals service in Scotland is settling down into a more established process and private tribunal hearings are increasingly difficult to obtain without a national security angle.  It would be quite likely that a new First Tier Tribunal for the penalty in ‘the wee case’ would be held in public.   In a case that the old board agreed in writing to pay when it could have filed an appeal, and where evidence of Whyte filing an appeal for the penalty is conspicuous by its absence, I am very curious as to what Rangers might have done that it would want to keep so quiet?

Perhaps the members of the Rangers Supporters Trust who are reported to be meeting with Whyte tomorrow (Wednesday) might want to ask if the penalty has been appealed?  Now that the case has become worthy of investigation by the likes of the BBC, perhaps the Scottish football mediapack might try to redeem itself by investigating this point for itself?