Making a bad situation worse


If you bought a badly run business that had defrauded the national treasury for a decade, and which had frustrated legitimate enquiry into its tax affairs at every turn, you might want to turn over a new leaf. If you planned on running the business for the medium or long-term, you would want to normalise your relationship with HMRC. A couple of goodwill gestures would not go amiss. Certainly, you would not want to make things worse.  Would you?

Of course, divining the thought processes of Craig Whyte is not an easy task. Trying to see a path for making an “on the radar” profit from his ownership of Rangers is even more difficult. Whyte’s strategy for keeping Rangers alive in the short-term is a little easier to see.  No bill of significant size gets paid without legal action. Lawyers, tax advisers, or even the taxman himself, Whyte does not appear to play favourites.  Since taking over Rangers on 6th May of this year, Whyte’s Rangers have been deducting PAYE and national insurance from  players’ salaries. However, the club has not been passing this money on to HMRC.  In fact, the club has fallen behind on current remittances by an amount that is fast approaching £2 million.

This is aside from the “Big Case” and its £36m in tax and interest (with penalties to be added). This is aside from the “Wee Case” and its £2.3m (tax and interest) that remains to be paid (plus approximately £1.4m in penalties). This is a new and completely separate dispute between Rangers FC and Her Majesty’s government.

If these new (and accumulating) amounts are not paid soon, it is inevitable that the well trodden path from Ibrox to The Court of Session will once again be taken to force Whyte to make good on the legitimate debts incurred by his company. This will mean that yet another law firm shall be getting paid handsomely, up-front, for a bill that cannot be sensibly disputed.

The obvious question: is this fraud? The answer is no- it is not. One thing about Whyte is clear: he is not short of advice on where the edges of the law exist.  By simply neglecting to submit monthly tax returns, Whyte is able to avoid criminal charges i.e. Rangers are making no declarations to HMRC about how much they are paying employees. Rangers can continue failing to pay the tax withheld from wages to the government for quite a long time without risking fraud.  In the meantime, HMRC will be able to take Rangers to court and press for a winding up order or an arrestment. These measures would seek to obtain the money that should have been paid already (plus interest and penalties), but would be a civil process.  The pattern seems well established: Whyte would pay this bill on the court steps if it does not suit him to file for insolvency at that time.

In fact, Whyte has until 19th May 2012 before he has to submit a P35 Annual Return. It is only at this time that Rangers must submit an accurate accounting of what salaries have been paid and what taxes are due. If Whyte was to lie on this form, he would be exposing himself to the wrath of an organisation that must surely be enraged by all things Rangers.  By not making a declaration of what taxes are due, Whyte avoids fraud charges on a technicality. Yet, money is being taken from wages and not being submitted to government as employees would expect. From April 2012, HMRC will have the power to demand that businesses involved in the deliberate non-payment of PAYE & NIC effectively pay tax up front in the form of a bond.  If The Rangers Football Club plc is still trading at that time it will be a prime candidate for this treatment. Likewise, these new powers apply to phoenix companies. So Rangers, in whatever form they exist by the end of this season, will run out of rope to continue disregarding UK tax law.

If we took the integrity of our national game seriously, the sport’s administrators would intervene when things got this extreme. However, this is Scotland and our game has been rotting from more than two decades of maladministration. The financial crisis in which Scottish football finds itself today is such that sporting integrity would not merit a second thought if it meant keeping the root of the problem alive. Only the most naive would believe that any meaningful punishment will ever be applied against Rangers’ myriad wrong-doings. However, the SFA/SPL need to concern themselves with the long-range problem of how many people will continue to pay to see a competition in which certain clubs are insulated from the consequences of their own actions.

About rangerstaxcase
I have information on Rangers' tax case, and I will use this blog to provide the details of what Rangers FC have done, why it was illegal, and what the implications for what was (updated) one of the largest football clubs in Britain.

1,232 Responses to Making a bad situation worse

  1. Johnboy says:

    Insomniac, or the snooper, or whoever you are:
    If you have information regarding Willow International that is relevant to this blog, then publish it.
    The only time I’ve seen the name is in relation to share transfers concerning Merchant House Group, which Whyte is a shareholder in.
    Details about Willow International appear to be sketchy, as there is more than one company with that name.
    But, hey, please illuminate us.
    It would make a change from your tedious Adam-baiting, especially as those of us with an interest in working out the Rangers financial conundrum have appreciated his alternative view on things.
    Who are YOU to say he has no place here?
    What there is no place for here is close-minded bigots.

  2. chico says:

    tenerifetim on 30/11/2011 at 9:06 pm
    ——–

    Let him take you to court, then settle the debt on the steps. Seems the done thing.

  3. thesnooper says:

    Think you’llhave to rephrase that one Johnboy.

    I for one have never mentioned Willow International.

    Also never once said Adam (regardless of what i think of his style of posting) ‘never had a place here’.

    Also i’m not and never have been a bigot.

    So all in alll your post is a major fail!

  4. Lord Wobbly says:

    tenerifetim says:
    30/11/2011 at 9:06 pm
    I have a dilemma_ I bet my Rangers supporting mate in August
    €20 that his club would go into administration by end of
    November ( which save for the tooth fairy ) isn´t going to happen
    today – so
    a) Do I pay him or bump him?
    b) Do I pay him and deduct tax and pass it on to the Hacienda
    here or HMRC in UK ?
    c ) Or do I pay up smiling and thank RTC and all contributors for an
    excellent entertainment over last few monthsfor €20 with the
    sequel still to come ?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Pay up man! You wouldn’t to be accused of not paying your debts, now would you?

  5. Gwared says:

    Boumsong at Newcastle.

  6. Lord Wobbly says:

    “you wouldn’t WANT to…”

  7. StevieBC says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    30/11/2011 at 9:48 pm
    StevieBC says:
    30/11/2011 at 9:43 pm
    ===============================
    I don’t think the numbers will change to any significant extent.
    What is more likely is adverse comments in the auditor’s statement. He will blame that on other people.
    ===================
    IMO – GT has a problem with going concern principle.
    However, the numbers could change materially if audited.

    To date, the MBB has not displayed any discipline in following good business practice. So why should he start now with the RFC accounts ? He could be applying his own highly creative accounting view to the accounts !

    And remember, there is no RFC Finance Director to argue any technical points with the auditors.

  8. Insomniac says:

    Johnboy says:
    30/11/2011 at 10:10 pm

    What there is no place for here is close-minded bigots.
    …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………

    That’s a very disturbing post. Please direct me to anything that I have said that in any way reflects your charge of bigotry on my part.

    As people like RTCB, Auldheid and PMcG get closer to the truth the rhetoric and dirty tricks against them get ever more hysterical. It’s trying to destroy the credibility of the witness…or to use a term I’ve seen here; playing the man, not the ball. It’s a desperate and transparent measure and I think I know why. As Adam is prepared to answer most questions but not this one (all he had to do was say – haven’t a clue, pass) and now you burst on the scene with an attempted scurrilous character assasination I can only ask myself why the desperate need to do this.

    I will suspend my contributions because of my respect for this, the groundbreaking, Blog of the Year, but hope others have noted what has happened over the past hour.

  9. TheBlackKnight says:

    Pedant coming out in me again.

    “Highlights * No longer reliant on bank funding”

    “RELIANT” on “BANK FUNDING” …………. over to you legal beagles and number crunchers 😉

  10. Adam says:

    If someone I respected asked me the question I would have answered it. As your very first comment was to go on the “attack” then I will treat you with the same respect I do with the other like minded trolls who chase my every word. Now go and catch some sleep. 😉

  11. Johnboy says:

    Insomniac,
    You need a sleep, pal.
    I’ll wake you up when I feel the need to attack RTC, Auldheid or Phil.
    I considered your constant baiting of Adam (in a very similar manner to thesnooper) to be based largely in part on the team he supports.
    RTC has been quick to identify and sort out any obvious trolling. It’s his blog, his rules.
    We should all do him the respect of playing to them.
    Oh, and one more thing, Insmoniac: What’s this about Willow International?
    Do tell.

  12. StevieBC says:

    StevieBC says:
    30/11/2011 at 10:32 pm

    And remember, there is no RFC Finance Director to argue any technical points with the auditors.
    ==============
    Forgot to add.

    We have a set of ‘Final’, unaudited accounts for RFC.
    There is no Finance Director for RFC – a plc.
    So who had the responsibility to prepare – and put their signature to – these RFC accounts ?
    IMO – the quoted financials have no credibility whatsoever.

  13. Barcabhoy says:

    Whyte has lodged unaudited accounts. Investors can not rely on unaudited accounts. Plus markets must suspend the shares or expose themselves to action by investors

    Of all the things Whyte could have done today, lodging unaudited accounts was the most amatuerish

    Adam is right to be worried

  14. StevieBC says:

    Perhaps for the legal brains out there: did the MBB cross a line today with his statement ?

    Has he left himself open to personal liability ?

  15. thesnooper says:

    Johnboy @ 11.00pm

    What you actually done was post false accusations.

    What you ‘considered’ is totally irrelevant to reality.

    Also you mention the word ‘troll’. . . . a word RTC used (in part) to describe the poster your defending.

    Now i told RTC i won’t get involved out of respect and i won’t but it’s their for all to see. . . .your post was full of false accusations.

  16. thesnooper says:

    * there

  17. Johnboy says:

    RE: Willow International (Insomnia’s bee in the bonnet). It’s a strange one.
    It seems that Whyte’s firm Liberty Capital transferred £104,000 worth of Merchant House Group shares to Willow International (Seychelles).
    Who is behind that firm is anyone’s guess.
    An English-registered company Willow International was named in a landbanking scam but I feel there is no connection there.
    But a Scots-based firm called Willow International, which was dissolved in 1993, had an address in Bellgrave Street, Bellshill. Whyte was at that time a director of firms in Johnstone Street, Bellshill.
    More intriguingly, the Bellgrave Street address is the same as the Bellshill offices of Multi Metals Ltd, which later became part of the Murray International Holdings empire.
    Quite a few coincidences there. But unless someone else has any other info, then coincidence is all that it is.
    However, my own hunch is that Whyte and Murray have known each other for a long time.
    Make of that what you will.

  18. Cortes says:

    Don’t do their work for them, snooperman and insomniac: further details (if possible) please 🙂

  19. Tommy says:

    Adam, I think your fellow bears on Follow Follow have sussed you out. Are you Hugh McEwan in disguise?

    “rokcy Posted Yesterday, 11:33 PM
    I see the maddies on RTC are creaming themselves over “unaudited” accounts and the token uncle tom come selik fan adam the madam is sucking up to the fudsters, I doubt any of the sad fuks could add two and two and get five”

  20. Ian Ferguson says:

    Adam says:

    30/11/2011 at 9:24 pm

    Do you think they run a sweepstake in Nyon for the arrival time of Auldheids daily email ?
    =============================
    Adam, son, That comment sums you up, you cannot see see how wrong your team are & hide behind whataboutery, Hearts, Celtic debt , everyone is paranoid etc etc .

    You have changed your position gradually.

    Do you remember telling me Mr Whyte had cleared the debt & no interest was being charged & the Whyte Knight was taking Director fees only? Want to update your position?

    Auldheid gives a concise & relevant assessment of the situation, you die a little or have a Wow just Wow moment & don’t answer or fall back on the old paranoia crap but don’t answer the point in question.

    The bottom line is RFC CHEAT & have been allowed to do so by the powers that be, SFA & refs,Police & Politicians.

    I have a suggestion, properly debate, no wee dying bits or wows or better still, as you travel the world & have hours to pass, face the wall & give that old Gideon a read.

  21. JJ says:

    Tommy says:

    01/12/2011 at 12:38 am

    Adam, I think your fellow bears on Follow Follow have sussed you out. Are you Hugh McEwan in disguise?

    “rokcy Posted Yesterday, 11:33 PM
    I see the maddies on RTC are creaming themselves over “unaudited” accounts and the token uncle tom come selik fan adam the madam is sucking up to the fudsters, I doubt any of the sad fuks could add two and two and get five”

    —————————————————————————————————–

    “I doubt any of the sad fuks could add two and two and get five”

    In which case, us saddos would get four!

    (I think I know what he is trying to say, but, Oh dear, they really are thick!)

  22. StevieBC says:

    Tommy says:
    01/12/2011 at 12:38 am
    Adam, I think your fellow bears on Follow Follow have sussed you out. Are you Hugh McEwan in disguise?

    “rokcy Posted Yesterday, 11:33 PM
    I see the maddies on RTC are creaming themselves over “unaudited” accounts and the token uncle tom come selik fan adam the madam is sucking up to the fudsters, I doubt any of the sad fuks could add two and two and get five”
    ==================================
    Well since nobody else is uploading Comments at this time…

    Rokcy, [or is it Rocky], is a real contradiction.

    On the one hand, he does not feel the need to utilise virtually any punctuation.
    Yet on the other hand, he boasts of his business acumen:”…I doubt any of the sad fuks could add two and two and get five”
    Rokcy/Rocky is obviously an expert in deriving synergistic business benefits – is he an M&A specialist ?

    Maybe he can give the MBB the benefit of his experience ?

    🙄

    Rokcy/Rocky just confirms that RTC has created a far superior blog ! 🙂

  23. Barcabhoy says:

    For a business that has no bank debt, it’s quite a feat that interest charges rose by 50% during the year.

    Expect more of the same if Whyte manages to keep it going. Murray milked Rangers by providing services through his other business’. He could then claim to have never taken a salary. Whyte could do similar by charging at the highest level for providing cash.

    Money lent rom BVI…..tax payable zero

    Anyway thats a sideshow.

    Why bother with unaudited accounts? It meets the minimum requirement of plus markets, but merely flags up that for the first time since becoming a plc Rangers have been unable to provide a set of audited accounts within a 5 month period. The audited accounts will have to be provided to plus markets by the end of February or the shares will be suspended.

    The shoddy announcement on Whytes ban, inaccurate and misleading, and the failure to provide audited accounts are very strong indicators of a man badly struggling to contain the worst news. The press release has all the hallmarks of being written specifically for the Daily Record reading end of the Rangers support. It smacks of a man who in the immortal words of Marine Colonel Nathan R Jessop ” can’t handle the truth”

    As a Celtic supporter i’m coming round to the view that we should hope Whyte is in for the long haul. The comedy value is exceptional

  24. StevieBC says:

    Since the speculation is rife about why RFC cannot get their accounts signed off, shall we soon see some disinformation being fed to the usual MSM culprits ?

    Something along the lines of: the auditors are being unreasonable/difficult, they are trying to harm Rangers survival and people could lose their jobs, etc ?

    The demise of RFC might not be Sir Minty’s/the MBB’s fault after all – it was the auditors ! 🙂

  25. JJ says:

    barcabhoy, not only unaudited accounts but they have no Financial Director to send them. He’s too busy arresting sums in anticipation of his legal action.

    I agree, any debate on such accounts is a waste of time and effort.

  26. Adam says:

    Tommy says:
    01/12/2011 at 12:38 am
    Adam, I think your fellow bears on Follow Follow have sussed you out. Are you Hugh McEwan in disguise?

    “rokcy Posted Yesterday, 11:33 PM
    I see the maddies on RTC are creaming themselves over “unaudited” accounts and the token uncle tom come selik fan adam the madam is sucking up to the fudsters, I doubt any of the sad fuks could add two and two and get five”
    ________________________________________________________________________

    As ive said before, this then is typical of the mentality of Old Firm fans. This guy thinks im a “selik fan” sucking up whilst the other side of the paranoid coin on here chase after me and “see right through me” trying to stick up for “rangers cheating”

    Clearly…….its not me that has issues. 🙂

  27. Adam says:

    Ian Ferguson says:
    01/12/2011 at 1:49 am

    Adam, son, That comment sums you up, you cannot see see how wrong your team are & hide behind whataboutery, Hearts, Celtic debt , everyone is paranoid etc etc .

    You have changed your position gradually.

    Do you remember telling me Mr Whyte had cleared the debt & no interest was being charged & the Whyte Knight was taking Director fees only? Want to update your position?

    Auldheid gives a concise & relevant assessment of the situation, you die a little or have a Wow just Wow moment & don’t answer or fall back on the old paranoia crap but don’t answer the point in question.

    The bottom line is RFC CHEAT & have been allowed to do so by the powers that be, SFA & refs,Police & Politicians.

    I have a suggestion, properly debate, no wee dying bits or wows or better still, as you travel the world & have hours to pass, face the wall & give that old Gideon a read.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    I will answer your paragraphs 1 by 1

    1) I have said constantly on here if the tribunal confirms we are guilty then we should pay every penalty that goes. I cant do much more than that. I have never at any point said everyone is paranoid, but there are a number of people who clearly are. On both sides of the divide.

    2) Nope. My position has not changed at all. I still havent a clue who Whyte is. I still dont trust him. I still believe we will lose the tax case. I still believe their will be an insolvency event. I still believe if we cant come out of it then we should start a newco in 3rd division. You dont know me.

    3) Nope i dont. I have never at any stage claimed Whyte has cleared the debt. Ive known from day one the debt was swapped. I dont believe i have ever claimed no interest was being charged either. I may have said “i dont know” but i have NEVER stated as a fact it WASNT. As for Whyte taking a Directors fee, its possible but again not FACT. I really think you are confusing me with someone else and I would glady look at any link you wish to post that gave you this impression.

    4) Auldheid is a conspiracy theorist in my opinion. Having said that, he is nice, pleasant and an articulate one at that. He doesnt resort to name calling or start banging his keyboard in anger like yourself at me when i post. I respect him and my post was a little light hearted joke. If it upset him and he says so then i would apologise. I do believe though that the level he wishes to explore conspiracy within the SPL and SFA is paranoia.

    5) Paranoid drivel. Absolute drivel.

    6) It appears to be a certain ilk that miss my debates. Its a funny one. The most respected posters on here such as RTC, Paulie and Paul McConville often stick up for me and tell others like your good self to back off. Why do you think that is? Perhaps they dont have burning issues discussing things with someone from the opposite side.

  28. Adam says:

    Barcabhoy says:
    01/12/2011 at 2:06 am
    For a business that has no bank debt, it’s quite a feat that interest charges rose by 50% during the year.
    ___________________________________________________________________________

    Barca, they only got rid of the bank date in month 11 of 12. Lloyds were paid in May and the accounts closed in June. Next years interest payment will be the one to watch, if we get there.

  29. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    Adam (or anyone!)

    can anyone speculate why these accounts would be “problematic” for CW?

    the sale went through in May, the accounts are up to the end of June

    Other than the payment of LTSB debt and a change in the banking arrangements, there wouldn’t be any MAJOR financial transactions in that may-June period – not a huge amount of ST sales income, no players sold etc

    so the accounts should really have been a straightforward process relating to business as usual without too much tomfoolery from CW

    that takes us back to why the delay in getting them audited? is it tax case provision? going concern provisions? asset valuations issues? something else?

  30. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    thanks RTC, did my question prompt you to post a whole new blog on the accounts and as to why they might yet be unaudited?

    yeah, i do realise i’m talking to myself whilst you are all reading the new blog!!

  31. steve-b says:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/15992698.stm

    SFA investigate Whyte…………

  32. john turkleton says:

    Noticed a mention that the SFA should not be considered as institutionally biased because of the actions of former chairman Mr Farry, mmm. They had 2 separate investigations into his conduct, could find nothing wrong, they also managed to award him £210k after dismissing him for gross misconduct, shirley, a first.

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