A victim of our own success


In the last week, we have seen the final stage of the mainstreaming of the Rangerstaxcase story. With factional in-fighting among current and former executives of Rangers FC spilling onto the front pages of our tabloid press, even the most sceptical football fan will now understand that Rangers face a crisis that threatens their very existence. That much is a cause for some satisfaction. After ignoring this story for the best part of a year and a half, the mainstream media appear to be roused from their stupor. It would be difficult for anyone to deny with a straight face the role this blog has had in forcing the uncomfortable truth into the open.

However, the comments section of this blog has simply become unmanageable. With over 2,500 replies posted in a matter of five days, I do not have time to read them all. I have been struggling for a few months to contain potentially defamatory posts, but the numbers are simply overwhelming now. While I have had many kind offers to help share the burden, there are practical reasons for not taking them up.

I will try to provide a way to allow those who have built this site into something wonderful to continue posting their views, but I do not see the utility in this site becoming a general Celtic-based messageboard.  There are many excellent sites catering to this need already. It has never been my goal to ever be in competition with any of them.

It was perhaps inevitable that with the explosion of interest in this subject that the nature and quality of comments would change. At the risk of being seen to be elitist, it was the group of people who contributed content and analysis in the early months who made this site special. So I plan on providing a means to allow them to continue posting.  (Bear with me as I experiment with settings).

This would appear to be the best way to avoid the repetition and dilution of content. With fewer contributors, the ‘Old Guard’ and approved posters will find it easier to maintain a running theme. There will be a chance for the analysis and fact-finding that made this site popular can be retained.

Additionally, it would be important to provide a place for fans of all other Scottish clubs, especially Rangers supporters, who wish to engage in factual and/or informed speculation about events that are unfolding. Thus far, Rangers-based sites have blindly chosen positions without much analysis. Anyone wishing to engage in reasoned and informed discussion would be welcome to provide input, regardless of opinion.

I mean no criticism of those who see Rangers’ troubles as a source of amusement. There are simply lots of other places more suited to that type of comment. I am sure that keeping this blog as a staid and ‘rooted-in-fact’ environment will reduce its popularity. However, if we can revive the original spirit of the blog this will be a price worth paying.

Edit:  I am going to allow the old comment rules to continue for a while.

As for the most recent wave of insolvency rumours, I can confirm that Rangers had instructed their legal advisors to prepare for a possible filing at the end of the transfer window. However, I chose to sit on this story as it was likely to be misinterpreted. There are many tactical reasons why a company might want the option of filing on a given date, but might later choose to not go ahead. There are many factors that would affect Whyte’s decision to file- and the simple truth is that we do not have access to enough information to make any statement about a date when receivership or administration would become his best option.  Whyte could file tomorrow or several months from now. The exact date does not matter too much. All sides will have had ample time to prepare their positions and refine their strategies. The only certain outcome is that the country’s top law firms are going to be busy.

What we do know is that Scotland’s biggest football club is facing the biggest crisis in its 140-year history.  We have also seen the opening salvos in the battle to pick up the pieces of a post-liquidation Rangers. Most significantly, we have helped launch and shape the debate on how Scottish football would deal with a post-liquidation Rangers. We have called out the ‘presumptive close’ being attempted by those who have a vested in interest in a newco-Rangers recovering rapidly.

The case for thwarting all notion of sporting integrity and parachuting a newco-RFC back into the Scottish Premier League has not been made. Despite what Hugh Keevins might say, as observed by a couple of our regular posters, it seems that the only surviving SPL club that would face a significant reduction in revenue related to the loss of Rangers from the SPL would be Celtic. For every other club, there is a chance that the thousands who migrate towards Ibrox from towns across Scotland every other Saturday might show an interest in their local team. There would be a realistic hope of winning trophies. Those who do not wish to discuss a newco-Rangers earning its place in the top flight fairly, do not want to investigate the opportunities that may exist in re-ordering the game either.

This would all be easier to understand if we were watching top quality football being played by young Scotsmen in an atmosphere of optimism.  However, Scottish football has fallen progressively further and further behind the top-flight standards in the last 25 years. The idea that it is worth taking a chance on remaking our game is one worth at least some discussion.

Time-horizon is also a factor being ignored by the radio talking heads. While Celtic would undoubtedly face a dip in revenues in the short-run, a more competitive league in the future could see stands filled once again across this football mad nation. Even Celtic could see increased ticket sales and TV revenues in ten years time if 3-4 clubs were in a tight battle for the SPL title. If the men running the SFA lack the imagination to see the chance presented, then they need to be replaced. We should not forget about the risk of cynicism. If it is clear that a newco-Rangers will be nursed back to health by hook or by crook for short-term financial reasons, there will be little point in watching Scottish football thereafter. Why bother? There would not even be a pretence of fair competition. Is the financial risk of helping a newco-Rangers being considered?

A newco-Rangers that earns its place in the Scottish Premier League by promotion through the lower leagues will spare its fans the permanent ‘mark of Cain’ that would accompany not winning its place. A club that works its way up through the lower divisions could rebuild its record with pride and know that it deserves respect.


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.

616 Responses to A victim of our own success

  1. Rangers Nil? Who Missed the Penalty? says:

    JJ says:
    07/02/2012 at 12:04 am

    Precisely JJ.

    I don’t know how the SFA’s question about being disqualified as a director is worded, but common sense (I know, I know) tells me that the question is designed to elicit the status of the applicant throughout the five year period preceding the application. In the five years preceding an application in April 2011, a person having been disqualified for 7 years in April 2000 would have had the status of “disqualified” throughout the first year of the five year qualifying period.

    That seemed quite straightforward until I tried to write it!

  2. John says:

    Barcabhoy says:

    07/02/2012 at 1:03 am

    John says:
    07/02/2012 at 12:27 am

    ================

    You would need a quorum to pass that, however you would also need to inform ALL directors in writing prior to the action .

    In Rangers case ,Greig and McLelland only resigned in early October, as did Donald Mcintyre. I believe Martin Bain resigned on June 24th as a Director.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    According to the ‘infamous ‘Bain papers’, which were posted on here, Bain and McIntyre were suspended on May 23rd, the same day as Johnston and Murray were removed.

    I would be very grateful if you could help me with the rights of suspended directors in an ongoing business and, specifically, if there is still an obligation to keep them informed.

    In the same papers Bain does say ‘It is understood that Mr Whyte has arranged for the defender to assign its season ticket income for the next four years to a London finance company in exchange for cashflow at the present time…’

    I just want to repeat that I have absolutely no doubt that there were all sorts of shady deals going on.

  3. brogan rogan trevino and hogan says:

    Good Morning,

    Re the debate on the whether the Ticketus deal is with Wavetower or with Rangers PLC, I am looking at this from the perspective of Ticketus.

    I accept and fully understand that the deal could be with either Wavetower or Rangers PLC, but my point is that it would appear that much of the documentation fior that deal was prepared,revised and completed prior to Wavetower buying the SDM shares in Rangers.

    So, Imagine I am or I act for Ticketus– a company with whom the board of Rangers PLC have an established trading position which is renewed on an annual basis. I Understand that Ticketus have similar arrangements with a number of clubs.

    So there I am in my office when I receive an approach — by telephone or e-mail or whatever– from Carter Ruck who claim to act on behalf of CW or Wavetower , saying that their client is in negotiation with the owners of the majority shareholding of Rangers PLC. Carter Ruck claim that their client is going to be the new Rangers owner and suggest that they want to mortgage 4 YEARS worth of season tickets— NOW!

    This arrangement is way beyond the normal terms of trading with Rangers PLC– a club and a company with a well publicised tax problem on the horizon.

    The negotiations betwwen Wavetower and MIH have taken months to conclude and at the date of this approach they have not concluded at all.

    Now, at what stage do Ticketus seek to verify what they are being told by presumably Carter Ruck? At what stage do they do some due dilligence into Wavetower and whoever is behind this shelf company which has hitherto not traded and has no experience in running a football club?

    Presumably all this time, Ticketus would still be in touch with AJ, Bain and the old board regarding whatever deal they had with them, and whatever potential deal they would be doing with them in future– as presumably the old board would have to govern and prepare for life with Rangers in the event that the Whyte deal did not go through.

    I understand the ability to deal in advance with assets of a target on a contingency basis, with the proviso that the deal will only go through once the target has been acquired, however my point is that given the history, practice, sum involved here and the nature of this particular deal– the advance sale of tickets for a venue which does not change at all no matter who owns it— Is it really realistic to expect all of that to happen without someone within the selling side knowing about the negotiations or agreements with Ticketus as they were going on or prior to completion of the Rangers deal itself?

    In my view, MIH and/or Lloyds must have had at least an idea. I think that is reasonable– even if only to say ” well after he has bought it– what he does is nothing to do with us!”.

    Did Whyte then use his contractual ability to raise money on the ticket sales, to “Bridge” the purchase price and so be able to claim that he did not use the Ticketus money to pay MIH at all and so justify his statement that the money came from elsehwhere?

  4. A Long Time Lurker says:

    Regarding the reported meeting between Mr Whyte and GT that was scheduled to take place yesterday, concerning the RFC accounts.

    Has there been any news or announcement on the meeting with GT and its outcome?

    Or assuming that the meeting did not take place or that Whyte is unhappy with the outcome (e.g. GT will/may continue to refuse to sign off), will Whyte perhaps take some comfort that the latest BBC Newsnight article on his past may provide a useful distraction in that the state of the accounts may not be at the forefront of many peoples minds this morning?

  5. the taxman cometh says:

    I believe that an organisation called the vanguard bears had a meeting with TGEF yesterday, the minutes of which will be appearing today, I suspect another PR release disguised as a Q&A

  6. Barcabhoy says:

    John says:
    07/02/2012 at 1:56 am
     2 0 Rate This
    Barcabhoy says:

    07/02/2012 at 1:03 am

    John says:
    07/02/2012 at 12:27 am

    ================

    You would need a quorum to pass that, however you would also need to inform ALL directors in writing prior to the action .

    In Rangers case ,Greig and McLelland only resigned in early October, as did Donald Mcintyre. I believe Martin Bain resigned on June 24th as a Director.
    ————————————————————————————————————-

    According to the ‘infamous ‘Bain papers’, which were posted on here, Bain and McIntyre were suspended on May 23rd, the same day as Johnston and Murray were removed.

    I would be very grateful if you could help me with the rights of suspended directors in an ongoing business and, specifically, if there is still an obligation to keep them informed.

    In the same papers Bain does say ‘It is understood that Mr Whyte has arranged for the defender to assign its season ticket income for the next four years to a London finance company in exchange for cashflow at the present time…’

    I just want to repeat that I have absolutely no doubt that there were all sorts of shady deals going on.
    ————-

    John

    I will need to get the opinion of my company sec on that one. I have never had to do it, so don’t know off of the top of my head.

    However McLelland and Greig were never suspended. Somebody should ask them what they know. The other point is timing, my information, which supports the Records story, is the funds were transferred out of Collyer Bristol in early May, before the suspensions took place.

    I would think it inconveivable that £24 million hit Rangers plc’s account without the CEO knowing about it, which looks like more “evidence” that this deal was with Wavetower

  7. corsica says:

    Barcabhoy, you are as addicted as me!

    I’ve not checked it legally but my understanding is that if a director or employee is suspended then so is their right to receive company papers, information, etc. They would also obviously be excluded from any decision-making process.

  8. Barcabhoy says:

    Yesterday was a fascinating day …….

    The BBC and this blog have raised a number of vital questions. It might be helpful to summarise after the information overload of yeaterday.

    * Whyte has been accused of lying in court. What does this do to his fit and proper status as currently under investigation by the SFA

    * Which company did the deal with Ticketus

    * Have the rights of the minority shareholders of Rangers Football Club plc been ignored and marginalised as a consequence of the Ticketus deal

    * Have Ticketus claimed input relief from the VAT element of this transaction

    * Have Rangers completed a VAT return which shows there was VAT on this transaction, or has another Whyte company filed a VAT return showing this, or has no company filed a VAT return showing that VAT is due to be paid on this transaction

    * Were all Directors of Rangers Football Club plc informed in writing in advance of tne Ticketus transaction

    * Did Rangers receive the money directly from Ticketus, and if so where is it now

  9. Barcabhoy says:

    corsica says:
    07/02/2012 at 8:25 am
     0 0 Rate This
    Barcabhoy, you are as addicted as me!

    I’ve not checked it legally but my understanding is that if a director or employee is suspended then so is their right to receive company papers, information, etc. They would also obviously be excluded from any decision-making process.
    ————-

    Corsica,

    Guilty. Two reasons primarily. I see a great deception going on here, and I have a strong dislike of people who conduct business in this manner. I have a great respect for people who are successful in business and follow an ethical and moral code. Equally i despise those who attempt to profit by cheating, lying and deceiving .

    Putting creditors money beyond the hands of a receiver in a members voluntary winding up situation is despicable. Stripping away the legal jargon it is plain theft. So lets not be in any doubt here, what Whyte was accused of by the BBC was theft and perjury.

  10. corsica says:

    Barcabhoy on 07/02/2012 at 8:47 am said:

    Likewise. I am with you 100%.

    With regards my last post, it occurs to me that whilst one can suspend emoyees or directors for lawful reasons, one cannot suspend them in order to remove them from decision-making because they may disagree. The bigger may therefore be has there been conspiracy to defraud?

  11. Barcabhoy says:

    Corsica,

    We are behind the curve here. RTC has posted a new article

  12. Oor Wullie says:

    timtim says:
    07/02/2012 at 1:12 am

    0

    0

    Rate This

    http://www.mcafee.cc/Bin/sb.html

    sorry wrong link previous.
    ———————————–

    Sounds like a description of Hugh Keevins.

  13. Oor Wullie says:

    Barcabhoy says:
    07/02/2012 at 8:47 am

    I see a great deception going on here, and I have a strong dislike of people who conduct business in this manner. I have a great respect for people who are successful in business and follow an ethical and moral code. Equally i despise those who attempt to profit by cheating, lying and deceiving .

    Putting creditors money beyond the hands of a receiver in a members voluntary winding up situation is despicable. Stripping away the legal jargon it is plain theft. So lets not be in any doubt here, what Whyte was accused of by the BBC was theft and perjury.
    ———————————————————————————————

    If the BBC allegations of theft can be proved, why has Whyte never been the subject of criminal proceedings?

    He has rather proudly said that he has never been the subject of such.

    It is strange, given his history, that he has never fallen foul of criminal law.

  14. OnandOnandOnand says: 07/02/2012 at 12:55 am
    http://rangerstaxcase.com/2012/02/06/a-victim-of-our-own-success/comment-page-12/#comment-50188
    “On that point, where is Henry Clarson? His incisive analysis of the GEF seems more and more to the point. CW is a clinically defined psychopath, dead cert, he just doesn’t understand people’s feelings on this. I had a fascinating conversation with Henry C and another, sorry, forget the name, when a programme was on BBC about psychopaths in business. CW’s attitude to this all can only be explained in those terms. Comment, Henry C?”
    =====================================================

    Onandx3, as far as the man’s psychological profile is concerned, the link that timtim posted gives a very good summary of the salient characteristics.
    I can’t shed any light on details of company law, accountancy, tax procedures, etc., but I’m absolutely convinced that the question of what is going on in the mind of Craig Whyte has to be looked at from the perspective of the academically verified, authoritative research work of Dr. Robert Hare to which I previously referred. Ethics, fair play, decency and morality do not influence the psychopath’s thinking to even the slightest degree.
    I put it that people such as CW will not worry at all about the kinds of things which would cause great concern to the rest of us. It’s the remorseless, shameless, pitiless pursuit of an objective which gives the corporate psychopath the advantage of being comfortably able to pursue business strategies which would be utterly rejected by non-psychopaths who have a conscience to live with.
    Those who are best able to look at the opportunities presented by the legal paperwork from the psychopath’s mindset will have a much better insight into what options may yet be pursued by CW.
    Do not dismiss any potential plan as being too brazen or low. Any option that enables Our Man to collect his profit (and stay out of jail) should be considered seriously, no matter how shameful it might appear in the judgement of more honest businessmen. The motivation of winning popularity and undying gratitude with the Rangers supporters as the saviour of their club can certainly be ruled right out.

    As to where I have been — as usual, I’m playing catch-up on the hundreds of posts from previous days which I can’t keep up with!

  15. OnandOnandOnand says: 07/02/2012 at 12:55 am
    http://rangerstaxcase.com/2012/02/06/a-victim-of-our-own-success/comment-page-12/#comment-50188
    “On that point, where is Henry Clarson? His incisive analysis of the GEF seems more and more to the point. CW is a clinically defined psychopath, dead cert, he just doesn’t understand people’s feelings on this. I had a fascinating conversation with Henry C and another, sorry, forget the name, when a programme was on BBC about psychopaths in business. CW’s attitude to this all can only be explained in those terms. Comment, Henry C?”
    =====================================================

    Onandx3, as far as the man’s psychological profile is concerned, the link that timtim posted gives a very good summary of the salient characteristics.
    I can’t shed any light on details of company law, accountancy, tax procedures, etc., but I’m absolutely convinced that the question of what is going on in the mind of Craig Whyte has to be looked at from the perspective of the academically verified, authoritative research work of Dr. Robert Hare to which I previously referred. Ethics, fair play, decency and morality do not influence the psychopath’s thinking to even the slightest degree.
    I put it that people such as CW will not worry at all about the kinds of things which would cause great concern to the rest of us. It’s the remorseless, shameless, pitiless pursuit of an objective which gives the corporate psychopath the advantage of being comfortably able to pursue business strategies which would be utterly rejected by non-psychopaths who have a conscience to live with.
    Those who are best able to look at the opportunities presented by the legal paperwork from the psychopath’s mindset will have a much better insight into what options may yet be pursued by CW.
    Do not dismiss any potential plan as being too brazen or low. Any option that enables Our Man to collect his profit (and stay out of jail) should be considered seriously, no matter how shameful it might appear in the judgement of more honest businessmen. The motivation of winning popularity and undying gratitude with the Rangers supporters as the saviour of their club can certainly be ruled right out.

    As to where I have been — as usual, I’m playing catch-up on the thousands of posts from previous days which I can’t keep up with!

  16. David says:

    “I put it that people such as CW will not worry at all about the kinds of things which would cause great concern to the rest of us. It’s the remorseless, shameless, pitiless pursuit of an objective which gives the corporate psychopath the advantage of being comfortably able to pursue business strategies which would be utterly rejected by non-psychopaths who have a conscience to live with.”

    Couldn’t have put it any better – well said!

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