Just in case some of you do not follow my Twitter account (imaginatively named: @rangerstaxcase), I realised yesterday that I had made a mistake. A few days ago, I tweeted, and posted, that two (2) additional directors of Rangers FC had benefited from the Employee Benefit Trust (EBT) scam that so gravely imperils one of Scotland’s great institutions. This statement followed Craig Whyte’s interview with The Sun newspaper where he named ex-Chairman John McClelland and ex-Chief Executive Martin Bain as having participated in the scheme.

My statement  was issued in error. A more accurate statement would be to say: “At least two (2) additional directors of Rangers FC used the EBT scam that makes insolvency virtually inevitable“. (I hope that my statement did not cause any inconvenience to anyone).

This is important because as company directors they had a responsibility to check that the correct amount of tax, VAT, and National Insurance contributions were paid- and on time. Company directors are required to act in good faith– in the interests of the company as a whole. This includes not having (or declaring) conflicts of interest. Rangers’ accounts for the periods covering EBT use do not mention any directors declaring a conflict of interest. (It is possible that they have declared this in non-public board meeting minutes, but shareholders would not have been aware of this). Their obligation to avoid, where possible, conflicts of interest would have been best served by simply not having any personal benefit from Rangers’ tax strategy. Sticking their own snouts in the trough rendered them “conflicted”. How can you assess the suitability of a high risk tax strategy for a company, when you have a personal incentive (and believed at the time, no personal liability)? Not a single Rangers director is known to have resigned over the issue of tax strategy.

Sir David Murray is beloved by many former employees and associates. He is renowned for his personal generosity to those who do right by him. The question that must be asked: Did David Murray effectively buy off Rangers’ directors opposition by allowing them to participate in the scam?

On other matters, I have been deluged for weeks with questions about “the wee tax case”- has the bill for £2.8m been cleared?, the status of Rangers’ failure to keep up with PAYE & NIC remittances, and the nature of my claim that the club had fallen behind on VAT payments. All that I can safely say just now is that all of these matters are intertwined. To explain more on the complexities of the situation just now would be to get too deeply involved in some delicate issues. It is best that I just leave this subject alone for now. However, rest assured that these topics have not been forgotten by any of the interested parties.

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.

1,897 Responses to Apologia

  1. OnandOnandOnand says:

    TheBlackKnight says:

    14/02/2012 at 12:53 am

    I asked a good contact in London about this. He said “Who are Pritchards?” then went away and asked about them. They are a small provincial stockbroking firm based in Bournemouth and the gossip is that the use of clients’ money was not a lot of money, but certainly enough to have the FSA act. The CW angle isn’t that he got money from them, but that he guaranteed their solvency and when FSA came looking for that guarantee to be made good, they were shown the door. The £250,000 invested by CW in the company seems lost

  2. paulmac says:

    ClydesdaleBhoy says:
    13/02/2012 at 10:45 pm

    I am sure that STV said in their report that the result of the BTC would be known by the end of this week, or early next week.

    Anybody confirm

    As laid out below I believe the decision is provided to both parties prior to the decison being made public….so I doubt it will be made public before the end of this week…

    •send decisions to parties of the appeal within five working days of signature by the Judge. The Judge will sign (but not date) the decision once it has been agreed. This can typically be about one or two months after the last day of hearing. The decision will bear the date that it is formally released to the parties of the appeal; and
    •send decisions to public subscribers (individuals, or organisations, who are not directly associated with the appeal and have requested a copy of the decision) within 10 working days of informing the parties of the outcome of the appeal

  3. OnandOnandOnand says:

    Lucculent Sam says:

    14/02/2012 at 12:59 am

    “Now the real work begins. The administrator and various accountants and lawyers will pick over what’s left of the carcase of Rangers FC after the MBB makes off with anything that isn’t nailed down when he remembers an urgent business appointment in a tax haven. Who knows what they will unearth. Though I expect RTC has a pretty good idea…”

    Don’t you get it? The administrator will be appointed by Whyte, paid by Whyte. Why will he “pick over any carcase”?

  4. Hugh McEwan says:

    The thing I find most extraordinary is that he is still lying and the Rangers support are still believing him.

    This move clearly has nothing to do with the ongoing tax appeal. It is to do with the fact that he sold a load of season tickets in advance, used the bulk of that money to clear the Lloyds debt and the rest for the running costs of the club. He had nowhere else to get that money from. He will use the re-assigned debt to protect his own personal position.

    He is still trying to blame going into administration on the previous regime, when it is clearly not true. It is Whyte’s incompetence and mismanagement which has brought about this situation. To say that taking the first steps towards administration today was because of the tax case was at best disingenuous.

    He couldn’t keep it afloat until the result was given, so he is doing this instead. Trying to insinuate that he knows how the tribunal have ruled and is pre-empting that. Bunkum.

    I see AJ isn’t taking it lying down. I suspect the rest of the old board are like minded. There may be more fallout in the next few days. No insight, just a feeling.

    I told you we would see it faither. We will see liquidation as well I suspect. Good isn’t it.


  5. Airdrie-Tim says:

    RTC I have a query that maybe yourself or some of the other more financial/business astute bloggers could possibly answer.

    Could HMRC (in the unlikely event) unable to acquire the PAYE & NI from Rangers FC, go after the football players who were involved during the past decade and invoice them re: monies owed?

    Just a thought, for if it is possible I’m sure a lot of ex Gers would be claiming bankruptcy.

  6. Moomins says:

    OnandOnandOnand says:

    14/02/2012 at 1:06 am


    Must admit i was more interested in the million quid from Merchant House Group the record claimed appeared in the CB client account…. They don’t have that kind of cash of their own lying around. Welll – not that you could tell, seeing as their accounts are overdue, and they have a quite serious auditors note on their last set.

  7. OnandOnandOnand says:

    Hugh McEwan says:

    14/02/2012 at 1:07 am

    So where have you been? Paddypower were taking bets on where you were, mine was that you were one of Strathclyde’s finest in G division

  8. OnandOnandOnand says:

    Moomins says:

    14/02/2012 at 1:13 am

    Don’t know how MHG could pay that but some other companies in the group might have arranged that finance, so it looks like it came from MHG. Do we have any evidence that MHG actually paid it?

  9. Hugh McEwan says:

    OnandOnandOnand says:
    14/02/2012 at 1:15 am


    I never have, and never will wear the woolly suit.

  10. OnandOnandOnand says:

    Hugh McEwan says:

    14/02/2012 at 1:20 am

    Well, welcome back, you have been missed, even by old bears like me.

  11. paulmac says:

    Paulie Walnuts says:
    14/02/2012 at 12:41 am


    I don’t believe for a minute he used his own money for Lloyds.Some sort of bridging facility at best immediately repaid from the ill gotten gains. Bear in mind also that if there are the arrears of VAT and PAYE we think there might be he’s holding that cash too, plus any change from Jelavic. So lets assume he’s got the change from Ticketus after he paid Lloyds and the costs of the takeover- say £5m Plus the VAT on that – another £5m. Plus maybe three months PAYE, plus whatever else he’s extracted. Might easily be £20m. Certainly £10m.

    The question is can he retain it. If Hector goes after him in a big way and is prepared to spend a million quid on professional fees to make the point it will get very interesting.

    There would also be the small matter of the ST from last..June..July…August and September that would have come in as staged payments over a four month period…and in addition the 2 friendlies where cash was taken from bank accounts on the day it was announced….even taking into account all the arrestments…and early eliminations …would it have given him enough to run the club to this point…an approx.£28m (£3.5m per month)

  12. OnandOnandOnand says:

    paulmac says:

    14/02/2012 at 1:25 am

    Yes, but my point was where is the £10m-£20m PW was suggesting that Wee Gobshyte has run away with?

  13. Tommy says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    14/02/2012 at 1:07 am

    It’s rather odd that both Adam and you suddenly emerge from the mist tonight after a month’s sabbatical. Don’t worry, nothing of note has happened to The Rangers in your absence. There’s talk of Ally McCoist arranging a glamour tour of North America in the summer break.

    Good to see you back.

  14. paulmac says:

    Of course we are taking CW’s guidance of £3.5m…it may have been a lot less than this..added to that…with the debt assigned to Wavetower initially I’m guessing someone or some company was extracting a hefty management fee as part of the running cost?

  15. paulmac says:

    OnandOnandOnand says:
    14/02/2012 at 1:30 am

    paulmac says:

    14/02/2012 at 1:25 am

    Yes, but my point was where is the £10m-£20m PW was suggesting that Wee Gobshyte has run away with?

    I agree that seems excesive…but none the less possible…where could it be…the only place he could put it…the BVI..

    Would he be so greedy as to help himself to that much…YES..he is taking it from the tax man..

  16. DAVAD00 says:

    Hugh McEwan.

    Rankers administration to end this day and a post from you Sir to start the next. Both you and ‘faither’ must be ecstatic. Welcome back, you have been missed.

  17. OnandOnandOnand says:

    Night all, tomorrow is another day.

  18. Hugh McEwan says:

    Tommy says:
    14/02/2012 at 1:30

    Hugh McEwan says:
    14/02/2012 at 1:07 am

    It’s rather odd that both Adam and you suddenly emerge from the mist tonight after a month’s sabbatical. Don’t worry, nothing of note has happened to The Rangers in your absence. There’s talk of Ally McCoist arranging a glamour tour of North America in the summer break.

    Good to see you back.


    Would it be dreadfully gauche of me to reply something along the lines of “fud”.

  19. paulmac says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    14/02/2012 at 1:20 am

    OnandOnandOnand says:
    14/02/2012 at 1:15 am


    I never have, and never will wear the woolly suit.

    I reckoned you had booked a weeks holiday at a big gaff in Granton on Spey..where they have no TV..radio..internet or contact with the outside world..

    How is Mrs. Whyte by the way 🙂

  20. ”If you don't need to know, you don't get to hear.” says:

    His strange absence in all of this was mentioned a good few weeks back & was commented on
    by shake the room & others..timing was the key to his re incarnation..!?
    ….Souness & “Sir”..!! ,could the old band be gettin back together..one last gig..??.
    “build it & they will come”
    ff’s the clue’s are all there…even the naked Indian..he’s wandering around east London..!!

  21. the hitch22 (@john_mityboosh) says:

    “It is only fair to those clubs and to other taxpayers who do meet their obligations that HMRC enforces payment of tax debts owed – and if need be, issues a winding up petition or seeks to appoint an administrator.

    “There is little HMRC can do for a business – be it a football club or not – whose viability is dependent either on not paying the UK taxes to which they are liable, or on special treatment not available to other customers with similar tax affairs.”

    – HMRC Spokesman

  22. Ray Charles says:

    Hugh, it is truly marvellous to see you back.

    If I was ever in the trenches I would be comforted to know a man like yourself was beside me.

    If I was in the other trenches I would run!

  23. SBhoy says:

    RTC ( and all) please excuse me,but I am gloating

    I have been folllowing this site since inception, I can’t help myself,


    Or should that be WOW ! JUST WOW!!

  24. TheBlackKnight says:

    Hugh McEwan on 14/02/2012 at 1:07am

    Hugh! Where have you been? Your ice-cream has melted. 😉

    Nice to have you back on board.

  25. rab says:

    EasyJambo – Paulie Walnuts – Don Dionisio – OnandOnandOnand
    BarcaBhoy – Hugh McEwan – Paul McConville – Corsica
    Lord Wobbly – The Black Knight

    This is how i see the team lining up.

    Gk. Auldheid. Simpson ( faither) the sensible one.
    Rb. Easyjambo. Mcgrain. Reads the game outstanding.
    Ch. P Walnuts. Mcneil. A leader.
    Ch. The Don. Elliot. Imperious. Italian connections.
    Lb. Onx3. Gemmell. Totally respected bluenose.
    Lw. Barcabhoy. T Burns. Awe the twists and turns.
    C Mid. Paul McConville. Mcstay. Intelligent, articulate maestro.
    C Mid. Hugh mcEwan. Hay. Hardman, nuff said, right.
    Rw Corsica. Di canio. Temperamental genuis.
    St. TBK. Sutton. Straight talking, no nonsense. Big game player.
    St. L Wobbly. Macca. Likes a drink, likes a laugh, likes the ladies. Loves scoring.

    Sub. Me. Peter grant. Likes to point and shout a lot but canny actually play, but just loves celtic.

    Manager. RTC. Big Jock. Ahead of his time. The greatest. Immortal.

  26. the hitch22 (@john_mityboosh) says:

    Is tonights SSB up for anyone ?

  27. Ray Charles says:

    Rab, that made me chuckle, a lot.

    Very insightful too, in so many ways.

    My personal favourites are L. Wobbly, Corsica and the sub.

    I would also give Duggie77 a place on the bench – as Alan McInally.

    Doesn’t always look as if he knows what he is doing but can create something out of nothing that leaves the opposition scratching their head.

  28. Paul Callaghan says:

    Thanks to longtime lurker for posting the news night story……. So looked forward to watching a story of that ilk. ( sorry for the schandenfraude) .
    Now the rest of the house of cards will fall!!!!

  29. Whullie says:

    Barcabhoy says:
    13/02/2012 at 5:58 pm

    On this day 320 years ago

    Massacre of Glencoe : About 78 Macdonalds at Glen Coe, Scotland are killed early in the morning for not promptly pledging allegiance to the new king, William of Orange.

    Not convinced this is entirely accurate. The MacDonalds agreed to William’s demands and sent this information to Ft William. The messenger was too late as Williams representative had already left. The rest is history.

    In summation. The paperwork was late.
    Remind you of anyone?

    On a different note and wrt Hearts tax bill. Am I naive to believe that Vlad is toying here. We know he likes to stick 2 fingers up at the press and the SFA/SPL. I am pretty sure he will square up Hearts tax issues as late as possible to do just this. Even if it means giving the ‘viccy’ via HMRC.

  30. rab says:


    Thanks very much. Duggie73 will be glad you took 4 years off his age lol. Good assessment of his alter ego. Andy fitzpatrick could have played, but he is suspended. ( sorry andy ) 😀

  31. rab says:

    Andy fitzpatrick is chic charnley. ( sorry again andy. ) 😀

  32. Ray Charles says:

    Sorry Duggie73

    Had a few beers tonight!

  33. Whullie says:

    Coupla points. (sound like an SSB caller there)

    1. There is talk of CW ‘negotiating’ a CVA or some other deal with HMRC. (I know, I know). Was it not part of the Purchase Agreement that Murray’s side did the negotiating. CW being strictly barred from doing so?

    2. Thought it odd that when reading obituaries earlier I found 2 mentioned in the same sentence.
    Whit nae Rangers. 😉

    Just thought of a third. Is it not the case that the Sky deal that ‘demands’ coverage of 4 Glasgow Derbies does not come into play until 2014/15. By that time Sky may well notice the efforts of The Govan Germans progressing through the leagues towards the SPL. Thus deeming any review of the deal unnecessary?

  34. Ray Charles says:

    “If there’s a new Rangers, then they start with a trophy haul of precisely zero. They will have been found guilty of financial doping. They will have been forced to scurry away and reform themselves with a mortifying haste. The dignity would be stripped away from them.”


  35. Lucculent Sam says:

    OnandOnandOnand says: 14/02/2012 at 1:06 am

    Don’t you get it? The administrator will be appointed by Whyte, paid by Whyte. Why will he “pick over any carcase”?

    You seem to think I said it would be only the administrator who gets to pick over that carcase. I didn’t.

    So for the avoidance of doubt….

    Whyte’s pet administrator is not going to enjoy the same room to manoeuvre with the dying RFC as they may have had in their previous dealings with the MBB’s business ventures. The RFC administration will be too high profile. So things should be done to the highest standards to ensure there are no concerns over how diligently the administration was conducted and that the maximum is raised for the club’s creditors. Not that I’m implying Whyte’s chosen administrator and advisers would ever act in anything but the highest of professional standards.

    For one thing, HMRC will be breathing down the neck of whoever handles the administration. The Insolvency Service may well be investigating. So might Plus. The MBB has annoyed all of them. Ticketus is likely to take a very close interest in how the administration is handled too. So could the clubs who are owed transfer and gate money. I seem to remember that the SPFA kept a close eye on things when other clubs went into administration. Perhaps the SPL and SFA may show an interest as well.

    Then we have the glare of publicity from dedicated seekers of truth in the MSM. They’ll continue to ask searching questions about the governance of a venerable Scottish institution, what happened to the warchests and season ticket money, Sally’s budget for the next transfer window (if she’s still there) and so on. Or maybe not. 🙂

    Besides, there’s usually some good eating in the leftovers after the predators at the top of the food chain have killed their prey and had a meal.

    Assuming the MBB leaves absolutely nothing of saleable value behind, his chosen administrator will almost certainly reveal all about the Murray regime in attempt to share and/or deflect blame from their paymaster. Those pickings will be in the carcase and someone will find them even if it isn’t someone on Whyte’s payroll.

  36. Ray Charles says:

    Feel as though I am doing a press review but it is all good stuff, from a Celtic perspective.
    (Sorry Adam)


  37. StevieBC says:

    Re: manipulation of a RFC/newco into the SPL.

    To really ‘set the cat amongst the pigeons’ all we need is for another SPL Chairman/Chief Exec. to be quoted in the MSM stating that they don’t need Rangers either…

    I now find it quite offensive that the MSM appears to be ignoring the fact that a cheating organisation does not deserve any ‘special treatment’ – at all.

    And why hasn’t the MSM mentioned how many nurses, teachers, healthcare services etc could have been funded with GBP49M ?

  38. Mark Dickson says:

    Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    13/02/2012 at 10:04 pm

    FAO Mark Dickson

    I beleive you posted a really comprehensive post about how over the years as finances in teh scottish game changed things became polarised towards the old firm

    it covered shared gate receipts, distribution of tv money, wage caps etc

    I’ve searched the blog for it, but can’t find it. do you have it at hand?
    No but here’s an abridged version – we start off with wage capping, gate sharing, large divison sizes and fairly equal split of whatever football income was generated;
    1946-1965 OF title wins 12 Others 8 (Hibs 3, Hearts 2, Aberdeen, Dunde & Killie 1 each)

    Old Firm title domination 60% v 40% other clubs

    1960-61 Wage capping ends

    1966-1985 OF title wins 16 Others 4 (Aberdeen 3, Dundee Utd 1)

    Old Firm title domination 80% v 20% other clubs

    1981 Gate sharing ends

    1986 to Present OF title wins 26/27 Others ZERO

    Old Firm title domination 100%

    1999 SPL breakaway and football revenue heavily skewed towards top clubs

    end result only 1 team in 12/13 seasons has managed to finish 2nd (Hearts in 2006) albeit to do so required a vastly increased cost base that pushed HMFC debt upwards of £30M

    1950’s saw record attendance levels set at almost every ground in Scotland except Glasgow where it is only in the Murray / McCann era’s that attendance levels have peaked in massive new all seater stadiums.

    It would seem to show from the evidence of title wins and cup wins that salary capping, gate-sharing, evenly distributed league & cup money and bigger division sizes (each team playing others once home & away) enabled a far more competitive environment and higher aggregate attendance levels at the majority of Scottish football grounds.

  39. stunney says:

    It’s now 9.45pm here in the gorgeous foothills of California’s Santa Cruz mountains. I have followed the day’s developments with interest and with, I must admit, great big dollops of delectatio morosa.

    Let me just say, brisk handshakes—and, indeed, chapeaux—all round.

    And if I may allow myself a small dose of self-congratulation, I did opine just a couple of days ago that the end was nigher than a very nigh thing. It strikes me that it is even nigher now.

    Sweet eschatological dreams beckon…

  40. zanzibar says:

    Gordon Smith fumbling, bumbling, blubbering nonsense as he leaves Ibrox. You really would have thought that he would at least have been prepared for some obvious questions!!

  41. Gwared says:

    Hugh (aka street brawler) we have missed you welcome back.
    Now I know I don’t deserve a place on the team and I happily accept that, but can I carry the mitre?

  42. andy Fitzpatrick says:

    If smith can’t even get his lines right what hope is there for them,,’did he say he was going to invest £5 mill on players’.you look ridiculous smith.

  43. JID says:

    Andy 8.34
    Cut the guy some slack ,after all he has been stuck in a darkened room for god knows how long ,thats how he was looking confused and bumbling,haud on ,its me thats confused ,all the rangers fans have been confused and bumbling since RTC started.

  44. joemc says:

    Gordon Smith is a disgrace.

    He stood in fromt of the cameras and told a bare faced lie in that he knew nothing of Mr Whyte’s investment plans for RFC following the takeover …………….as this must have been announced before he joined the club!!!! EHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

  45. joemc says:

    STV are reporting that HMRC have lodged a petition to be heard at midday today to put RFC into administration.

    Are they trying to beat Whyte to the punch….does this help HMRC if they are able to appoint their administrator of choice?

  46. JID says:

    New post up

  47. David Lessels says:

    tax will only be a percentage of profit not on turnover
    is the purchase of a player seen as an asset or an expence
    if its seen as an asset how fast does it depreciate as this will reduce profits and drive down tax
    if its seen as an expence then it should be tax deductable and drive down tax
    if you get planning permission to improve the stadium the permission could double the value of the stadium and double the assets tax free, sometimes planning sees improvements as permitted development and therefore only a letter of comfort is required from planning but the effect is the same
    if the new asset value far exceed the money owed out then the taxman cannot force administration. Income tax can bills can be reduced by paying players dividends and this is a better incentive for them to do well, a sort of performance related pay
    Best Regards

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