Blogger Scoops Mainstream Media Yet Again Shocker! -in spare time
14/02/2012 4,082 Comments
Scottish Television (STV) has joined the long list of mainstream media organisations humiliated by Rangerstaxcase.com.
Last night, STV carried a story that reported that Sir David Murray has a buyback clause in the agreement that sold Rangers FC. The story claims: “Murray… …inserted a clause in the purchase sale agreement allowing him to regain ownership under “certain circumstances””. The story went on to quote former Rangers Chairman Alastair Johnston as saying: “There is some recourse that could allow Sir David Murray to buy the club back.”
It is a sensational story that would leave any reader with the impression that Murray International Holdings Ltd’s recent request for clarification on how Rangers were being funded was part of a larger plan. Rescue from the clutches of the seemingly hapless (or ruthless) Craig Whyte might be at hand.
The problem is that the story is not true. The contract between Murray and Whyte’s organisations contains no such provision.
To be fair to STV, they are just reporting what they have been told. However, this latest gaffe goes to the heart of the media problem in Scotland. There does not appear to be a point where the media learns its lessons. There is no capacity for improvement. No voice that says: we have been misled by people from this organisation so often in the past that we need to get corroboration before we publish anything more. Alastair Johnston, you will recall, artfully created the impression for Rangers’ supporters and shareholders that the payment of the tax bills that are now crushing their club would be the responsibility of the parent company. His words then were carefully chosen to avoid actually lying, but his intended audience seemed in little doubt at the time as to what they thought he meant. Either Mr. Johnston has been misrepresented by STV or he appears to be trying to gain an advantage in the battle to oust Whyte by misleading Rangers’ supporters.
The contract to sell Rangers to Whyte, called the Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) does include some recourse in the event that Whyte fails to fulfill key promises. However, there is nothing in the agreement that says anything about The Seller (Murray MHL Ltd) being able to retake or repurchase the club.
There are a number of provisions in the agreement that will provoke serious questions as to whether Whyte is in breach of this agreement, including:
- Has Whyte’s lawfirm transferred the promised £6.7m in working capital to Rangers?
- Whyte promised to not borrow against Rangers’ assets (unless principally for Rangers’ benefit)? Is the Ticketus deal a violation of this requirement?
- Whyte pledged to pay the Wee Tax Bill (£2.8m). Was the cash arrested by HMRC for this purpose provided by Whyte or season ticket holders?
You now face a dilemma. Who should you believe- Scotland’s largest commercial media outlet or some bonkers blogger crazily battering a laptop in some hellish garret? You can, of course, just read for yourselves. Below, you will find links to the actual Share Purchase Agreement (SPA) that delivered Rangers into the hands of Whyte. There is a lot to read and much to debate. With the volunteer analysts of all skills and disciplines, I expect that every aspect of this transaction will be ripped apart and digested in no time at all. Enjoy!
- Share Purchase Agreement- Index and Main Document
- Side Letter from Wavetower to Rangers
- Debt Assignation- BoS to Wavetower
- Misc. Attachments
- Working Capital Facility
I look forward to your comments. There are a few other insignificant attachments to the SPA, but none address repurchasing the company or anything close to it. Perhaps STV can ask Mr. Johnston to clarify his comments ? Or maybe they should cast a more wary eye over the words of anyone connected to the executive management of Rangers FC in future.