Time For Leadership at SFA & SPL


Scotland has a seven hundred year history of asking for help from south of the border in times of trouble and internal squabbling. It has rarely gone well. When King Alexander III died in 1286 without an heir, Scottish nobles asked Edward I of England to referee. Things went so badly, Mel Gibson made a film about it.

More recently, both the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the Scottish Premier League (SPL) have reached across the border to find executives who could breathe new life into the moribund bureaucracies that were strangling our national game. It seemed a good idea at the time. There were no natural candidates within the Scottish game and the sectarian divide leaves any executive with a history with either of the Glasgow giants facing immediate accusations of bias. Casting the net for executive vision beyond the Solway Firth just made sense.

However, both Stewart Regan at the SFA and Neil Doncaster at the SPL have been major disappointments. In the face of repeated warnings about the greatest crisis in the history of Scottish football, both have been found asleep “on stag”. Stewart Regan’s petulant and immature responses to legitimate questions on his twitter feed have done nothing to suggest that he is a man braced for action. Neil Doncaster just seems to have gone missing altogether. Both men seem to be intent on giving the impression that they came to Scotland to enjoy some good golf and our peerless fishing.

The Daily Mail today quotes former Rangers director, Hugh Adam, as confirming that Rangers had operated with players routinely being issued with secret second contracts going back to the mid-1990s in direct violation of SFA regulations. Despite many warnings that a crisis was brewing, both Regan and Doncaster seem to have shown determination only in burying their heads deeper in the sand. They have had ample opportunity to investigate and to get out ahead of these issues. In my opinion, both have failed, thus far, to lead their organisations in their hour of greatest crisis.

I even tried to alert Stewart Regan.  All I got in return were impertinent and insulting replies as the following Twitter dialog shows from 23 January 2012 (including original typos):

RTC:                    @Stewartregan What penalty would apply to an SPL club that failed to provide SFA with accurate player contracts?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase more ifs buts and mayes

RTC:                    @Stewartregan ?? You have me confused with others on other subjects. Now can you answer the question?

RTC:                    @Stewartregan Darrell King, a respected journalist, says he has seen side contracts for RFC players. Did SFA get copies?

RTC:                    @Stewartregan if / WHEN 😉 it becomes a matter of public record that side contracts existed, do you have a plan if action?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase you have me confused with the SPL. Why not ask them?

RTC:                    @Stewartregan So the governing body of football in Scotland would abdicate its role in the face of falsification of player contracts?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase inappropriate to speculate on such matters.

RTC:                    @Stewartregan It would be wrong to speculate on specific clubs, but you can clarify the rules for the people who pay your wage- fans.

RTC:                    @Stewartregan does SFA get copies of player contracts as part of UEFA licensing process?

StewartRegan: @rangerstaxcase there is no point in answering hypothetical questions and I’m certainly not going to speculate on it.

RTC:                    @Stewartregan fair enough Stewart, but I would get ready to answer this for real if I was you.

We now have two ex-Rangers employees: Darrell King and Hugh Adam confirming the existence of these second contracts. The Sun has published a redacted version of a player’s second contract. For the avoidance of doubt, let me assure the SFA and the SPL that there is more to come in this story- much more.

If Messrs. Regan and Doncaster are to salvage their reputations they need to get out in front of the seemingly never-ending series of revelations about flagrant rule breaking and illegality at Rangers FC. Their organisations are implicated in these scandals: inaction and failure to investigate over a period spanning decades undermines confidence in the SFA and the SPL. Many will say that this was part of an institutional bias that favoured Rangers. Others will say that this was more a fear of challenging the mighty David Murray and his expensively procured media lackeys. I am prepared to believe that it was just rank incompetence.

So far, all we have in the way of an inquiry is an investigation by Lord Nimmo-Smith of the Rangers takeover. The parameters of this work have not been made public to my knowledge.  However, its timeline is too short to include any of the accusations about rule breaking before the Craig Whyte era. The odour emanating from Ibrox in recent months would cause any neutral observer to fear foul play. If Regan and Doncaster have not seen and heard enough to suspect that Rangers FC, by far the most successful Scottish club in the last 25 years, has been operated as a corrupt enterprise during that period then they are unfit for their posts. The integrity of football as a fair competition is in their hands. If these questions are not addressed, we lose any reason to continue to spend our time and money on the Scottish game.

Let me help them in case they have been listening to the wrong people: this story is not going away. There is a lot more to come out. They can choose to lead their respective organisations in cutting out the cancer or they can become infected by it.

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.

3,164 Responses to Time For Leadership at SFA & SPL

  1. ThirdParty says:

    Meant to say the discussion of what is a club, as distinct from the owner of a club, is very intersting. The SPL clearly recognises the distinction. See article 6:-

    “6. A Share may only be issued, allotted, transferred to or held by a person who is the owner and operator of a Club and if a Member shall cease to be the owner and operator of a Club then such Member shall cease to be entitled to hold a Share.”

    For present purposes the “person” is the legal person which is RFC plc and the Club is RFC.

    Club is defined as:-

    “Club means the undertaking of an association football club which is, for the time being, entitled, in accordance with the Rules, to participate in the League;”

    and Member is:-

    “Member means a person who or which is the holder of a Share;”

    for completeness Share is:-

    “Share means a share of the Company and Share Capital and Shareholding shall be construed accordingly;”

  2. stunney says:

    @JonathanSmith82: @ETimsNet @Pmacgiollabhain rumour police have evidence of referee dealings & Whyte owns 4 of squad, not Rangers and Ogilvie implicated
    Reply With Quote

  3. rab says:

    Big day today, will dufflecoat and dufflebag shuffle the decks and muffle the defiant voices. Also big jim traynor has rode in on his greatly overworked pony to investigate how to save scottish football, with programmes on monday and tuesday night on the future of the game, i expect the media campaign on scotlands dependance on rangers to increase to sickening levels, with the usual suspects and sir lord walter cardigan of myth no surname giving his unquestionable demands. Brace yersels.

  4. The Mighty Atom says:

    stunney says:
    05/03/2012 at 12:49 am

    That’s the clinically obese fly in the ointment. Surely the assets would accrue to the secured creditors in lieu of their security (there being no dosh in the bank) or if a buyer was found the secured creditors would get first dibs on the dosh leaving Sweet Fanny Adams with which to bait the CVA line?

  5. mollocate says:

    i just want to say, before tomorrow happens or might not. i just want to say, in all honesty, that I as a human being of the utmost humanity and truth, will not stand by and be party to the glare of those who seek to undermine what it means to be honest.

  6. Dry As A Dead Dingoes Donger says:

    Hugh McEwan says: 04/03/2012 at 9:25 pm
    weelogic says: 04/03/2012 at 9:10 pm
    And, once again, who has ever said there was such a thing as a “pre-pack liquidation”.
    I’m not saying I have read every post in reply to RTC’s blogs however I have read quite a lot of them and I don’t remember anyone talking about a pre-pack liquidation.
    ———————————————————————————————
    If I may interject here? I’m an avid reader of this blog and vaguely an off the cuff remark being made from ? that was something like this “there would be Liquidation hidden behind a prepack” or words to that effect!
    I’m not claiming to know what that actually means but I did observe the phrase “pre-pack liquidation”. being used a few times after that in following entries from contributors, I believe now causing the confusion.
    I’ll try and read back and see if I find thee actual statemement and post it!
    Cheers.

  7. mollocate says:

    meant to say signed by ‘ally’.

  8. Max B Gold says:

    MJR88 says:
    04/03/2012 at 11:04 pm

    8. Big tax case not a key issue in the sense that liability will be part of the creditors share out – far example, if there is a pot of £20m to share out – each party will get a dividend whether the total liability is say £40 million or £100 million.
    ——————————
    This is what I think is the most misleading part of the Administrators feedback to the RSA and they are lapping it up. A statement like this has them all starting to think this is all going to just blow over and wondering what the fuss was all about.
    Basically they are saying that the big tax case is irrelevant and that it doesn’t really matter how much they owe overall, as each party (ie- the creditors) will just just to accept a dividend on how much is in the pot whether they like it or not.
    And where exactly is this £20 milion pound pot going to come from anyway?
    There ain’t going to be a £20 note to share out in a couple of weeks.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Correct. There is no pot.

  9. lurchingfrompillartopost says:

    ThirdParty on 05/03/2012 at 12:50 am said:

    So a place (or share) in the spl can only be allotted to the owner of a “Club” (football club that meets spl criteria in accordance with the Rules)

    So (for example) if the football club (what is a football club 🙂 ?) no longer meets spl criteria in accordance with the Rules, it is no longer a Club, so the owner (regardless of who or what that was) could no longer be a Member?

  10. shug says:

    Morpheus says:
    05/03/2012 at 12:49 am

    It’s very weird, isn’t it? We know that legally Rangers cease to exist with liquidation. Everything about them gets wiped out. From my periodic searches on Rangers Media, only a few of them understand what’s at stake for their club (for Scottish football, they don’t seem to have a clue – honourable exceptions residing at this blog only apparently). But just like Napoli fans, who’s to tell them that they cannot treat the newco as the same club?

    I can’t imagine anything worse happening to a football fan than losing your club, so it’s not in the least surprising that irrefutable legal truths don’t seem to matter too much when your club’s been liquidated.

  11. Max B Gold says:

    It’s very weird, isn’t it? We know that legally Rangers cease to exist with liquidation. Everything about them gets wiped out. From my periodic searches on Rangers Media, only a few of them understand what’s at stake for their club (for Scottish football, they don’t seem to have a clue – honourable exceptions residing at this blog only apparently).

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    If a New “Club” can rise from the ashes with the same “traditions” mibees its no the fitba’ thats important?

  12. VITAL Signs says:

    ThirdParty 5/3/12 @ 12.41a.m.

    Sorry Third, your logic does not stand up to scrutiny.

    I think it is safe to assume that Hector will be the major creditor or at the very least significant enough to block a CVA.

    CVA with a “tail” sounds good on paper until you realise that the cost-cutting required to generate the “tail” would weaken the on-field product, hardly an attractive proposition for your paying customer. European income? Aside from the fact that a weaker team will struggle big time, the latest scandal to hit RFC(IA), the secret contracts, if proven (and the evidence is building) will result in a lengthy European sanction anyway!

    The Dundee CVA is perhaps not the best example as it has now been revealed that various “embellishments” involving lease and player contracts were employed to bump up creditor proportions to bypass the HMRC veto. Once bitten, and with the huge profile of RFC(IA), HMRC will be sensitive to any similar creative accounting.

    “A CVA should generate more cash for creditors.” Really? More than selling off Ibrox and Murray Park (if we accept that the administrators have control of them)? Doubt it.

    So, your vision of a new owner coming in to pick up the current business, debt-free, sounds fanciful in the extreme when the above is taken into account.

    A newco is the most likely outcome, but even that potential solution will have obstacles to overcome, particularly when the imminent HMRC anti-phoenix legislation comes into play!

  13. Dry As A Dead Dingoes Donger says:

    Dry As A Dead Dingoes Donger says:

    05/03/2012 at 1:07 am

    sorry lost a whole word there!

    “reader of this blog and vaguely REMEMBER an off the cuff remark”

  14. shug says:

    lurchingfrompillartopost says:
    05/03/2012 at 12:05 am

    I think you’re right that a football club resides, partly, in the emotions and memories of the fans. Therefore, if the fans say a newco is still RFC, then effectively it is. (Opposing fans will of course pursue an entirely legalistic approach to the question – and quite right too, for the fun that’s in it)

    But, I find it hard to believe that any newco can survive without playing at Ibrox. Without their home, it just can’t be the same club. And if the buy another club for the license, then I think that cannot work either. I don’t know if they could accept that. I couldn’t think of Celtic in the same way in those circumstances.

  15. VITAL Signs says:

    Stunney 5/3/12 @ 12.54a.m.

    Referee dealings? Would certainly explain countless “honest mistakes!”

  16. Auldheid says:

    stunney says:

    05/03/2012 at 12:54 am

    Kaboom if true.

  17. Auldheid says:

    VITAL Signs says:

    05/03/2012 at 1:47 am

    I’ve been messing about with figures and a business case for Rangers to continue in business does not stand up for the reasons you give. The amount required to repay debt assuming HMRC settled for the lot over a number of years (and they will not) plus what Ticketus are due will affect the wage that can be offered to such an extent that gate receipts, the main income stream, will drop to make the model unworkable. UEFA fitbaw nae chance on football grounds alone.

  18. lurchingfrompillartopost says:

    shug on 05/03/2012 at 1:49 am said:

    i guess so – if the fans ascribe “rangers-ness” to a newco, especially one that doesn’t play at ibrox, it’s arbitrary nihilism time!

  19. resinlabdog says:

    You know, I can’t help thinking that if – over on the Rangers forums- there was half the intelligent effort going into imagining the various permutations, combinations and sceanarios that could play out such that Rangers could emerge from this sorry episode in a viable shape – as there is happening on this blog – they might actually be worth saving!

    I think there is a relatively simple way that their club could put itself in a far better position than it finds itself at present.
    1. Admit its past failings.
    2. Apologise for its misdeeds..
    3. Promise to reform
    4. Ask for help.

    Promise to become a club of fans, and ditch the bigotry, dubious scams and air of superiority.
    (Look guys : Its OK to hate celtic… but its not OK to hate them just because of any religious or political affiliations they may have)

    Ally may be crying about being ‘wounded’ but Rangers wounds are utterly self inflicted. Defiance is not the way to accomplish their aims.
    Their predicament reminds me of the Ralf Moat stand off in many ways.
    If Rangers find themselves bleeding and holding a gun, a headshot is the only answer.
    But if they put down their weapons, express regret, show remorse – there may be another way.
    The ambulance is standing by. As is the police marksman.

  20. Whullie says:

    The argument about promotion vs relegation could possibly be avoided.

    If the SFA appoint a committee to investigate the Hugh Adams allegations and the response goes against Rangers, the punishment is 3 points deducted and a 3-0 defeat against Rangers. If this happens prior to the FTT announcement then Rangers are relegated. Dunfermline(?) stay up and winners of SFL 1 are promoted.

    The SPL may well breathe a sigh here as RFC (IA) then become the SFL/SFA’s problem.

    Supposing, just supposing, the FTT result then goes lightly on Rangers and HMRC appeal it. RFC could still be in administration (yes/no?) when next season kicks off and will be deducted 25 points a la Dundee.

    If any other event, e.g. the police enquiry, goes against RFC then the Livingston scenario kicks in. RFC drop more leagues/points.

    Then the FTT is finalised and they are unable to recover.

    Please feel free to pick holes but be gentle, I am NO big brain and had a difficult time trying line these ducks up.

  21. stunney says:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/football/twenty-questions-on-rangers-21st-day-of-administration.16923666

    MONDAY 5 MARCH 2012 TEXT SIZE Twenty questions on Rangers’ 21st day of administration . . .

    Michael Grant
    Chief football writer
    THE Rangers crisis is spreading like a political scandal or a grotesque oil spill.

    It threatens more damage and laps towards new characters almost every day. How many will be taken down by the time the entire, epic drama has played out?

    For the moment, that can be only guesswork given that Rangers and/or Craig Whyte are being investigated by Strathclyde Police, Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, Duff & Phelps administrators and an independent SFA inquiry.

    Everyone is looking for answers – truthful ones this time, Mr Whyte – but as Rangers begin their 21st day in administration, plenty of questions remain: some old and unresolved, others new and alarming. Here are 20 of the biggest:

    1 How likely are Rangers to fail completely? This is a business which loses roughly £33,000 a day, £250,000 a week and £1m a month. The administrators have Rangers on a life-support system, pleading for cash. Duff & Phelps claim to be optimistic but for them to acknowledge the “newco” option at all shows that liquidation is very possible.

    2 Is Whyte a criminal? This character’s reputation is in absolute tatters but no-one can accuse him of criminality. There are no criminal charges against him and nor have there ever been. But Strathclyde Police are poring over what’s gone on at Rangers and they may ask the Crown Office to seek a conviction over his financial dealings during and since the takeover.

    3 For all the song and dance Sir David Murray made about selling Rangers only to someone with the club’s best interests at heart, why won’t he explain how it ended up in Whyte’s hands? After six months of “due diligence”, was his research so shoddy that it didn’t even show Whyte had been banned as a company director for seven years?

    4 Is it true that Murray and Whyte agreed to a mutual clause that neither would publicly criticise the other? They haven’t so far. Why would they both be fearful that the other would have reason to criticise them?

    5 Does Whyte actually own Rangers? If Duff & Phelps aren’t convinced that he put any/enough of his own money into the club, could he be in breach of the undertakings he made at the time of his takeover? Whyte inevitably would challenge such view/decision, of course, and that could mean a long and ugly court case.

    6 If Whyte’s ownership is contested and it’s proven not to be legally his, who would own Rangers?

    7 If he has nothing to hide, as he says, why didn’t Whyte’s solicitors comply with the SFA’s requests for information about whether or not he met their fit and proper person criteria?

    8 Rangers’ company secretary Gary Withey has been accused of obstructing the administrators’ attempts to obtain the “missing millions” from the Collyer Bristow client account, ie the balance of the £24.4m Ticketus deal once £18m was used to pay off Lloyds Banking Group. How can Withey defend himself?

    9 Has Whyte used that account to pay Withey?

    10 Whyte says he’s a Rangers man. He arranged for £24.4m of fans’ money to go into that account. So with Rangers on their knees, and the administrators desperate for cash, why did they have to resort to legal action to seize that money?

    11 Duff & Phelps say that money – Rangers’ fans money – was “progressively being eroded” in the bank account. Who was spending it and on what?

    12 Three other parties have made a legal claim on it? Who are they and on why do they believe it’s their cash?

    13 How long could Rangers be in administration? All Duff & Phelps have said is that they expect it to be over before the start of the new season on August 4. It depends on the likelihood of getting a Company Voluntary Arrangement (CVA), and that won’t happen any time soon.

    14 Duff & Phelps say the big tax case verdict will “frustrate the process”, which, frankly, is an almighty understatement. People do want to buy Rangers but won’t they all melt away if it is hit with an apocalyptic tax bill of tens of millions of pounds? The deadline for genuine expressions of interest is March 16 but the tax case verdict won’t be known until next month.

    15 Is Paul Murray the real deal? He’s open about having comparatively limited resources and needing to assemble a consortium to save Rangers. The big tax case could scare even him away.

    16 If they emerge as a “new Rangers” will life soon be the same again? The administrators say those who have shown interest in a takeover have done so “based on a materially reduced cost structure”. In a nutshell, cheaper and poorer players from now on.

    17 Why has Murray gone so quiet?

    18 Is Campbell Ogilvie complicit in secret payments at Rangers? Former director Hugh Adam accused Rangers of making “off the books” payments to players which were not disclosed to the SFA during the 1990s. Current SFA president Ogilvie was Rangers’ company secretary at the time: what did Ogilvie know, and was he involved in decisions which break the rules of the body he now leads?

    19 Why has Adam – a periodically outspoken critic of Murray’s regime – not made these accusations before?

    20 Will Whyte ever show his face again at Ibrox? Surely this one can be answered with some confidence. He’s finished. The club will be wrestled out of his hands and his hold on Ibrox and Murray Park is unclear. Whyte has become the most reviled figure in Rangers’ history. Of that there’s no question.

  22. Dry As A Dead Dingoes Donger says:

    Hugh McEwan says: 04/03/2012 at 9:25 pm
    weelogic says: 04/03/2012 at 9:10 pm
    And, once again, who has ever said there was such a thing as a “pre-pack liquidation”.
    ———————————————————————————————

    Bloody hell found it, I found it! Here yah go Hugh.

    This I believe was the beginning of the misunderstanding.
    Hugh McEwan says: 03/03/2012 at 2:45 pm
    “Like you I see no option but liquidation. Albeit it will likely be hidden behind a pre-pack and sold to the fans as a re-birth rather than a death.”
    Then responded to by
    martybhoy says: 03/03/2012 at 2:49 pm
    Hugh, Prepack liquidation? Educate me my fellow Hoopy?
    I believe it has now grown arm and legs and it is now your baby! Congratulations Hugh.

  23. stunney says:
    05/03/2012 at 12:54 am (Edit)
    0 0 Rate This
    @JonathanSmith82: @ETimsNet @Pmacgiollabhain rumour police have evidence of referee dealings & Whyte owns 4 of squad, not Rangers and Ogilvie implicated
    Reply With Quote
    _______________________________________________

    Good morning.
    stunney, this rumour was flying about yesterday. It does not make any more sense today than it did yesterday. If there was any truth to this I think that a leak of such vital information would be a bit more explanatory than “evidence of referee dealings”. This has the hallmarks of assembling four Celtic supporter wet-dreams into a single tweet. Until more information is provided that would put some backbone into this story, I call “taxi-driver rubbish”.

    Think of the “rumours” over the last two years that were eventually proven true- they all started with a pretty clear accusation. The stuff that was vague and woolly to begin with usually stayed that way- and was eventually quietly forgotten.

    When this story was the domain of a few obsessives, it was easy to sort the wheat from the chaff. Today, my inbox is filled with weird and wacky conspiracy theories that fly in the face of reality. We should start with the assumption that everything is rubbish unless explicitly stated in terms that can be denied without qualification.

    So when I tweeted on Friday night that Billy Dodds might like time to re-answer the question “did you know about EBTs?” it is simple: he can answer “Yes, I benefited from an EBT while at Rangers”, “No. I never used an EBT at Rangers”, or “mind your own business”. One of these answers would be a lie.

  24. jocky scot says:

    In the end this will seem like a prang in the car park compared to the train wreck that is coming. Scottish football will be different by this time next week. Sons will be asking their fathers if they remember when they used to play football in Scotland.

  25. jocky scot says:
    05/03/2012 at 6:05 am (Edit)
    _______________________________

    Quite possibly true. I am not sure that the administrators of the game appreciate the stakes here. We are talking about the very existence of full-time professional football in Scotland.

    If this is mishandled and the sense that we have a fair competition is destroyed, then the game will die for certain. I would rather watch English or Spanish football (themselves heading for certain disaster at this rate). It is the decision to watch first class manipulated sport or a second rate fixed game. I will take the better quality rigged outcome every time or decide to do something better with my time and money.

  26. Torrevieja Johnbhoy says:

    March 31st really is most important here.Everyone assumes RFC will maintain their SFA license.Without it they cannot play anywhere.If liquidised,does the license automatically expire?.
    If so,the SFA would be stupid to issue a renewal until a clearer picture emerges.This won’t happen until D & P make future clearer,the polis,HMRC,SPL & the SFA themselves have all completed their own enquiries.how stupid would the SFA look if the renewed the license just to have to revoke same a few weeks down the line.Their backs are against the wall with regard to player registrations & Mr Ogilvies potential involvement in same.

  27. stunney says:

    I’m missing something. How can the administrators sell the business without Whyte’s consent?

  28. Magic Circle says:

    duggie73 says:
    03/03/2012 at 5:35 pm
    3 0 Rate This
    Magic Circle
    It’s hard to see the benefit for RFC in this situation – a company which is barely or not solvent making a loan to the parent of its parent. It would be an interesting test of the directors’ duties in the new(ish) Companies Act.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++
    I do get the distinction between a loan to grandparent co. and a loan to parent co.- the floating charge not being discharged. However the net figure of RFC debt remains the same, so making a case for it not being in RFC’s interests looks weak at first glance.

    It’s all somewhat by-the-by but one could see a case being made that if the AJ in the Mark Daly documentary was correct that Lloyds were threatening to withdraw lending facilities “overnight”, the Ticketus deal was necessary to give RFC a chance of CL group stage money, and hence the continuation of solvent trading was in RFC’s interests.

    And it could all of course just be hypothetical, and not representative of the actual situation. Without transparency, we just don’t know.

    ===================
    duggie73, you’re right that the net figure of the debt remains the same but there’s a huge difference between discharging a secured debt and extending an unsecured loan to a company who might have many other creditors. The same also applies to Lloyds – the Ticketus deal could be justified to satisfy Lloyds but inserting Liberty into the transaction adds no benefit for RFC. SDM could easily have done the Ticketus deal and cleared the Lloyds debt without having to sell RFC for £1.

    This is all hypothetical though, as you say. I’d be very surprised if Liberty were involved in this way.

  29. Torquemada says:

    stunney says:

    05/03/2012 at 4:24 am
    __________________

    Michael Grant asks: Why has Hugh Adam stayed quiet until now? Perhaps, Michael, he is the only person ever connected to Rangers who feels remorse or embarrassment about the club’s foul philosophy of the ends justifying any means over the past 90 years.

    I am more interested in the MSM’s reluctance to confirm or refute Adam’s claim by asking players who might have benefited from second contracts, to investigate how far back the practice actually goes, or to ask the SFA and Uefa what an appropriate punishment might be if Hugh Adam’s claim is confirmed.

    I think the deafening silence from Adam’s fellow directors and Sir Walter Myth, manager during Bank of Scotland’s record-equalling nine-in-a-row, speaks volumes about where the truth lies.

  30. stunney says:
    05/03/2012 at 6:33 am (Edit)
    ____________________________________________
    If he still holds the floating charge, in practice they cannot. (Of course- you knew this already).

    They have been very strange in their media dealings- going to great lengths to muck-rake against Whyte (which is not their job) and doing everything to sound like they are acting on behalf of Rangers’ fans. That is probably good PR and they know that to avoid getting attacked in the streets that this is probably a wise course of action for any football team.

    However, their real actions are determined by law and a case as prominent as this one will have to be done by the book.

    It is increasingly clear that Whyte had hired Grier to help design his escape, but that Grier’s firm MCR was bought over by Duff and Phelps was a fly in the ointment. With a larger firm with more at stake now handling the case, Whyte’s plan for an easy exit have been scuppered. Whyte’s ace up his sleeve remains him asking for the appointment of a receiver. That would effectively freeze the administration process for his own benefit, but would leave him as the villain of the piece- forever remembered as the man who liquidated Rangers.

    It is better for Whyte to hope that D&P will determine that liquidation is the only way out and for it to look like this has all been imposed on Whyte.

    So unless D&P come up with any conclusive proof of illegality underpinning the sale of Rangers or the debt assignation, Whyte will remain in the driving seat. Thus far, all we have is rumour and innuendo about police enquiries, but no action. So Whyte remains in control and as long as that state remains, liquidation seems inevitable.

  31. stunney says:

    RTC, I was thinking the sale of the business needing Whyte’s consent has more to do with his owning 85% of the shares rather his being the floating charge holder. The latter I see having more to do with making a CVA difficult to achieve.

  32. stunney says:

    That should read:

    RTC, I was thinking the sale of the business needing Whyte’s consent has more to do with his owning 85% of the shares rather than with his being the floating charge holder. The latter I see having more to do with making a CVA difficult to achieve.

  33. iki says:

    Torquemada says:
    ‘I am more interested in the MSM’s reluctance to confirm or refute Adam’s claim by asking players who might have benefited from second contracts …..”

    Goram is on Radio Clyde this week. Wednesday, I think.
    There are guys on there who wax lyrically about their mutual professionalism and experience. I am sure one of them will ask him.

    Failing that I am sure that one of the internet bampots calling will be allowed to ask the question.

    I will listen with interest but not with an excess of expectation.

  34. Magic Circle says:

    As we know, the admins have asked CW to relinquish his ownership of the shares of RFC. Presumably, this means they have asked him to agree to transfer the shares to a person or consortium designated by them for £1, the price he paid for the shares. This is an unusual move for an administrator to make and, since I don’t believe, as many seem to on this blog, that the administrators are Duffers, this is an interesting development.

    I believe the crux of this is the debate yesterday between VITAL, ThirdParty and others about the merits of the CVA versus a sale of the assets (either in liquidation or administration – the technicalities don’t matter much for this discussion).

    A CVA would require that the creditors of RFC agree to restructure their existing debt so that they will be paid some or all of what they are currently owed over an agreed period of time.

    Alternatively, the administrator or liquidator could sell RFC’s assets (individually or as a package) and distribute the proceeds among the creditors.

    These are the only two options and it is safe to say that the creditors will only go with the option they think will return the most money for themselves.

    In the case of the CVA, the advantage for the creditors is that if RFC recovers financially and can meet the CVA payment obligations, the creditors could receive a good portion or even all of what they are owed. The downside is that it depends on the future success of the business which is, to say the least, uncertain.

    In the case of the asset sale, the advantage for the creditors is that they know at the time of the sale how much they are going to receive and they will get it. The downside is that if they allow the assets to be sold too cheaply, they are giving away value to the new owner and if the business takes off, debt-free, they lose the possibility of being paid more.

    From the creditors’ perspective, the asset sale is the bird in the hand and the CVA is the two birds in the bush.

    The MSM have reported that HMRC are not willing to entertain a CVA where CW remains involved in RFC. It seems to me that D&P are exploring the potential value of a CVA where CW is no longer the owner of the company. This has many benefits for the creditors – they could have the advantages of a CVA and the continuation of the Oldco with (hopefully) new owners willing to invest to make the RFC work financially.

    At the same time, the admins have called for bids on the assets by 16 March. If this sale goes through, the sale will be “as is, where is” – there will be no reps or warranties on the business. The consortium or bidder willing to pay the most with the lowest level of conditions (e.g. SPL consent to the transfer of the SPL share) will be the winning bidder.

    It looks like D&P are bringing together all the value propositions which may be out there for RFC (which is likely also why they have held back on redundancies).

    If CW is willing to sell his shares for £1 to allow the continuation of the Oldco with a CVA, and if there is a buyer willing to work with a CVA in place, there might be an alternative to my previous predictions of an asset sale to a Newco with a sale of the SPL share.

  35. duggie73 says:

    Magic Circle
    Good morning.
    Saturday’s post was typed in a hurry, so it’s not an ideal springboard for further discussion, apologies that this is going to feel rather more like pulling teeth than it should.

    If we assume for the moment that Whyte has in fact structured the deal through Liberty because he was aware that he would eliminate his security by structuring the deal through Group, the benefit of the grandparent deal would have been that no other way of funding an on-going RFC existed.
    Whyte would have been foolish to assign a debt to Group then immediately reduce the level of such a debt to c.£0, so it is reasonable to suggest he would not have offered to do so.
    The only option of funding which allows RFC to continue to trade is thus clearly in RFC’s interests.

    Whyte could argue that had CL groups stage money been secured, this could have been put to use clearing the cycle of debt from RFC to Group to Liberty to RFC, leaving very limited interest charges, further investment (no laughing at the back) and management fees in Group still covered by the floating charge. RFC in that instance would clearly be a viable business, at least up until the FTT ruling.

    The fact that SDM could have done the same structure of deal is irrelevant, is it not? As he did not offer this as a proposition, it is not an alternative for RFC.

    There is no reason to believe the Liberty deal is unsecured is there?- such a security would be registered in the BVI and for all intents and purposes be invisible to us.
    In the same vein, the circular states that Liberty is Whyte and no-one else, so there is no reason to suggest that Liberty has a number of other creditors.

    It is quite possible that RFC will not be able to continue as a company. The failure to secure CL monies and the likely result of the FTT are of far greater significance in making this the case than the structure of the Ticketus deal, and are outwith Whyte’s control at the time of the takeover.
    If RFC cannot continue as a company, the next best result for RFC’s interests is that the business continues as a phoenix.
    There is nothing about a deal made through Liberty which compromises this, it merely guarantees that Whyte runs the successor business himself, or by means of a bidder willing to clear Whyte’s floating charge profits from the establishment of the business.

    In essence, Whyte has either screwed himself over by unwittingly and unnecessarily clearing the vast majority of the debt held against the floating charge or not.
    Is your confidence that he has not successfully pulled “the old switcheroo” based on anything other than intuition?
    There’s nothing in the administrators’ statements (or Ticketus’ press releases) so far indicating anything approaching certainty over the total level of RFC debt, or the structure of the Ticketus deals.

  36. the taxman cometh says:

    Further to Paul Murray’s aborted attempt at approaching the administrators last Friday, when it was strongly rumoured the cull was about to take place and the confidence in the supporter’s group briefed by Whyte – I see the purpose of this administration to allow trimming of the unsustainable squad for free (how many SPL clubs would like that opportunity?).

    I don’t think that the “blue knig-hits” or any other “bidders” would want to take over and pre pack till the cull was done so it being deferred on Friday put the breaks on Paul Murray?

    He has said he would put it off till this Friday, so if we see the expected cull of dead wood early this week will we see newco on Friday? A club, almost but not quite, entirely unlike RFC?

    Debt free with a small more easily affordable squad just in time for ST renewals?

    Interesting week ahead

  37. Kevdoc says:

    The daily record just keeps getting funnier and funnier every day. Not only does jabba’s have a dig at your good self RTC, but they then print a story that a new owner will need to spend about £50m to get back to where they should be, if the cull goes ahead.

    NONE of them get it, it’s not sinking in is it?

    Being where they should be. Is what’s got them in this mess!!

    Don’t know why that annoys me, it just means we’ll be back here in a few years if they manage to sort something out.

  38. BartinMain says:

    James Traynor banging on about integrity.

    I’ve heard it all now.

    Surely?

  39. mickd says:

    Whullie says:
    05/03/2012 at 2:43 am

    The argument about promotion vs relegation could possibly be avoided.

    If the SFA appoint a committee to investigate the Hugh Adams allegations and the response goes against Rangers, the punishment is 3 points deducted and a 3-0 defeat against Rangers. If this happens prior to the FTT announcement then Rangers are relegated. Dunfermline(?) stay up and winners of SFL 1 are promoted.

    The SPL may well breathe a sigh here as RFC (IA) then become the SFL/SFA’s problem.

    ___________________________________________________________________________

    I mentioned the exact same thing a month ago.

  40. mickd says:

    Sorry if that sounded a bit Jim Traynor!

  41. iki says:

    BartinMain says:
    “James Traynor banging on about integrity.
    I’ve heard it all now.
    Surely?”

    Probably not.

  42. Keith "my wealth of the radar comment was ironic and I knew Whytey was ropey" Jackson says:

    I read this morning that Lee “Jig” McCulloch had volunteered to play for free to help the club “he loves”. Cue moist comments from the meeja and fans groups about a “great Rangers man”.

    Only, the other, perhaps more disturbing revelation was that “Jug” earns a reported £20k per week. Lets that sink in…..that’s in excess of £1m for careering around the park with your elbows going thirty to the dozen.

    When the dust is settled on an all of this mess, I hope club chairmen sit down and understand that income should, at the very least equal costs.

    I had, in a past life, reason to deal with attempting to restructure distressed football clubs, and I well remember an alarming meeting with a group of players who, seemingly, could not understand how their wages had been paid (ie by the bank and not by the club who, sadly, did not have a pot to pash in). One player, and this was a club with an average gate of 2,000, was being paid £5k per week at a club where gross income was no better than £15k per week!

    The Directors in that club – and they were not alone – actually budgeted for a massive loss each year. There was no plan B if the bank asked for its money back. Despite asking them why several times, they never had a convincing answer. Probably like the rest of us, plan A was 6 numbers on a Saturday night.

    I have never understood why either half of the Old Firm saw the need to pay players £20k per week plus (with the honorable exception of St Henrik who could be paid what he liked) to regularly beat an increasingly cash hamstrung bunch of provincial clubs. It certainly wasn’t to chase Europe, because, as Mr Whyte himself said (in his only known moment of lucidity) “how can we be dumped out of Europe twice by clubs with a tenth of our budget”.

    So, maybe when Traynor and his “we knew all along” gang are doing their why-oh-why pieces over the next week or so, they could ask why, for so many in football, the default position is to throw cash at a bunch of badge kissing foreigners. The Cardigan Myth himself could be read only a week ago throwing out an appeal for a billionaire to save his beloved Gers. These people seem to have an inbuilt inability to see why throwing money at football players (and coaches) gets you nowhere. Look at Chelski.

    I expect the EPL to blow up in similar fashion in due course. Given the amount of money flying around down there, the scope for tax related shenanigans must be vast.

  43. richard cranium says:

    I wonder did AJ and Martin Bain complain to Strathclyde Police about the alleged second contracts………..they have both been very,very quiet of late.

    Recall A.J’s interview just as the crisis started to brew………’No Surrender’ he exclaimed at the end of it…..pandering to the half – wits.

    His utter silence now reads like a huge white flag……

    Dear fellow fitba fans, keep on the attack.this is only over when a big, big file (with Rangers name on it) lands on Michel Plattini’s desk……….take ally’s advice…….have a real good kick whilst they are down…….indeed they wont be there for long………………they’ll be dead.

  44. Hugh McEwan says:

    Dry As A Dead Dingoes Donger says:
    05/03/2012 at 5:12 am

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

    LOL

    A troll misquoting me is “my baby”.

    I think not.

  45. Davie b says:

    One for Duggie & Magic Circle following the comments from Friday night re the possibility that some contracts sit with group. Were the existing contracts complete? The players are assets on the balance sheet with a potential transfer value unless they become free agents. Has GeF messed up by doing this, effectively a transfer of an assets at under value, will group not be viewed as having to pay market value to rangers for the player registration? Thus creating a further debt between group and rangers but given the length of the contracts, one that is larger than the floating charge amount and therefore the floating charge has been satisfied (assuming a right of set off) and GeF has no security. How much were mcgregor & co touted at?

  46. duggie73 says:

    Davie b
    Your asking a good question to the wrong unemployed kitchen porter, it beats the hell out of me mate.

  47. tigertim says:

    If Rangers were to be in liquidation before the end of the season then the following rule comes into play, which in itself would be a boost to all other teams in the SPL as the money would be split between them, therefore a vote to keep them in the SPL is a cut in income.

    C4.3.3 In the event that the number of Clubs in the League in any Season is other than twelve:-

    C4.3.3.1 the distribution of the Basic Facility Fee Pool as set out in the table in C4.3.2 shall be reallocated such that it shall continue to be shared equally amongst the Clubs; and,

    C4.3.3.2 the distribution of the Supplementary Facility Fee Pool shall be reallocated by the Board pro rata amongst the Clubs to the nearest two decimal places using the same basis of distribution as provided in the table in C4.3.2 adjusted for the number of Clubs in the League in the relevant Season.

    I also notice that there is usually a parachute payment, which I imagine would not be given if a club fails due to liquidation, as this would not classed as relegation?

    C4.3.3 In the event that the number of Clubs in the League in any Season is other than twelve:-
    C4.3.3.1 the distribution of the Basic Facility Fee Pool as set out in the table in C4.3.2 shall be reallocated such that it shall continue to be shared equally amongst the Clubs; and,
    C4.3.3.2 the distribution of the Supplementary Facility Fee Pool shall be reallocated by the Board pro rata amongst the Clubs to the nearest two decimal places using the same basis of distribution as provided in the table in C4.3.2 adjusted for the number of Clubs in the League in the relevant Season.

  48. Al in Almería says:

    Surely nobody would buy Rangers (IA) until the Big Tax Case was resolved would they. No club in the world could pay that sort of money to the taxman.

    Problem for Rangers (IA) is that leaves them another month of pishing around before they can do anything to keep oldco going. The question for me is what comes first, the money running out, or the results of the Big Tax Case.

    Or have I got the wrong end of the stick here?

  49. tigertim says:

    Is Ally, the Dermot O’Leary of XFactor today, or the Ant & Dec of Britians Got (nae)Talent?
    Do the players open the door excited and jumping for joy because they have been kept on or because they have been freed, which one is the better option?

  50. Brogan Rogan Trevino and Hogan says:

    Good Morning,

    As we enter the next stage of the Administration of Rangers PLC, I am of the view that the position of Rangers football club becomes ever unclear… and yet in that lack of clarity for the club certain matters become abundantly clear.

    After the better part of 3 weeks certain things now stand out which a month ago were matters of mere speculation.

    It is now clear ( I think ) that Craig Whyte did not and could not invest millions of his own pounds in the club and that his purchase of Rangers and the clearing of their bank debt was all based upon his ability to leverage the clubs assets– namely Season Tickets.

    It is also clear that Whyte’s management of the club was a sham. A sham in the sense that he appears to have put a group of people in position to create the image of a management team. Gordon Smith wasn’t allowed to manage his sector, Ally McCoist was not allowed to fully manage and expand a squad for whatever reason and it now seems that the whole management structure of the business was a mess. In essence Whyte and Whyte alone appears to have run Rangers– with friends Russell and Wythie having played some strange administrative rolls, but always dancing to his tune..

    In so managing, it is now clear that Whyte decided that he could only run the club with the help of the reluctant and unwitting bank of HMRC. It is not surprising then that all the indicators are that HMRC wil not countenance any deal with Rangers that involves an ongoing involvment for Craig Whyte– whether front of house or behind the scenes. The G men are making it pretty plain that whoever gets their hands on Rangers had better run a clean ship in the eyes of the Revenue, as after Whyte and Murray, no one is going to be given any slack.

    The SFA are effectively now investigating the procedures followed by the last two Rangers owners. It is pretty certain that they will rule that they are less than impressed with the practices and failures of Craig Whyte and he will fail their fit and proper test. By their own rules all previous Directors over the last 5 years seem likely to be disbarred from an ongoing roll at Ibrox, and potentially the practices of the Murray era which are now being looked at may well be the most catastrophic of all for Rangers Football Club in any guise.

    Whatsmore, it is often forgotten amidst all of this that it may well be the case that Craig Whyte actually did pay more for the club than David Murray! My understanding is that Murray borrowed all the money he paid to Lawrence Marlborough from Bank of Scotland– and that virtually all the money that Rangers spent in the intervening years were justified by the ever increasing valuation of Ibrox and other assets that were placed before the bank. Even when that reached an inevitable ceiling, the further money injected was effectively borrowed by Murray through MIH– and again this is money which is not likely to be paid back to the bank anytime soon– even though the bank have effectively repossessed Murray’s company and continue to raise cash by selling off assets.

    Much is being made in the press of how similar all of this is to the crisis at Celtic park which brought about the McCann revolution.

    So far all comparisons have ignored the fact that there are very material differences.

    McCann was able to come in and completely revamp Celtic park and create a bigger and more modern stadium, enticing larger numbers of Celtic fans in and so hugely increasing revenue.

    Rangers cannot.

    With increased revenue, advertising and merchandising, McCann could allow some extra money to be spent on players and improving the playing staff.

    Rangers cannot– instead they face a prolonged period of having to reduce wage bills and so lessen the quality of playing staff from the level enjoyed even in recent years– and at a level so completely different to the Laudrups, Gascoignes, and so on.

    In short, where McCann bought a club that was capable of being improved by greater use of its existing business assets and potential. Rangers may well have already maxed out those assets and already trade near the upper regions of its natural potential.

    Most recently we have had the public utterings from Hugh Adam, the former Director who resigned all those years ago warning that financial ruin lay ahead if the club remained in the hands of Murray. Prophetic words indeed– although Adam’s silence on the two contracts issue for all those years does cloud his stance somewhat. Perhaps worse still, is the fact that Adam was a Director for decades when Rangers employed what is now rightly condemned as a dreadful, sectarian and and thoroughly distasteful employment policy– a policy which still has a ripple effect throughout Ibrox and on the terracings. Whilst Murray’s fiscal policy was a resigning matter for Hugh Adam, such a policy was not– although for all I know he may have been speaking against it behind the scenes– but he did not resign over it. He was prepared to govern with that policy in place.

    Further, I wonder what the impact of Adam’s most recent statements may have long term– especially when the evidence in the Big Tax case is known. Do his recent statements give those judging cause for thought? If a former Director says that there were years of twin contracts– does that stand on all fours with the evidence given under oath at Tribunal? If not… then are we seriously looking at potential further proceedings regarding perjury on the part of some? After all– this is not a defamation case– this involves the unlawful manipulation of huge sums of money.

    A year ago It would have been hard to envisage all of this coming to fruition without the big tax case having even concluded– but that is where we are. The FTT has not yet ruled, and Rangers seem to be hitting one type of crisis after another even without the potentially killer tax bill.

    Duff and Phelps can look for all the buyers that they like by 16th March. They are only concerned about getting someone in with as much money as possible to make a decent offer to existing creditors.

    However, the reality is that what is being sought is the type of owner that Rangers have never had before. An owner who is willing to invest substantial amounts of their own money and be prepared to lose it if necessary. Someone who will govern in a responsible fiscal manner, who will not allow excessive borrowing. pay excessive wages, will pay proper taxes and live within a budget. Someone who will run the club in an acceptable social manner, who will abide by SFA and UEFA rules, who will take the policy of non discrimination further than ever before, and who will effectively put the best team on the park within the rules whilst complying with the rules like everyone else..

    Whether Rangers go into Liquidation or not, whether they stay in the SPL or not, whether they face a prolonged absence from Europe or not is immaterial in many respects.

    Any which way you look at this you are talking about a revolution as Tracy Chapman would say. History tells us that after a revolution…. things are never the same again whether you like it or not.

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