Quick Recap

Rangers’ administrators yesterday released a communication intended to clarify the club’s financial position for creditors. It is a well written document that clearly lays out Rangers’ recent financial history in a way that does not require any financial training. Yesterday’s posts, on here and across the internet, have covered most of the detail, so I will spare you a redundantly thorough analysis.

With Rangers’ debt level potentially as high as £134m (more likely in the £95-110m range), the only hope of the club avoiding liquidation is to convince more than 75% of the creditors (by value) to accept less than the face value of their debt through a CVA. Much less. If media reports are to be believed, The Blue Knights consortium have offered just £8-10m to keep Rangers alive through a CVA.  The administrators brushed over Craig Whyte’s claim to any of this money with just a casual nod to the minimum legal requirements: “the Joint Administrators will conduct an exercise to establish the validity of such security and the quantum of any monies which may be secured in this regard”. Yet Whyte claimed to Channel 4’s Alex Thomson that he is due £30m from any sale of assets. Another series of court dates looms.

In the meantime, assuming that £10m was distributed evenly among the creditors, if the final figure is, say £95m, then for every pound you are owed, you will receive 10.5p. Better than nothing? I am not sure. If Whyte’s claims are rejected, it is likely that a greater sum could be obtained in liquidation. (It has been reported that others have bid as high as £25m on the basis of an asset sale to a newco and the liquidation of The Rangers Football Club plc).

In short, it is hard to make sense of the claims that a CVA is still a viable option. In Duff & Phelps first legally binding communication, they elected to not repeat the intimations spread through the media by Rangers’ PR firm that HMRC was ready to do a deal that would save the day and that the Treasury had lent its support for such plan. Why did they miss such a golden opportunity to calm the fears of fans and other stakeholders? Is it possible that the same people who brought us Craig “billionaire” Whyte were not telling the truth? 

For all of the fascinating detail provided yesterday, the reality is still that Rangers’ most likely exit from the administration process is through an asset sale to a newco and with liquidation of the existing Rangers FC. The administrators have done a fine job of trying to put ‘lipstick on a pig’ by talking about hybrid liquidation and keeping ‘the business’ going while allowing the company to die. It is their job to maximise the money raised through this process and, despite widespread grumblings from all sides, they appear to be doing a reasonable job in difficult circumstances. (Though suspicion over their motives and every move is quite understandable). In the end, reality will have to hit and all of the spin in the world will not change Rangers’ trajectory).

With 4,000 EBT cases coming along in Rangers’ wake, HMRC will surely be hoping for an example to be set that encourages most of them to settle. Doing a deal with Rangers that accepts 10% of what is owed after allowing a decade of fiddling will do little to dissuade others from appealing their cases to the bitter end. The actual amounts received from the Rangers case will likely be immaterial to HMRC’s hopes for collecting on EBT users as a class.

On a lighter note, my Monday afternoon was rudely disrupted by tweets and texts telling me that this site was down. Initial investigations seemed to confirm my worst fears that we were the recipients of a Denial of Service (DoS) attack. For the princely sum of about £3,000, hackers can be persuaded to deploy a variety of tools designed to prevent anyone from accessing a web site. After a flurry of phone calls and emails to a number of experts in this field, it turned out that we were not a chapter in a spy-thriller after all. A mis-configured host server is apparently to blame. So no James Bond action here. Just a problem that was uncovered through boring geekery,

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.

2,832 Responses to Quick Recap

  1. Peter says:

    Matt Mc Glone is tweeting that Celtic are going to Hampden with material that will blow a lid on the SFA this Thursday.

  2. Brenda says:

    Onandx3 & Peter

    Maybe it will all come to a head on Thursday (19th April) is that a day of any historical significance?? :) I really need to get back to work :)

  3. Thornlyboy says:

    To help get the blog back on track, it would be useful for someone to explain the D Hillier table, including assumptions. And what does it all really mean? Is it fiction?

    To my untrained eye it makes it look as though RFC is functioning. Is it? Help/analysis from someone who knows would be interesting.

  4. mrgrumpy says:

    Collyer Bristow (“CB”)

    The piece in the Herald earlier this week is revealing and worth revisiting…http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/home-news/withey-my-shame-over-ibrox-deal.17287806

    Withey comes across as a weak character manipulated by CW. he states that he could not look his partners in the eye following the administration of Rangers. His concern is clearly wider than the circa £40k of fees which were outstanding. Given the number of competing claims over the monies previously held by CB and subsequently ordered by the Court to be transferred to the Administrator’s lawyers he was right to be concerned.

    (By way of background) an undertaking given by a partner, or someone else authorised, of a law firm is binding on that firm. So, for example, if I give an undertaking to RTC that I will make funds available to RFC (iA) of £134M on Tuesday then as a lawyer I am personally liable and, provided I acted on apparent authority of my firm (by, for example, providing the undertaking on letterhead) the firm is also liable. It does matter that I don’t have the £134M. Any ambiguity in the wording of an undertaken g is construed against the party giving it.

    In “normal” circumstances an undertaking is given only in where the situation is absolutely clear. An example would be to a funding bank ….” We undertake that on receipt of the sum of £X from you (the “Advance”) we will hold the Advance to your order pending [specified conditions].

    From what it appears, various sums were forwarded to CB by, for example, pension trusts and used in a manner which is now the subject of dispute. This does not look good for CB and their indemnity insurers will take a long, hard look at the wording of their policy before paying-out.

  5. Hugh McEwan says:

    I have to say, I find it hard to feel sympathy for any of the participants in this fiasco. Whether it be Collyer Bristow, Ticketus, Duff and Phelps, Rangers, Craig Whyte, David Murray, the old Rangers board, Mr Grier, Mr Withey, in fact like I said any of them.

    They seem to be a combination of rogues, charlatans and comic singers. Quite frankly they all seem to deserve each other from what I can see. It is nice to see them all at least starting to get their just deserts. Long may they fight amongst each other. It’s all very tawdry, but quite fun looking on..

    Congratulations to Hearts and Hibs, have a great final and may the better team win.

  6. OnandOnandOnand says:


    A good summary of the consequences of giving a solicitor’s obligation. A bit dodgy when you give said obligations about money to several people in respect of the same pot of money when there clearly isn’t enough to pay all of those obligations.

    The Administrators appear to be claiming obligations were undertaken in respect of the £9.5m promised by Whyte at takeover to be available top Rangers. I’m told that HMRC are claiming the £2.8m small tax case amount as they agreed the arrested sums could be released as CB held an equivalent sum in their clients account which would then be ringfenced. Promises of some £14.4m all to be paid out of the £3.6m pot. You can see why the PI insurers are involved. I hope to have more on this next week

  7. Hugh McEwan says:

    OnandOnandOnand says:
    15/04/2012 at 10:08 pm


    Maybe the firm will claim it wasn’t them who did anything, it was the actions of one individual. So they will ask everyone to dissociate the two.

    If you can separate an owner and chairman making decisions from the business he owns and runs, then you must be able to separate a lawyer from the firm which employs him.


  8. I'm so Gwlad Gwlad says:

    Barry C Loner says:

    14/04/2012 at 9:56 am

    Good post Barry………

    As for referees………Mutley said it best…….


    And I’m a Chelsea fan……..

    But what is going to happen to Ibrox?……..others including Mr Loner have pointed to the issue of the existing use value (what it would cost to rebuild Ibrox) and the alternative use value (what Tesco or Redrow might pay for the site with planning consent)……..one consequence of the administration/liquidation process is that RFC may find themselves tenants……..and no longer in control of where they play…………..for RFC the nightmare scenario is that the landlord may not be interested in football, but only in profit……………and that is not a nice place to be for a football club………….it was a ten year nightmare for a bankrupt Chelsea in the 1980s (and Fulham and QPR) until a combination of Bates obstinacy, a property slump, a completely intransigent local authority (well played guys) and a Chelsea supporting PM (unlike anti football Thatcher) got Stamford Bridge back into CFC mits………the pitch is now owned by a supporters trust whose sole purpose is to stop any asset stripper in future…….

    I’ve been heavily involved in a couple of football stadium projects, one of which, in a one club large city, took three years just to change the planning consent on adjacent land from sporting & recreational to commercial use…………………the justification being that the resulting capital receipt from the retail development paid for the new stadium…………….though an obvious good thing to anyone but a fool the process was thorough, professional, fair and above all time consuming…………….importantly the local authority owned the land, 100 percent supported the planning application and wanted the new stadium for political reasons, indeed the objections were either irrelevant or could be easily and cheaply squared………………and it still took nine years from inception to breaking turf…………

    I must admit I was very impressed with the way the Council dealt with it, even though the pressure from the club, the media and the supporters was unbearable (I’ll comment on that in future if anyone’s interested, the MSM’s behaviour is all too familiar)…….

    In my view, no one will be able to convert Ibrox into anything if the local authority opposes it, which they will…………….if Rangers fans are to dispossesed and be asked to ground share with Third Lanark it will only be after every avenue is exhausted………….unlikely even if RFC is liquidated………the Council will await its successor and show endless patience……

    So if a property developer/asset stripper has got its eyes on Ibrox it will need to be playing a very long game indeed……even a half hearted rearguard action by a few determined members on the Council can frustrate anyone with their greedy eyes on Ibrox for years…….

    The alternative use value is, in my view, irrelevant…….

    Night night guys

  9. Tyke Bhoy says:

    I have to wonder why Mr Withey would now have been employed by any firm given the law society must surely be considering suspending him pending investigations. They are shirley, aren’t they?

  10. Ianc says:

    OnandOnandOnand says:
    15/04/2012 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you so more uncertanties for our erstwhile saviours.

    Its no endgame any time soon.

    An ongoing legal quagmire.

    FTT or no Jarndice beckons

  11. david cecil says:

    the good and the great on 15/04/2012 at 6:50 pm

    Where the hell in Dundee has your Celtic Supporters’ bus been parking for the last 20 years?

  12. Andy Fitzpatrick says:

    You can’t give a penalty if player is got his back to the ball and it’s hit from 3 yards away at speed,,correct me if I’m wrong but I thought there had to be daylight between the attacker and the defender for it to be offside now,,Now watch this drive.

  13. OnandOnandOnand says:

    Ianc says:

    15/04/2012 at 10:36 pm

    I think the endgame will be soon enough. The administrators can’t have enough cash to continue, they must sell assets now and it’s all or nothing kind of situation. Even £1m for preferred bidder status won’t go far. Seems clear they are going for selling assets to a newco, leaves them with cash to argue over who is owed what for years. Newco owners have to take their chances on getting into SPL by parachute or going into Div 3. Bill Miller doesn’t seem to have a problem with the latter.

  14. Ianc says:

    Who would have known Dickens so prescient. ( And no he is not a ref)

  15. scapa says:

    Ianc says:

    15/04/2012 at 10:59 pm

    Ah well now, Mr Micawber never ran a football club…….

  16. Ianc says:

    I would be the little shop of__

  17. corsica says:

    I’m only going to make this very short observation because I do not have the inkling to continue reading through some of the garbage that has gone through the past 24 hours or so…sorry but that is what it is.

    Yet more misinterpretation about property…so let me try to keep it simple again:

    Re-build value is the cost of rebuilding the stadium if it were, for example, to fall down. Otherwise known as insurance value [in other words, the value of your house insurance].
    > I would expect Ibrox to have a re-build value somewhere around about £130m (sound familiar?).

    Existing-use value is NOT re-build value. Instead it is the value of the site as a football stadium, ie what someone would pay to purchase the site and use it as a football stadium [in other words, the price you paid for your house].
    > Given only one football club is only ever going to play there, that is a very small, non-existent market therefore value is meaningless. It is simply a multiple of how much rental a landlord could achieve if he was to rent it out to that single football club plus a yield (typically 6-7%). As I have posted before, you are looking at 25 years at about £1m pax (based upon Hampden) and I am informed that LSH are thereabouts.

    Alternative-use value is the value of the site that the market is prepared to pay IF it could be demolished and redeveloped into something else [in other words, the price paid by the housing developer who built your house].
    > I’ve been over this before as well. I do not have figures that I posted previously to hand but I believe that I calculated it at c£15m based upon existing land values and recently-achieved transactions with a cursory glance at potential restrictions (eg planning use, etc). I have noted that the market for commercial, retail, residential, industrial or leisure development is pretty-much non-existent and the site is compromised by the proximity of Glasgow City Centre and Braehead. I would hazard a guess that it might be possible to redevelop as a retail park for white goods which would be consistent with that sort of price but I understand there are a few in the area so that would depress price further. I am informed that LSH are thereabouts.

  18. Ianc says:

    Therefore a “Little shop of Horrors” would be a no go then?

  19. Ianc says:

    I mean for local people. No strangers.

  20. shippa says:

    If SPL parachute fails to open will newco be automatically relegated to the 3rd division or will they need to apply with other non league teams? If newco passes sfa criteria then will be interesting to see how each team votes.

    ps Celtic is my team but a Hearts v Hibs final is total box office stuff. Fixture is great for scottish football. The ref got the penalty decision wrong but it would have been given by majority of refs. Ref incompetence rather than personal.

  21. Goosy says:

    1. Mark says:
    15/04/2012 at 7:06 pm
    Euan Norris has given ranger 5 penalties in two matches this season. it is a little like giving the refs whistle to superdupercheekychappypieeatinmachineallymccoist
    There are 5 spl matches before the end of the season
    If Euan Norris is a team player on the Richmond scale then we can expect him to get at least 2 or maybe even 3 high paying SPL matches before he goes on holiday

  22. jimbo milligan says:

    Way i see it ?

    Not a chance the SFA will make a decision before the FTT give them carte blanche in the wake of an angered public opinion towards rangers wrongdoing to put the boot in to what is an already vacated grave.

    Far as im concerned this half life is the best place for rangers to exist , long may the tribunal delay its decision.

  23. gaz says:

    This is apropos of nothing – just filling time – but y’know if RFC are bumped to SFL3 I don’t see the big negatives. If anything it could revatilise the game in Scotland.

    Just say a demotion coupled with some league reconstruction took place. The intervening 3-4 years for Rangers getting back to the top could give us another few seasons like this one, with teams back competing for trophies and a real chase for the second (and first) position in the league. All of a sudden, the landscape has changed and maybe fans will return to the stadiums thus bringing a much welcomed bump in revenue. For 3-4 season EVERYTHING is there to play for.

    MEANWHILE, RFC begin their ascent back up the leagues. For 3-4 years, all the eyes of the MSM will be on there games, every game. Maybe a revised television deal(s) will reflect this – all of a sudden the spotlight will be shone on the lower rungs of Scottish Football and of course the teams will benefit financially from this. The thrills, spills and inevitable upsets that will occur as the Gers get down and dirty will make for riveting watching/reading. A marked change from the usual hyperbole needed to see the MSM through a usual one-sided Gers SPL game.

    MEANWHILE, the SPL should see a balancing out of power. Maybe Celtic, bereft of challenge, will see a dip in the quality of player available to them.

    And for the Teddy Bears? Redemption. Having paid the ultimate price they are now free to be Sleeping Giants, battling back from the brink of extinction and reclaiming their heritage. As the Rangers PR man, this is a situation to die for. The narrative writes itself.

    And when they do return? Maybe the SPL will have reached a new equillibrium, maybe found its true level – in hearts, minds and finances – for a nation our size. Rangers and Celtic will be seen in a new light, fallible and less omnipotent. MAYBE they will have learned a bit of humility. The first Old Firm game will be a genuinely world-watching event. In fact, Rangers first return season should be explosive. With eyes more keenly upon us than usual, who knows, maybe in the intervening years Scottish Football will have regenerated. Casual viewers may think this league isn’t half bad. Scrappy but bloody entertaining.

    All of a sudden we MAY have a League worth a TV deal. Worth writing about. Worth watching. Worth loving again.

    Maybe, just maybe, that by Rangers Football Club dying, Scottish Football may live again.

  24. gaz says:

    apologies for typos – I’m very tired.

  25. buckfastswallier says:

    well put gaz.

  26. Johnboy says:

    History lesson:
    Cowdenbeath traditionally date their origin to the merger of two local clubs, Cowdenbeath Rangers (formed 1880) and Cowdenbeath Thistle, which occurred in 1881. However, research by the club’s historian suggests the Cowdenbeath Rangers name continued to be used at this time and the founding of Cowdenbeath F.C. should properly be dated to 1882.

    Fancy that . . .

  27. Private Land says:

    I still don’t get this Newco to D3 stuff. They can’t go anywhere without a rewrite of the SFA licence regulations – or am I misunderstanding these?

    If they can’t get into the SPL because of the SFA licence criteria, they can’t get into the SFL either.
    They need to buy a club that has three years of trading as a football club to get a licence, so my guess is they will try to buy a club as high up the leagues as possible, which is relatively debt free.

  28. john clarke says:

    Gaz says
    16/04/2012 @ 12.23 a.m.
    ‘……….Maybe,just maybe, that by Rangers Football Club dying, Scottish Football may live again.’

    Gaz, a) lovely piece of writing. ‘Field of Dreams’ quality.

    b) I was with you all the way, until the ‘reclaiming their heritage’ bit. I’d need to know what exactly you meant by that potentially loaded phrase.

    Just as one man’s ‘freedom fighter’ is another man’s ‘insurgent’, one man’s ‘heritage’ may signal ‘entrenched injustice’ to another man.

    There are literally hundreds of thousands of football supporters who feel deep, deep anger at the mess created by Rangers. Their sense of grievance is equally deep. They have been practiced upon by the owners and directors of one particular club.They have been duped in a wholly non-sectarian way by men of business who were, in effect, cheats.They face sanction both by the civil authorities and by the football authorities.

    These thousands are enraged at the suggestion, the mere possibility, that the offending club should somehow not be dealt with in accordance with the rules obtaining at the time of their ‘crimes’, and that some special arrangements should be made.

    Among those thousands, however, there are other thousands of football supporters who believe that a particular ‘heritage’ of the offending club was/is shared not only by some of the governing body whose function it is to decide how the offending club should be dealt with, but also by significant figures in the political sphere who have attempted to influence the course of events.

    That ‘heritage’ ( probably not shared by the majority of other clubs’ supporters) includes in part a dreadful, blind, unthinking anti-Catholicism, little better than the anti-Catholicism of the mobs who looted the monasteries at the behest of the politicians of the day, who themselves acted not out of high principle ( they used a rabble-rousing renegade Catholic priest as their ‘spiritual’ and ‘theological’ guide and mentor, for heaven’s sake!) but from motives of personal gain.

    Now, If that kind of ‘heritage’ was left behind by a new Rangers, and a new honest- to- God sporting body emerged which apologised for the damage it had caused and began to work hard at rehabilitating itself, taking its just punishment in true contrition, then, Gaz, I would be with you one hvndred per cent.

  29. yippekayyay_RFC says:

    A few people SDM would have been proud of. Maybe even jealous of, After all, they got away with it ;)



  30. john clarke says:

    bl–dy h.ll. ‘In moderation ‘ because of ‘hvndred’! have to say I think that the whole ‘in moderation’ idea is a bit repressive, and so arbitrary!

  31. RayCharles says:

    Private Land,

    I’m sure previous posters a while ago highlighted a specific sentence in the SFA Articles of Association that allows discretion to be shown by the Board with regard to the issuing of a licence.

    Or have I made this up?

  32. WOTTPI says:

    Slimshady says:
    15/04/2012 at 11:41 pm

    “Celtic didn’t turn up to Hampden”…………….therefore end of story. Simple as that.

    Only one thing that is correct is the Stan Petrov banner. Know Hearts fans who were wholly embarrased by that. Friends who are season ticket holders talk of guys turning up at away games and euro ties that they have never seen in their life. No real excuse for such offensive behaviour, however just like the OF there are is always ‘minority;’ of idiots who are distastful bigotted morons that somehow attach themselves to a club.


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