Balance of Probabilities

As we wait (impatiently) for the First Tier Tribunal (Tax) to report its findings on the legality of how the EBT used by Rangers was operated, it might be of interest to discuss some common misunderstandings about the legal processes that will determine the outcome.

The case that will seal Rangers’ fate is governed by Scottish civil procedure.  Years of our lives wasted watching television has armed most of us with a basic understanding of criminal procedure- concepts like “innocent until proven guilty” are infused throughout popular culture. However, civil courts have very different rules.

Rangers FC have been accused by HMRC of operating an illegal tax avoidance scheme (see link for common myth about avoidance).  Following a long investigation, in early 2010 Rangers were sent a number of assessments (tax bills). Rangers appealed them.  In the several tribunal hearings that followed, evidence was presented by both sides and now it is for three judges to establish whether or not Rangers pursued an illegal scheme for more than a decade. I have heard lots of people (including Scottish journalists) make the mistake of assuming that “Rangers are innocent until proven guilty“. They are not. The standard for determining the outcome of a civil tribunal is the balance of probabilities. It is simply a question of whether it is more likely than not that Rangers’ were using the EBT as sham to pay money to players and executives on which they should have deducted income tax and national insurance.

In this case, it seems that the Rangers’ directors, and MIH staff in charge of running the scheme did not understand this distinction. Much of their behaviour appears to betray a sense that all they had to do was establish “reasonable doubt” to avoid getting in trouble. Currently, within Edinburgh’s golf club circuit, there is a widely held view that Rangers will be held accountable for some tax liability, but that the quantum will not be anything close to the huge assessments presented by HMRC. People close to Sir David Murray acknowledge that there was some sloppiness with regards record keeping in specific cases.  They seem to think that the resulting tax bill will be limited to these “one-off” errors- situations where there is no doubt that a contractual obligation was paid through the EBT.

However, the standard for determining the outcome of a tax tribunal is the balance of probabilities. If there is a significant volume of such transactions, the entire scheme can be judged to be a sham.

What determines whether there are enough illegal payments to cast the entire scheme as a sham? It will not require proof beyond a reasonable doubt or any of the other concepts burned deep in the minds of TV crime series viewers. There simply comes a point where there is so much evidence that it is clear that someone is “at it”. I expect that Rangers will be held by the judges to have been “at it”. If (or when) that happens, the real fireworks will begin.

Assuming that Rangers’ actions of the last decade are officially deemed illegal, Scottish football authorities will face the greatest moral dilemma in the history of our game. If I am correct, it is likely that the following facts will soon be firmly established:

  • Rangers provided many players with second contracts in violation of SFA rules
  • The provisions within these second contracts were in violation of the law of the land
  • Rangers fielded players whom they could not have afforded without resorting to illegality

Under these conditions, the debate about ‘helicoptering’ a newco into the SPL to replace Rangers FC would surely change. The idea of transferring the last decade of Rangers’ history to a new company would be like asking for a toxic waste dump to be moved beside your house.

I have developed a genuine empathy for the many decent (but largely silent) Rangers fans whose beloved club has been ravaged by Sir David Murray and his hand-picked lickspittles.  Much of what has been revealed on this blog in the last year serves the common good of all Scottish football fans. However, I expect that whatever common ground exists will open into a chasm over the subject of what the SFA & SPL should do about the recent history of their club.

22 May 2005- is a cherished memory for all Rangers fans. Rangers beat Hibs at Easter Road to clinch the SPL title. Neil Doncaster needs to ask: “How many members of the Rangers squad that day were, or would become, beneficiaries of the EBT scheme?” (Let me help him out- it will be a lot easier to count those who did not participate). The truth is that many of the Rangers squad would not have been anywhere near Easter Road that day without the use of the EBT scheme. If the EBT scheme is deemed to be illegal, the SFA and the SPL cannot pretend that the second contracts held by the vast majority of the Rangers’ first team players during the middle of the last decade were just a procedural transgression of no material impact. On the balance of probabilities would Rangers have been crowned Scottish Premier League champions that day without the use of the EBT scheme?

The future value of winning a championship in Scottish football is in the hands of Stewart Regan and Neil Doncaster. They will face intense pressure from those close to the old regime at Ibrox- and their friends in the media- to sweep these issues under the carpet. That would be a huge mistake.

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.

1,501 Responses to Balance of Probabilities

  1. NeilR says:

    Barcabhoy says:
    16/04/2012 at 8:46 am

    Do you know who the trustees are of the EBT scheme. Wouldn’t it be normal practice for them to be independent of MIH and RFC ? Have they been called to the Tribunal, and do they have the power to instruct that loans are repaid?

    It is normal practice for EBT trustees to be independent of the employer (though see my comments below to RTC).

    Assuming the trustee is an offshore firm, I doubt whether it would have accepted any invitation to attend the tribunal.

    In normal circumstances, EBT trustees certainly do have the power to demand the repayment of any loans it makes, subject to the terms of the loan. That power is however potentially constrained if the loan is a sham. In tax law a sham occurs when documents are deliberately drafted in a form that does not reflect the underlying intentions of the parties.

    If the trustee documents a payment as a loan while knowing that the employer has already undertaken it will never have to be repaid, and with the intention to upholding that undertaking, a sham arises. I believe (subject to correction by m’learned friends on here) that in that situation, the trustee’s right to demand repayment would be lost, as the legal rights of the parties would be determined by the nature of the true contract between them, not the sham documents purporting to show a loan.

    RTC is probably the only person posting on the blog who might know whether there is any evidence that Rangers advised the trustee of its undertakings of non-repayment. It would have been extremely foolish to do this, but no more so than much of the other things we are told happened.

    Even if the loans are genuine, though, the ability of the trustee to demand repayment from beneficiaries is of little or no practical interest to other parties. It is normal for a sub-trust to be created for each employee, and funds to be transferred into that sub-trust before the employee receives any benefit, including a loan. If that was the practice for the Rangers EBT, then even if the trustees demanded repayment of a loan, and the beneficiary complied with the request, the money would still be held on trust for the beneficiary and his/her family. Even if no sub-trusts exist, the funds would be held on trust for all beneficiaries of the trust, at the trustee’s discretion. In either case, The repaid funds would not in either case be repayable to Rangers, nor would they be available to Rangers’ creditors.

    rangerstaxcase says:
    16/04/2012 at 8:52 am

    I do know who the trustees were. Independence is a requirement of an EBT trustee. As they are offshore, I don’t know if they were called to the tribunal, but their independence (or lack thereof) is at the heart of this case.

    It is quite possible, though, although unusual these days, for directors of a UK company or other related parties – including the company itself – to act as the trustee of that company’s EBT. Clearly that situation raises potential conflicts of interest – one party being either settlor and trustee, or trustee and beneficiary. However, the the requirement for independence is in relation to the trustee’s role, not the person carrying it out. An EBT trustee must act independently, and purely in the role of trustee, at all times when dealing with trust matters, and in principle it’s entirely possible for the settlor or a beneficiary of almost any trust to be the trustee.

    That’s a fairly academic point, but there is an important practical one relating to your last comment that the trustee’s “independence (or lack thereof) is at the heart of this case”. Of course, if the trustee is shown to be colluding in a misrepresentation, so much the better from HMRC’s point of view, but that is secondary to the actions, knowledge and intentions of the principal parties to the transaction – the employer and employee.

    The question at the heart of the Rangers EBT case is whether the EBT payments were contractual, and constituted disguised remuneration. The intention of the parties is crucial to this. If it can be shown that the employer and employee understood the payments to fulfil or stand in place of the employer’s contractual obligations to the employee, then the trustee’s independence or lack of it becomes immaterial; the payments will be taxable as remuneration at the time they are made even if the trustee is 100% independent and believes them to be discretionary.

    In the case of Rangers, ‘letters of intent’ and other documentation between club and employees will therefore be the primary evidence, with evidence of the trustee’s independence or lack thereof playing a supporting role.

  2. twopanda bears says:

    In 2002, after the ski of his life at Salt Lake City, a Scots Winter Olympic slalom skier [Alain Baxter] was belatedly stripped of an Olympic Bronze Medal for using an inhaler he bought over the counter in the USA. An unjust ruling and draconian punishment to most observers. Point is the penalties for sports cheating are severe for various reasons to protect sports – primarily to set an example and to stop future abuse. As important, to maintain public interest [paying customers] in the future.

    The world-wide scale of sporting scandals be that cheating on match fixing, bribery, doping, drugs, betting, financial, espionage [F1] or lately the 2012 New Orleans Saints players being paid a bounty from a slush fund to deliberately harm opponents – has specifically required combative corrections from the authorities in the form of:

    Period + Life Bans
    Stripping of Titles, Awards and Medals

    Why should this happen to a Scottish Olympic Skier and not a Scottish Football Club?

  3. Torrevieja Johnbhoy says:

    OnceABhoy…. says:
    16/04/2012 at 10:37 am

    To the above list I would add the names:
    Here’s some more who played from 2000 till 2010:
    Michael Moles
    Bert Konterman
    Kenny Miller(twice)
    Ronald De Boer
    Brahim Hemdani
    Kris Boyd
    David Weir Sasa Papic

  4. renfrewdave says:

    Goosy says:
    16/04/2012 at 11:27 am
    good points but i think that if titles are stripped then the title wont be given to celtic,aberdeen,motherwell etc but will just have a note of tilte removed/no winner next to it in the history books similar to the marseille incident in the champions league or italian league winner and match fixing

  5. Slimshady says:

    BarcaB / Expectin’ Rain

    For completeness the trustees are called Trident. They are far from being in the premier league of offshore trustees, it has to be said. I have dealt with them over a number of years – they had a couple of decent people but also a lot of flotsam.

    The issue RTC has alluded to all along is that whilst it is acceptable for the settlor of the trust or the employing company to outline their wishes, the trustees have to make the awards on a wholly discretionary basis, and be seen to do so.

    None of that seems to have happened here – the trustees allowed certain individuals within Murray group to run things, all of the i’s were not dotted, nor the t’s crossed. As the years passed, they just did what they’d done the previous year, except on a bigger scale, more beneficiaries taking much more cash.

    The extent to which the detail was not observed is unknown to me, though RTC seems to have a very good handle on it, but HMRC usually attack these schemes through bad implementation.

    As a secondary point, Blantyre Kev is suggesting that the auditors and RFC were happy to arrive at a view that there was a 50:50 chance of winning the tax case. Frankly that is a cop out and whichever partner had the second partner sign off on the RFC accounts over those years should be held to account. It is doubtful that Deloitte would have accepted such a premise, which perhaps explains their resignation as auditors?

    Taking such a supine view allowed GT effectively to sit on the fence; GT has some very good tax people in London (though no big hitters in tax north of the border) and I would be surprised if they held the same view as their Glasgow audit colleagues.

    As an interesting historical aside, the GT partner currently in charge of the RFC account had, let us say, some difficulties a few years ago when he was at another accountancy firm, dealing with another “Scottish” plc owned and managed but someone with megalomaniacal tendencies.

    The individual concerned was however considered too junior at the time (he was a senior manager rather than partner) and so was not held to account by his institute. That ought to have been a warning signal to him – it appears the lessons may not have been learned, but perhaps proud ownership of a Club Deck ticket obscured his view?

    Finally, despite caution expressed by RTC, unless there is the prospect of criminal action following on from the BTC decision, I have absolutely no doubt that the decision will be published in full.

    It will be long, it will be anonymised, but it will be detailed. Incidentally in my reading of the rules relating to “in camera” and “anonymity” for tribunals, I do not see that RFC in any way meet the criteria either for the hearing being held in private or for the decision not being made unexpurgated. Maybe Alex Salmond had a soft word and firm handshake with the Clerk to the FTT(Tax)?

    54 to ?

  6. metanight says:


    That “looney fringe” are far more of a majority than you seem to think. This entire fiasco has clearly outlined how the SMSM are tied to their opinions and constantly pander to their whims and desires. Perhaps in public or mixed-company RFC fans seem moderate but if you judge the size of the “fringe” using social-media you’ll find it’s approximately 80%. Look at how the papers treat Lennon, Boruc, Dougiegate, Farry and countless others but refuse to highlight the obvious bigotry problem that has kept RFC’s fanbase firmly entrenched somewhere between the 1960’s and the 1970’s. Look at the verbiage used on HMRC stories: “witch-hunt” “legal” “found guilty”

    Justice will be meted out in courtrooms but will not be held up by the court of popular opinion. Dingwall will be trundled out post-liquidation to blame whatever he can on MBBCW. TBK will never be blamed for anything even though at least two of their consortium are quite blatantly up to their neck in it.

  7. yojimbo56 says:

    Paul McConville says:
    16/04/2012 at 6:37 am


    Paul mentions the Determinations that were served on RFC in Feb 2008. He and others have pointed out that the board then made no provision, given the big dark cloud on our horizon, for the upcoming rainy day. Now the rainy day has become a full scale hurricane about to blow our house down (at least what is left of the house after David Murray handed the keys to the voracious opportunist Whyte). Is this just another example of Murrays supreme arrogance or in fact staggering incompetence?

    If the matter had been faced up to at the time the damage, in terms of tax and creditors liability, could have been managed. Am I right in thinking that HMRC might have been more amenable to a favourable repayment scheme if a measure of willingness and contrition had been shown by the liable party? It would have been painful in as much as it would have led to the loss of most of our saleable assets (i.e. star players) and a consequent reduction in our ability to compete for trophies. However the irony here is that some of the trophies won could be about to be stricken from the record books and any potential goodwill that could have resulted from early action, in respect of possible sporting integrity sanctions, has evaporated.

    Also note that RTC writes of HMRC Seeking to establish whether Rangers pursued an illegal scheme for over a decade. Since everything I’ve read about the EBT scheme refers to the period 2001 – 2010, is there something else we should know?

  8. Stephen says:


    Juventus ‘won’ the Serie A title in 2004–05 and 2005–06. These are the two titles it was stripped of following investigations into the Calciopoli scandal. With regard to 04-05, you are correct. It was taken off Juve, but not assigned to any club. However, “Juve’s” 05-06 title was later awarded to Inter.

    I was talking to an Inter fan last month who told me Inter fans are not inclined to count the 05-06 title as their own.

  9. Jim says:

    One point I don’t think I’ve seen discussed….apologies if it is somewhere in the mists of time….

    If the EBTs are genuine and at some point – eventually – the loans are repaid then where does that money go to?

    Additionally, has anyone asked Campbell Ogilvie when he intends to repay his EBT ‘loan’?

    Surely he would wish to avoid any possibility that he could be accused of having a conflict of interest.

  10. Stephen says:

    The reason the 04-05 title was left unassigned was that second-placed AC Milan were also implicated in Calciopoli.

  11. ramsay smith says:

    Slimshady says:
    16/04/2012 at 11:44 am

    ”Incidentally in my reading of the rules relating to “in camera” and “anonymity” for tribunals, I do not see that RFC in any way meet the criteria either for the hearing being held in private or for the decision not being made unexpurgated.”

    I’ve been banging on about that point since day one.

    I’m glad someone else agrees.

    Trawling through the reported judgements I’ve come across only one case that was heard in private (double taxation relief, Delaware registered company ?). There were a couple where some details were anonymised ( where the case arose from a divorce action and where there was the possibility of children being identified) but otherwise all sorts of dirty laundry gets washed in public.

  12. yojimbo56 says:

    Mark Dickson says:
    16/04/2012 at 10:21 am



    Surely a. Would be enough? Although it’s clearly not going to be the answer.

  13. expecting rain says:

    Slimshady says:
    16/04/2012 at 11:44 am


    Thanks Slim, that’s useful. In a quite different context I’ve seen companies like this involved in challenge after challenge, but while the customers may suffer (RFC IA in this case), there never seems to be much sand thrown in the wheels of the trust business. Same again likely here? I wonder if the wider political reaction to tax avoidance may eventually change this…

  14. seminal says:

    Slim @ 11:44.

    I have dealt with Trident too and have basically the same impression. But Baxensale-Walker is also hardly premier league – and I’ve dealt with his people too!!

    Spivs paradise.

  15. weelogic says:

    Hmm, seems that JT may have been doing some reading while he was away. To be fair, that blog is about as perceptive as is likely to be seen in a red top. His comment about doing deals and the fact that deals become easier to do as the amount due increases is, regrettably, pretty close to the mark. There are a couple of errors, such as the usual reference to a Creditors’ Voluntary Arrangement (Jim, it’s a Company Voluntary Arrangement) but I can live with that.

    So, while he may be some way short of a “chapeau” moment (how does one qualify for such an award anyway), he may be due a “titfer” on this.

  16. Welcome back o wise one. Just when the nerves of an injustice happening start to build you come along and calm the nerves with further words of encouragement. Thank you

  17. The Iceman says:

    It’s not really about claiming titles. These have all gone into history and there is no point in anyone seeking to reclaim them – they have been utterly debased! These titles should be removed and declared null and void on record books because of inappropriate abd systematic flouting of player registration by Rangers – This is a much more fitting historical record than Celtic gaining 12 or 13 in a row that the fans never saw won – they are well in the past and can’t now be celebrated. It will also serve as a permanent stain on RFC.

    The FTT tribunal ruling threatens to be explosive ( RTC clearly has the documentation upon which it will be based) and the subsequent fall out will dwarf anything that has come to date. What happens thereafter to Rangers is anybody’s guess – certain oblivion for the present RFC – but then what – depends upon how severe the judgement is, and how much stomach the establishment will have in defending the indefensible, if it threatens their reputations and stature as well – Rangers may suddenly not be a great institution, but persona non grata – or we may still see some attempt to rehabilitate some new Rangers. I think we cannot tell at all which outcome will occur until the FTT decisions and its subsequent ramifications.

  18. BigChris says:

    RTC – Chapeau Again!

    the short version of your new blog post sounds like using Chess Parlance – “Check”.

    And just in case any one still thinks there will be a deal with HMRC – read this link about a leaked document from HMRC into English Football finances.

  19. gaz says:

    at what point in this process are the EBT’s expected to be paid back? As Jim says surely the question should be asked of Ogilvie and the many others; ‘what are your arrangements to begin paying back this loan?’

  20. Private Land says:

    The Iceman says:

    16/04/2012 at 12:32 pm

    Agree about the titles being withheld instead of retrospectively awarded. I think the footie department at CP take a slightly different line though. The great three foot high “12” on the League winning t-shirts is deliberately and mischievously ambiguous.

    I think it is also fair to imagine (given the share of prizes this year) that this year may not have been Celtic’s 12th title in a row had RFC been playing fairly – and RFC’s behaviour may well have disadvantaged other clubs in the course of any one season than they did Celtic.

    Withdrawal of titles is good enough for me (although I won’t hold my breath for the announcement, accompanied as it will be with a Flypast by RAF Pig-Squadron).

    The winning of consecutive titles is great, but I’d be happier if we just had a chance to play on a level playing field.

  21. CMC says:

    RTC says……..

    As we wait (impatiently) for the First Tier Tribunal (Tax) to report its findings on the legality of how the EBT used by Rangers was operated, it might be of interest to discuss some common misunderstandings about the legal processes that will determine the outcome.

    Can’t say i’m impatient. I think it’s preferable that this is dragged on into next season. It would be comedy gold.

  22. upmyloft says:

    Interesting part about the charges for the marquee to hide player payments, wonder how rangers or mih hid that spending over here

  23. Andy Fitzpatrick says:

    Iceman,,,were you a season ticket holder during those years,,I was,,I spent thousands of pounds over those years and I would GLADLY take the titles of the cheats and I will also celebrate getting those titles,,I will party like it’s 1999,and yes,,rangers are an institution,, but NEVER a great one.

  24. WOTTPI says:

    I am all for the stripping of titles, however it is hard to say ‘who would have won what’ if Rangers had been playing an economically viable squad. In terms of the league then someone else getting a boost could have changed the way any one season panned out as that does not necessarily mean that Celtic would have walked away with it.

    However when it comes to the cups then (while there are all the earlier rounds to consider) I have no problem with the record books awarding the win to the runner-up in the same way Olympic medals are redistributed after drug cheating and the like.

  25. Slimshady says:

    ramsay smith says:
    16/04/2012 at 12:10 pm
    ramsay, and I’ve been thinking all along that I was the lone voice on here regarding this

    any commentaries I have read have suggested anonymity is appropriate only in cases of extreme national security…..oh, wait a minute…

  26. joe mccormack says:

    Celtic and Rangers players have mixed socially for years. Also they would spend a lot of time together on Scotland duty. As money is never far from their minds the EBT scheme ‘scam’ would have been discussed at length. ‘Look at me, I earn £20k a week, pay minimum tax…ya beauty.’
    Also the players have friends in the press and the same discussions would have taken place.

    Yet 10 years after the fact the details are only coming out in the press now, following on the tail of the RTC blog. The MSM have been totally complicit in not reporting on the EBT agreements, perhaps the more knowledgeable amongst them may have thought that there could be resulting difficulties if these payments were not registered with the SFA(fat chance) and RFC(IA) would have found themselves in troubled waters.

    If not already suggested how about ‘The Complicit Silence of the Succulent Lamb’ for the book title?

  27. WOTTPI says:

    Peter says:
    16/04/2012 at 12:51 pm

    Nice parallels from down under other than the fact they got this all sorted within two months.

  28. john says:

    Maybe the MSM should send someone to this to get an idea or two …

    Employer Tax – Risk and Compliance Workshop
    April 26, 2012 at 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM
    Holiday Inn, Cartwright Drive, Titchfield, PO15 5RJ
    This event requires registration:
    In the last twelve months or so we have seen a shift in the basis on which HM Revenue & Customs select businesses for PAYE and employer taxes reviews. Our experience is that simple compliance failures can significantly ramp up the risk of such a review, with HMRC reviews focusing on specific areas where they expect non-compliance and where potential yield is high.
    I would like to invite you to our risk and compliance workshop in which we will address:
    ? How to minimise your risk from an employer taxes perspective;
    ? P11D completion, tips on making sure annual returns are completed correctly;
    ? An overview of key areas where errors are commonly made;
    ? Guidance on proposed employer tax changes arising from the March Budget.
    We are delighted to also offer a briefing on the impact and consequences of the Bribery Act which became law in July 2011. This session will be led by Kirstie Carr, our in-house lawyer and will include discussion on policies and procedures that business can put in place in order to comply with the Act.
    This event, for which there is no charge, will benefit those working in your finance, tax, HR and legal teams.
    Labels: Compliance, Employer, NI, P11D, PAYE, P60, Tax Year End
    Event Organizer: Steve Bicknell (Financial Director at SCA Group)
    Show less…

  29. Hugh McEwan says:

    yojimbo56 says:
    16/04/2012 at 11:53 am


    In short, yes, had HMRC and Rangers been able to agree on matters then they could have reached a negotiated settlement. This would also have minimised penalties, as compliance is one of the main factors considered.

    However, according to HMRC’s own rules (not sure if they were in place at that time) they will not agree to “time to pay” and to a reduced amount. Though I am quite sure had the proper people at the proper levels in each organisation deemed it in everyone’s best interests then a facility could have been reached.

    The fact that the Tribunal has taken place at all makes it clear that no such agreement was reached. The Tribunal is the last in a series of options, and shows that the others have failed or have simply not been chosen (by the taxpayer).

    This is also why any arrangement, post Tribunal, was unlikely to be reached. The whole point of doing deals is to avoid Tribunal cases and make the whole system as quick as possible, saving money for everyone.

    Rangers appear to have taken an “all or nothing” view on this. They carried on spending at the same levels in spite of the fact that the Tribunal was ongoing, and that they couldn’t actually afford those levels of spend even without the tax problems. Something could have been done earlier, had the club been willing to curb it’s spending, they chose not to.

  30. Smell the glove says:

    If this all pans out bad, ie; Rangers get invited back into the SPL, what’s to stop Celtic resigning and inviting other SPL and SFL teams to form a new league. Hibs, Dundee United, Dundee, Falkirk, Aberdeen, Partick Thistle, Ayr, etc, etc? I’m sure at least 12 of them would be willing to leave cheats united behind.

  31. hugozhackenbush says:

    I agree that their titles and cups should be stripped from them but declared “void” rather than awarded to the runners up. For two reasons:

    1. Particularly with the cup, they will have cheated every side they played on the way to the final. If any of those teams had, instead, progressed, it’s impossible to say who the eventual cup winner might have been.

    2. If those titles/cups remain on the record books as “Void”, then they remain there as a permanent record of what RFC(IA) did and in years to come, it will serve as a permanenet reminder of what damage the wreaked on Scottish football.

  32. General Tilly says:

    Tigertim @ 11:15 am

    Gen, good point, if the result is announced that there is £28 million due but the penalty has still to be delivered then the total debt is still not known. However the guilt will have been proven and the outstanding amount will force liquidation.

    You may be right, but if Dither & Filch are still peddling the ‘deal to be done with HMRC’ fairy story, then wouldn’t the ‘process’ involve them putting together a ‘final settlement’ CVA together – one which includes the full liabilities of the BTC ‘sum due’ + Interest + penalties.

    I assumed that it would only be when all liabilities are crystallised (and don’t be surprised if the GEF pops up with some ‘consultancy’ fees too) that a CVA would be proposed ?

    Presumably it would be at that point that HMRC would reject it (perhaps by sending the messenger’s head back on a silver platter, or by kicking them down a well, or some similar show of contempt) and thus precipitating liquidation?

    So as I suggested earlier, it the penalty sum takes some further time to determine, then surely that involves a further delay in the process outlined above?

    Of course the delay itself might lead to liquidation (through lack of funds) or an informal ‘get bent’ from Hector might also have the same result (no deal to be done, so sum irrelevant) in which case the scenario as you described it would occur….

  33. says:

    Carntyne says:
    16/04/2012 at 11:23 am
     5 0 Rate This
    Then I shall prove a G journo threatened to attack me….

    Jim Traynor 6-4 fav

    Darrell King 2-1

    Keech Jackson 4-1

    Bill Leckie 5-1

    10-1 bar

    I’ll have a tenner on leggat the bigot asked any gers fan who sees thomo to give him a Glaswegian warm welcome, horrible little man who needs to invest in spellcheck

  34. mailroomtim says:

    RTC, are you perhaps suggesting in your blog piece that some (if not all) of the RFC players in that game were maybe enticed with a nice wee, tax free win bonus for winning the game and thereby the league courtesy of their good friends the EBT Trustees.

    The trustees being independent would, of course, have organised this off their own back for the players benefit and certainly wouldn’t have been instructed to pay out by anyone associated with the club. And it certainly couldn’t have been described as a win bonus because that would actually be a contractual payment. Surely that couldn’t have happened. That would be against the rules.

    Sorry folks, I must have got it worng

  35. Hugh McEwan says:

    The penalty would have been notified at the same time as the original tax and interest. It would also have been lodged as part of the HMRC claim with the administrator. The penalty is also set as a %age of the tax due, so if there is a ruling for less than HMRC assessed then the penalty will simply adjust pro rata. If it is say 50% then it will become 50% of a lesser amount.

    If Rangers (the administrators) want to appeal the actual %age then it would be decided at a new Tribunal. However HMRC’s claim would remain with the administrator until that happened. A decision would have to be made whether they wanted to exit the administration, or wait until the new tribunal ruled before finalising a CVA offer.

  36. Ash_ says:

    hugozhackenbush says:

    16/04/2012 at 1:29 pm

    I agree that their titles and cups should be stripped from them but declared “void” rather than awarded to the runners up. For two reasons:

    1. Particularly with the cup, they will have cheated every side they played on the way to the final. If any of those teams had, instead, progressed, it’s impossible to say who the eventual cup winner might have been.

    2. If those titles/cups remain on the record books as “Void”, then they remain there as a permanent record of what RFC(IA) did and in years to come, it will serve as a permanenet reminder of what damage the wreaked on Scottish football.


    I’ve been in 2 minds about this.

    Recently came to the conclusion that instead of celebrating any awards handed to Celtic, I’d instead be just as happy seeing RFC(IA) 9 in a row stripped from them 🙂

  37. Thereek says:

    The Iceman says:
    16/04/2012 at 12:32 pm (Edit)
    Iceman, well said on both the stripping but non award of past titles (many years a season ticket holder) & the unpredictability of the public/MSM reaction to the FTT judgement. I tend towards the notion that it will indeed be explosive in terms of TV/radio/press but don’t feel any certainty that it will happen here based on how the matter has been treated so far.

    It’s a moment of fundamental truth for people and bodies way beyond the football community in Scotland.

  38. Barcabhoy says:

    This is what happened to Melbourne Storm for cheating in a very similar way to RFC

    When salary cap auditor Ian Schubert initially blew the whistle on Melbourne’s systematic cheating last April, the Storm were stripped of two premierships and two minor premierships, banned from accruing any premiership points this season and slapped with a $500,000 fine.

    The club initially pledged to accept the NRL’s hard line stance but as the weeks wore on and the severity of the punishment set in, Storm’s four independent directors opted to mount a legal challenge.

    The quartet, headed by chairman Dr Rob Moodie, is appealing against the way the NRL made its snap decision, without convening a full meeting of the board.

    Moodie was asked to resign last Tuesday by News chief operating officer Peter Macourt after the report found the club’s breaches amounted to $3.2 million from 2006 through to the end of this season.

    The four independent directors were sacked from the club today.

  39. yojimbo56 says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    16/04/2012 at 1:25 pm
     1 0 Rate This


    Thanks Hugh,

    Of course my point failed to mention the carry on spending mentality. You’ll recall that Walter Smith came back to steady the ship after the unfortunate failure of the Le Guen experiment (curtailed too quickly IMO). David Murray also raised his profile again at this time and trotted out a tune on his fiddle whilst the empire continued to burn.

    We can all remember Walters well placed interviews, complaining about lack of funds and the bank ‘running’ the club. If it was so, they weren’t doing a very good job were they?

  40. upmyloft says:

    Perhaps the ebt enquiry only goes back to 2005 because rangers have already accepted the assessment prior to that as correct (wee tax case) which relates to flo and de boer’s time at ibrox

  41. Auldheid says:

    The logic for removing titles is already set in the administartion precedent of a ten points deduction to offset the financial advantage gained.

    Deduct ten points from Rangers for each season they had players registred on EBTs who were in their squad. That will take care of 2003 and 2005. For 2009 onwards, if they had no EBT players playing the rules covering playing improperly registered players should apply, but the logic that they gained financial advantage by not making provision for back tax could also apply, so 10 points deduction for those seasons at least..

    Whilst 10 points is the norm , in Scotand, as we have seen this season it still does not compensate the clubs who cannot stay close to either Celtic or Rangers so there is case for the SPL proposal of one third applies if greater than the 15 also proposed..

  42. tenerifetim says:

    RTC -Alex Thomson will be on Radio Clyde SSB tonight to reveal who physically threatened him – do you know who it was ?
    Have you found your interaction with AT productive ?

  43. upmyloft says:

    Flo. 2000-2002
    R De boer 2000-2004
    F Deboer 2004

  44. Auldheid says:

    upmyloft says:

    16/04/2012 at 1:47 pm

    The EBT usage recorded in club accounts starts in 2000 and rises until 2006 then tails off dramatically by more than half when they switched to borrowing in 2007.


  45. tigertim says:

    upmyloft says:
    16/04/2012 at 1:02 pm

    Interesting part about the charges for the marquee to hide player payments, wonder how rangers or mih hid that spending over here
    They never had to hide anything, no one ever audited the accounts lodged with the SFA, the ruling bodies, SPL & SFA did not and never will check all their rules have been fulfilled. The clubs say they are then it is accepted that they are, even if the office bearers of the associations have ties back to the offending club,no such thing as independent bodies here.

  46. TheBlackKnight TBK says:

    rangerstaxcase says:
    16/04/2012 at 6:48 am
    18 0 Rate This
    Paul McConville says:
    16/04/2012 at 6:37 am (Edit)

    Yes- the enquiry regarding Rangers’ use of EBTs goes back several years. Best not to be more specific right now.

    more specific than here? ( some have already established a connection and commented previously on the blog)

    By Keith Jackson

    IBROX STADIUM was raided by police yesterday as part of a nationwide criminal investigation into corruption in football.

    Strathclyde officers assisted colleagues from City of London police in a breakfast time swoop on the home of Rangers Football Club.

    The dramatic operation came as part of a three-pronged probe which also saw cops serve another two search warrants on English Premiership clubs Newcastle United and Portsmouth. Two unnamed individuals were also hit with search warrants as part of the top-level probe, although neither was connected with Rangers.

    Record Sport has learned that officers are investigating the pounds 8million transfer of French international defender Jean-Alain Boumsong, who left Rangers for Newcastle in January 2005 – just six months after arriving in Scotland on a free transfer from Auxerre.

    Aspokeswoman for City of London Police said: “At this stage we can confirm that we have executed search warrants at three football clubs and at the homes of two individuals.

    “We have also had assistance from county forces.

    “Around 40 officers from the Economic Crime Department of the City of London police are involved in this operation which is in connection with corruption in football and its impact on owners and shareholders.”

    Boumsong’s switch to St James’ Park from Rangers has previously been highlighted in Lord Stevens’ report into football’s ‘bung scandal’ and is also to be investigated by the English FA.

    Lord Stevens’ report expressed concern about 15 agents and third parties involved in 17 separate transfers.

    Senior sources at Ibrox, however, remain adamant last night that they have nothing to hide from the investigation.

    A club spokesman said: “Rangers Football Club was asked to co-operate with the City of London police investigation and have done so, extending every possible co-operation.

    “We have been requested by police not to comment further while the investigation continues.”

    Newcastle plc issued a statement which read: “Newcastle United can confirm that it was visited this morning by the City of London Police.

    “The club itself is not the subject of the investigation.

    “If the investigation by the City of London Police, or the ongoing internal review of operations by the club’s new owners, show that the club has been the victim of any criminal activity, the club will take appropriate action.”

    Gary Double, director of communications at Ports-mouth, confirmed the Fratton Park club was involved in the investigation.

    He said: “We can confirm that the police arrived at the ground about 10am this morning.

    “We have co-operated fully with their search and will not be making any further comment.”

  47. Lord Wobbly says:

    Apologies if already posted, but Mr Dingwall thinks it’s the next two years where there might not be a level playing field. Good to know that its all been above board up until now.
    from Follow Follow…

    “Rangers fans worldwide have been very patient during the the
    recent difficult period in the hope that we will exit
    administration and be able to work towards re-establishing our club at the level to which we all aspire.
    However, the delay in the administrator’s announcing the
    preferred bidder is seriously jeopardising our chances of exiting administration quickly and is forcing us closer to liquidation.
    With the proposed SPL rule changes meaning we may not be
    competing on an equal footing for the next two seasons, it is
    imperative we have the chance to exit administration with a
    Company Voluntary Agreement and that has to happen as soon
    as possible.
    We demand that the administrators announce the preferred
    bidder as a matter of urgency. If they fail to do so on Monday
    16 April 2012, we demand to be informed precisely why they
    cannot announce a preferred bidder.”

  48. Auldheid says:

    mailroomtim says:

    16/04/2012 at 1:41 pm

    that reminds me of a joke.

    A teacher asks the class

    “If there are four cows on a fence and I shoot one, how many are left?”

    “None” says wee Timmy. “No the answer is three but how did you work that out the answer was none?” says teach

    “Well the noise of the gun going off would have frightened the other three away” says Timmy.

    “No the answer is three Timmy, but I like your thinking”.

    ” Sir can I ask you ” says Timmy “If there are three women on a bus each with an ice cream cone and one is biting it, one is licking it and one is sucking it, which one is married”

    “The one sucking it, I guess ” says the teacher.

    “Naw” says Bobby “the one with the wedding ring on sir”

    “But I like your thinking” 😉

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