“There are a terrible lot of lies going about the world, and the worst of it is that half of them are true.”  
Winston Churchill

Rarely has the rumour mill surrounding our national game been churning at this speed for this long. In the information gap created by a lack of real news about the Big Tax Case and the daily dollops of PR exaggerations about Rangers’ next saviour being smeared across the print media, something has to feed the insatiable demand for informationScottish football, especially in its Glaswegian form, has long been a fertile breeding ground for rumours.  There has always been a sense that fans were not getting the whole story through the mainstream press and the dramatic events of the last year have done nothing to slow the production of the finely milled football myth.

One legend that keeps coming back around on radio call in shows is the one that says HMRC has recently acquired some kind of legal power to apply the unpaid tax bills of liquidated firms to their “phoenix” successor companies. This is just not true.  (If the people claiming it to be true could also please stop citing this blog a source I would be eternally grateful! :-)) What is true is that HMRC now has the ability to demand a deposit from high-risk companies where it is believed that there is a high risk of non-remittance of withheld PAYE and national insurance. That is a wildly different proposition from actually being able to force a new legal entity to pay the tax bills of an old company- and if a newco-Rangers board does not contain Craig Whyte there is no reason to think that a newco-Rangers would be considered high risk.

Another rumour getting a lot of air play yesterday was that Rangers might go into liquidation this week. In the bizarre world of Rangers at the moment it would be a fool who dismisses any rumour out of hand, but I must confess to thinking that this is highly unlikely. (For the avoidance of doubt, I have no behind the scenes information on what is being said in the private conversations of the joint administrators). It would be a major embarrassment for Duff & Phelps if they were unable to keep Rangers FC trading until the end of the season. With all of the legal powers to cut costs available to them, this should, and would, have been priority number one. As pointed out by the excellent @tonymckelvie on Twitter, there is almost £2m available (11% of the total) from the SPL cash pot for the team that finishes 2nd in the league. (Another 4% is given to each team in the league just for participating. I am assuming that this is distributed earlier in the season). Given the size of offers being reported for Rangers, an extra £2m for the creditors is not to be discounted lightly. So, I am sceptical. If Rangers were to collapse entirely before the season ended, it would be a disaster on such a scale that it would presumably cause even SPL chief Neil Doncaster to roll up the red carpet that is currently waiting to welcome  a newco-Rangers back into the fold without questioning.

Rumours develop where our demand for the information we want to hear exceeds the supply. Even if I get 20 extra tweets a day asking “when will we know the tax case result?”,  I will still not know. It could be today. It will likely be within the next month. However, in theory, we could be waiting for months. Rumours of a 90-day deadline for a First Tier Tribunal (Tax) to publish its findings were simply not true.

Until the crisis affecting Rangers (and the Scottish game more generally) finds some form of resolution and the situation stabilises, we can expect every casual remark and poorly chosen word to spark a frenzy of analysis and fresh innuendo. As tiring as it has been, I see no let up in the drama in the coming weeks. I do hope that I am wrong. One way or another, I just want this story to come to a conclusion.

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.

2,200 Responses to Rumours

  1. I'm so Gwlad Gwlad says:

    The finest man I ever knew was a Scottish communist………..’ah, bankruptcy………I know what that is……..other people pay your debts’………… it a plan?………..the finest minds of Scotland can’t solve it but some Tennessee sh*tkicker can????

  2. SouthernExile says:

    James Doleman (@jamesdoleman) says:
    04/05/2012 at 11:36 pm
     0 0 Rate This
    US journalist Dubbs Bill Miller “The “stealthmaster,”

    ..not to party poop, but most of it is hagriographic.

    I was leaning towards the school who says he’s a tool for the dark forces, but reading this, he sounds nobody’s fool.

    Even more confused.

  3. Delbhoy says:

    As a long time reader of RTC, this two word post has me intrigued.
    ” Money Laundering ”
    Could you, or anyone, expand, explain or discuss the implications
    of this. Please.

  4. Auldheid says:

    Two sites covering the licensing issue

    The latter suggesting UEFA are against the type of deal proposed (evn if the SFA try to make a case)

  5. metanight says:

    I’ve used an HTML5 analyzer to create a word cloud for the blog so it should be a visualization of what has been said thus far (although only around 80% accurate at filtering useless words). The word size is determined by the frequency.

  6. fara says:

    Possession of stolen goods is a crime in which an individual has bought, been given, or acquired stolen goods some other way.
    In many countries, if an individual has accepted possession of goods or property and knew they were stolen, then the individual is typically charged with a misdemeanor or felony, depending on the value of the stolen goods. If the individual did not know the goods were stolen, then the goods are returned to the owner and the individual is not prosecuted. However, there are often exceptions, due to the difficulty of proving or disproving an individual’s knowledge that the goods were stolen.

    In Scotland, this crime is called reset.[3] It includes property that was taken by theft or robbery as well as property taken by breaches of trust including embezzlement, fraud and willful imposition.[4]

    Handling stolen goods is the name of a statutory offence in England and Wales and Northern Ireland. It takes place after a theft or other dishonest acquisition is completed and may be committed by a fence or other person who helps the thief to realise the value of the stolen goods. It replaces the offence of receiving stolen goods under section 33 of the Larceny Act 1916.

    I’m just thinking what would happen if someone from Scotland stole goods from Austria, let’s just say from the city of Vienna as an example. They then took the goods to Scotland where they used them for themselves for a while. They enjoyed their ill gotten gain so much that they turned down many an offer for these goods, some offers many times the going rate infact. Then the authorities got a sniff of this. The Scottish thief panicked and sold the goods on at a much lower value than he had been offered before. Let’s say he sold them to an Englishman, say someone from Liverpool just for the sake of it. Can anyone tell me what would happen here? Which country/countries would the scotsman have broken the law in, if any? Would the englishman have broken any laws in any countries? Would the goods be returned to the original owner in Vienna?
    Just wondering that’s all. 🙂

  7. Para Handy says:

    TheBlackKnight TBK says:
    04/05/2012 at 4:49 pm
    1 0 Rate This
    Para Handy says:
    04/05/2012 at 4:31 pm

    You would really need to take Paul67 up on that one. Not my words.
    Apologies TBK, was not meant to be judgemental. just commentary. Also had not realised you were quoting so my bad.

  8. oisin71 says:

    1. Craig Whyte appoints D&P as administrators for RFC in less than 2hrs, after a judge gives them 2hr 40mins to nominate one ahead of HMRC.
    2. D&P appointment of RFC is approved by the judge and accepted by HMRC, and immediately they get to work, by not making any cuts or reducing the debt of RFC*. Instead they do one thing at a time and understandably attempt to get a handle on the financial situation within RFC. A situation that is so complex it takes up all their time and effort to sort out what is what, where is what and who has what and why. All the time the clock is ticking.
    3. Finally D&P begin unprecedented negotiations with players and staff to finally agree that no-one is made redundant. During this protracted process the players make demands to D&P which prolongs the process, with D&P demanding more time to consider the proposals. Thereby taking more time to finally agree with the players demands. This process takes a lot longer than anyone anticipated.
    4. D&P then get round to welcoming bids to buy RFC*, while at the same time publicly releasing an exaggerated worst case assessment of the clubs financial predicament. Just for good measure the bidders are then told they need to provide £0.5m up front if they want to look at the actual accounts. The bids come in, and the bidding period is extended to allow not further bids, but further discussions with the bidders to clarify what type of bid is acceptable and what type of bid is not.
    5. This process gets rid of 3 of 4 bidders, but then further time is involved in discussion to allow another bidder to return to leave 2 bidders. This is then very nearly reduced to 1 but then one of the original bidders then returns and JV’s with another returning bidder to put forward another bid.
    6. As confusion reigns during the extended bidding process, a time-out is needed to yet again clarify the bidding process and make sure no conditions are put in the submitted bids. The time for bids is then extended to allow the bidders to adjust their bids so the meet the requirements.
    7. Both remaining bids are then submitted with conditions and therefore more time is spent negotiating and clarifying positions. New deadlines are then set to submit unconditional bids.
    8. Eventually the bidders then re-submit offers, both conditional, yet amazingly these are suddenly acceptable, even though they were previously unacceptable. Now D&P had to take time to review and assessment both bids and narrow this down to one preferred bidder. These things take time, and in this case it did…a week to decide that a week was not enough and they needed another week…and then just a wee while longer.
    9. At long last a preferred bidder by the name of Bill Miller is appointed which is a conditional bid, with no money passing hands to view the accounts, but monies to the tune of £11m are lodged in a holding account, just as CW had done a year previously with £26m.
    10. Bill Miller has just over a week to agree a deal with the administrators, with all his conditions attached, most of which are outside the control of D&P. Any of these conditions not being met will Kill Bill (or at least his bid).
    11. D&P make soundings to the MSM stating they ‘understand’ the conditions are right for the bid to go through. These conditions involve SFA, SPL, HMRC and possibly Ticketus and Craig Whyte. Subsequently the SFA, SPL and HMRC make soundings that no deal has been done with Bill Miller in respect of his bid to buy RFC*.
    12. Time is running out, possibly to the point that if Bill Millers bid fails, then no time would exist for an alternative bid from only other bid considered by the TBKs. Should Bill Miller bid stall next Thursday night/ Friday morning then you can forget your Newco/Oldco/Incubator, its the liquidator.
    13. Craig Whyte appointed D&P as administrators in just under 2hrs. 78days later and the deliberately prolonged process continues…who knows, why it has been deliberately prolonged. It may be more obvious towards the end of next week…or maybe the following one.
    14. It’s time to call time on the whole epic saga.

  9. JJ says:

    SouthernExile at 11.49

    “Here was also a successful businessman who acted like a riverboat gambler (an ilk that once plied up and down the Tennessee River by Chattanooga). Miller rolled the dice…….. ”

    Sounds remarkably like a certain knighted chap from Edinburgh. Just what RFC needs!

  10. gaz says:

    very interesting post about the involvement of Alistair Johnston – ESPN – IMG – NASCAR. Always believed that certain parties old and new did not want to have their names associated with the liquidation of ‘The’ Rangers. It had struck me as odd that the silence from the once such vocal camps of Alistair Johnston and also that of the also dubiously tax ‘prudent’ Dave King. I’d be astonished if his ‘tax reluctant’ hand is still not involved in what is the winding up & attempted ringfencing of assets masquerading as the administration of ‘The’ Rangers.

  11. Fritz Agrandoldteam says:

    Towing the Line…………..a grim fairy tale

    Once upon a time there was a vintage Rolls-Royce, (registration plate FF 1872). It had won many best-of-show trophies, (although many of the shows were fixed by bribery and corruption) However, this had cost the owner more money than he could really afford, and he started to neglect it It had seen better days. It needed a lot of TLC – more than the owner could afford. It was a menace to all the other road users. It was driven hard, even though it had no road tax, insurance, and no M.O.T. It was sold for a pittance to a so-called mechanic/enthusiast called Whyte, but he ran it into the ground, running up more repair bills and parking fines. Eventually, it ended up in Bluff & Help’s scrapyard, with a mountain of unpaid bills. They had never had a Rolls-Royce before, and, although it was worth more as scrap metal, they were anxious to keep it for as long as possible for the status it gave to their scrapyard.

    Then one day a tow truck came into the scrapyard and the driver offered to buy it.
    “No No!” Said Mr. Clark, the shifty car salesman of Bluff & Help, “We need to keep the Rolls-Royce.”

    “Look, said the tow truck driver, I have a new Ford Fiesta; We can tranfer all the badges and ornamnet hood onto the Fiesta, and say that it’s the Rolls Royce, and then, when we scrap the original Rolls, we’ll transfer the number plate to the Fiesta.”

    “Can we do that?” asked Clark, looking even shiftier, (if that was possible), “Won’t the authorities ask quesions?

    “Don’t worry,” said Tow Truck Bill, “I’ll speak to Mr Regan at the DVLA, and Mr. Doncaster at the M.O.T. Authority, who will guarantee that the Fiesta is a fully road-taxed, roadworthy, vintage Rolls-Royce, reg FF 1872.

    “What about all the outstanding bills for the original Rolls Royce?” said Clark

    “What Rolls Royce?” said Miller, “That will have been scrapped………”

  12. Ianc says:

    Fritz Agrandoldteam says:
    05/05/2012 at 12:20 am
    1 0 i
    Rate This
    Towing the Line…………..a grim fairy tale

    Belter was just about to pen a tow truck tale myself. wont bother now.

  13. Doon the slope says:


    Regarding your question re “money laundering.”

    A friend of mine attended a game at Parkhead at the time when a Mr King had suddenly resurfaced at Ibrox when they went into administration. My friend was in the post match hospitality with the directors and other guests.

    He told me that there was a discussion about King and that one gentleman present, who works for Lloyds had quipped (to my friend, not to the present company), “Lloyds wont touch him (King) because he’s useless at money laundering.”

    I forgot all about that conversation until this evening. My only thoughts at the time were, why would someone who works for Lloyds be in the directors’ box at Parkhead? My thoughts now are, well who did they decide is good at money laundering?

  14. Auldheid says:

    Reading back I see the club license issue has been picked up by The Scotsman and commented on by posters.

    Wings of Victory web site pointed out mid April that the UEFA license criteria applied to SPL entry as well as UEFA competition entry although SFA backtracked a bit.

    STV Grant confirmed today UEFA lIcense is not transferable and a license has not been granted and is not guaranteed.

    The reason for this is that to get dispensation from UEFA criteria a case has to be made to UEFA, presumably by the SFA. Given UEFA’s reported stance Newco will not get a licence.

    This has been the case since 1st April, so has it all been a charade to give Rangers time to dig the SFA and SPL out of a hole?

  15. Ianc says:

    All I can say about DK is Parklands and his brief ownership. Keeps reccouring.

  16. gaz says:

    Delbhoy: it struck me as very odd to see (was it the Ellis chap) or one of Whytes entoutage (?) march up Edmiston drive in tow (how apt) with none other than one time boxer-promoter-manager- and “alledged money launderer extraordinaire” Barry Hughes. Given his publiscised problem with asset freezes i thought PR gaff. Why would anyone involved in the management/ownership/take-over of this club be seen or be seen to be involved with an “alledged” money launderer? The same 2 word phrase MONEY LAUNDERING sprung to my mind, but purely coincidence. But if stories are to be believed of investors in days gone by such as Joe Lewis of ENIC fame investing money then taking it out again, and if imagine that other, more media shy and silent “investors” may have done the same, one has to wonder if it’s beyond the realms of possibility that ‘The’ Rangers could have, at some point been used as a vehicle for money laundering. Given that football seems such an unregulated industry it seems fertile ground for those with dirty money. We can remember the debts run up by Dundee? Wasn’t a certain imfamous Frankie “donuts” Donaldson involved in Dundee back then? Didn’t he also have some dhares in Celtic Plc too? Not beyond the realms of possibility that, over the years some sort of money launfering hasn’t gone on

  17. Doon the slope says:


    Re this bid for Rangers(IA) from Manchester.

    When you first mentioned it, didnt you yourself give the reason why it had been rejected (or was not responded to) ? You said that the bid stated that there was a condition that the new Rangers would have to relinquish its ‘sectarian’ element. Wouldn’t that be a very good reason to render such a bid a complete non starter?

  18. gaz says:

    Sorry it was Raith Rovers he was involved with. Dundee was the crackpot foreign lawyer (can’t remember his name)

  19. twopanda bears says:

    Anybody know who are BM`s UK / Advisors / AnalystsTeam leading the PB through D+P here in Glasgow?

  20. Bhoyant says:

    gaz says:

    05/05/2012 at 1:19 am

    Giovanni Di Stefano

  21. paulmac says:

    gaz says:
    05/05/2012 at 12:19 am

    very interesting post about the involvement of Alistair Johnston – ESPN – IMG – NASCAR. Always believed that certain parties old and new did not want to have their names associated with the liquidation of ‘The’ Rangers. It had struck me as odd that the silence from the once such vocal camps of Alistair Johnston and also that of the also dubiously tax ‘prudent’ Dave King. I’d be astonished if his ‘tax reluctant’ hand is still not involved in what is the winding up & attempted ringfencing of assets masquerading as the administration of ‘The’ Rangers.

    My thoughts exactly…how else would a man who has no interest in football…never mind Scottish football…look to get involved with buying the assets of rangers…

    Why did Bill not get interested last May 2011 when the debts of the club were far lower…in fact the club has been up for sale for the last 5 years…and not so much as a phone call of interest from the guy…

    Allegedly a higher bidder turned down by D&D…yet they stick with a bid from a guy they haven’t met and are unlikley to meet anytime soon…

    Will the SFA/SPL be carrying out the fit and proper person test prior to any asset purchase…sorry forgot doesn’t apply to asset purchase…will they apply the fit and proper prior to the suggested merging back?

  22. paulmac says:

    Then again does he need the fit and proper test for the share transfer..and club licence?

  23. Torquemada says:

    Curiouser and curiouser! The first thing that struck me about Miller was his emphasis on the club’s ”history” and how important it was that it be retained! For an American investor with no apparent previous interest in ”soccerball”, it seemed a bizarre thing to stress when most new sports club owners promise future success. I idly wondered who was briefing him.

    The IMG/Johnston/Nascar link never occurred to me. Silly me.

  24. The Iceman says:

    Clearly Miller has no interest in Rangers as a going concern – his conditions are impssible – the whole thing is a sham. It had me going for a bit until my cool head began to explore what was actually being suggested.

    The authorities may be aware of this and be going through the motions before announcing that sadly UEFA rules prevent a NEWCO formation – or they may have bought into this hokum and be selling the soul of the game in a last futile effort to keep the Rangers going.

    The real victims here is an interesting issue:

    Of Rangers misdemeanours, and Murray’s tax dodging then Aberdeen, Celtic, and Hearts appear on analysis to have suffered most financially – the cynical and nihilistic Rangers policy of weakening opponents by taking talent out of the game and on to the bench harmed all of Scottish football and the competitiveness of our league , and our national team in particular.

    However at the risk of ruffling a few feathers the real victims of this end game – if, as now seems likely the whole thing, is merely an asset grab of the corpse, are surely the Rangers fans.

    It may well be that “no-one likes them and they don’t care” but I have huge sympathy for any fan who has invested heart and cash for a lifetime into a club to see it fed upon by vultures and stripped bare. Many may well say they have had it coming – much of their support is supremacist, objectionable and intolerant but I would not wish upon them. I won’t miss their sectarian fans and air of mindless supremacy – but I still feel for the fate of their average fan. A lot of young boys will be confused and distressed – a lot of older men will be confused and distressed: the risk of civil disorder is obvious.

    The lack of any cool heads amongst the Rangers old boys – Smith McCoist and Jardine have all been reckless in their inflammatory comments – is distinctly worrying. If it just ends in tears of Rangers fans, we will be lucky- I fear the anger will be directed outwards to the innocent whilst the real culprits will somehow walk away from the wreckage without their just desserts and pockets full of other people’s money..

  25. Douglas cameron says:


    Your assessment of my views is correct. The legal/insolvency framework must apply to the company and directors as it would in any other situation. Rather than see miller’s proposal as some sort of ‘dodge’ i am coming to the view it will be beneficial for anyone really interested in justice. The tax case will play out in full, the admins can pursue legal actions generating potentially three time more (after fees of course) for the creditors and most importantly for me there is much more chance of all the facts being revealed. The admins are more likely to write up a negative report re director conducts (of both boards). The chances of hmrc successfully pursuing directors and others personally for money increases. The chances of people going to jail also increases.

    Again you are right I fully accept football punishment in line with existing rules hence I think protesting the sfa was pointless but protesting the spl’s efforts to make it up as they go along would have my support.

    Football punishment must be by the football rules. In this respect losing/winning the big tax case does not equate to losing/winning in terms of ‘cheating’ re player registration and payments per football authority rules. Different wording, different rules.

    Hopefully this makes it up. Last night’s reply to Corsica on his M&S argument didn’t sadly. Maybe I put the wrong email or something.

    Thanks again for the reference an plug. You have restored my faith in the debate to be had here.

  26. frank’s boy @ 04/05/2012 at 10:45 pm

    I understand that all of the SPL clubs bank with LBG except Celtic and Hearts. (Fergus McCann binned the BoS soon after taking over and Vlad – who has his own bank, after all – did the same.)

    The LBG grip on Scottish football is a significant part of Gavin Masterton’s legacy from his time at BoS and it’s something which I think we should regularly remind ourselves about.
    Having control of the credit limits of clubs which are almost all struggling to make ends meet is a very powerful weapon. LBG could quietly and easily dictate the result of just about any vote and leave the chairmen to take the rap. In theory, they could just as easily influence the results of individual games and even tournaments without ever being accused of interference. Who would know? Who would tell? Who would stop them?
    I don’t doubt for a second that their influence has been brought to bear before now and sporting integrity is not a matter which would have weighed heavily on the consciences of the corporate loan sharks. Can anyone honestly say with complete confidence that institutions which, without so much as a blush, coldly bankrupt entire nations would hesitate for a moment to rig a game of football so that their biggest creditor might collect some more prize money?

  27. I seem to have mysteriously fired off a ghost post. I pressed “Post Comment” and everything disappeared. 😦

    I’ll do a brief recap of the longer post I tried to make about Bill Miller.

    Has anyone found any convincing evidence that he was also the boss of a waste management business called BFI (Browning – Ferris Industries) at one time? I’ve seen a few not particularly convincing references but I’m intrigued by the possibility that he might have done rather well out of a business which, for a long time, was very much a Mafia operation. It may still be, for all I know. I retain a healthy scepticism about industry PR pieces which boast of how well they’ve cleaned up their act since the bad old days of Mob control.

    I daresay that there a few William G Millers, Bill Millers and perhaps even an occasional Willie Miller or Liam Miller who will throw us off the scent as we try to discover the real background of the American war hero who is about to lead Rangers Soccer Club into its bright new dawn.

    (Note to self: ctrl+A & ctrl+C before posting . . .)

  28. Torrevieja Johnbhoy says:

    If LBG are no longer owed any money by RFC,then why should they get involved at this stage.Surely sending letters to clubs telling them to vote for RFC in the SPL(assuming this is the case,we don’t know)is counter productive.A Celtic fan boycott of away games will nullify any gains made by retaining the status quo and the bank would be leaving themselves open to all sorts of allegations ranging from bias to blackmail.
    If such letters exist,I don’t see why AT would tweet something he can’t back up,then LBG have been very stupid.Nowadays,everything has a habit of appearing on the web somewhere.these letters will be no different.(I’d bet a copy appears here before you see it in the Daily Record,though).

  29. Slimshady says:

    Torrevieja Johnbhoy says:
    05/05/2012 at 7:21 am

    TJ, either you’re up too late on a Friday night or up too early on a Saturday morning….

    Lloyds sent the letters to the clubs because Lloyds is banker to 10 of the 12 SPL clubs and the bank stands to be most at risk if the corpse is not permitted to keep kicking a ball in the SPL.

    To answer an earlier question from someone else, why would a senior member of Lloyds be in the directors’ box at Celtic Park, perhaps because he’s a big Celtic fan?

    54 to 0

  30. jonsouthgen says:

    Douglas Cameron @5.35

    I find it astonishing that someone who can write and post contributions of such high quality, as you do on here, could post the absolute nonsense, re. censorship on this blog, that you did last evening on rangers media. Quite frankly its almost like reading the thoughts of two different people. i would assume that the vitriol which appeared following your post on R.M. is something you abhor and would agree has never been evidenced on this much, much more tolerant,educational and, dare i say it, catholic (small c) blog. ?

  31. Lord Wobbly says:

    “Over time I also perceived that Miller and company do not cotton to publicity. This CEO has a preference for lying low, particularly when strategic maneuvers are in the works”
    So why would he want to put himself out on a limb? Or does he simply have no idea what he’s letting himself in for?

    I’m sure Craigy boy will be having a quiet chuckle to himself.
    And now some leftfield thinking (a good American phrase)…

    The Towman dot com article also mentions that BM “wields a golf club in his spare time”. Could this be the nub? Is he simply looking for an excuse to come to Scotland? Does he view owning the establishment club as a way to ingratiate himself with the golf club committee set?

  32. The saga continues RTC and while it does the clubs representatives continue to pile more shame upon their club. Mr. McCoist’s recent outburts to have the identities of the recent judicial panel made public was nothing short of spiteful and could have been seen as an invitation to fans to seek them out and deliver retribution. If that was not bad enough we then have Sandy Jardine as the figure head of a march on the SFA and fan chief John MacMillan making a complete foll of himself on BBC Radio. Is there no end to their arrogant behaviour?

  33. andycol says:

    Henry Clarson says:

    05/05/2012 at 6:41 am

    How could it be in LBG’s interests for the SPL clubs to construct a method by which member clubs can stiff their creditors with minimal consequences? I would have thought that LBG would be having a quiet word in the ears of more than a few club chairman that if the RFC precedent is permitted then the bank would move to protect its money by demanding immediate pyment to the point of seeking winding up orders.

  34. Lord Wobbly says:

    Henry Clarson says:
    05/05/2012 at 7:12 am
    0 0 Rate This
    I seem to have mysteriously fired off a ghost post. I pressed “Post
    Comment” and everything disappeared.
    I’ll do a brief recap of the longer post I tried to make about Bill
    Has anyone found any convincing evidence that he was also the boss of a waste management business called BFI (Browning –Ferris Industries) at one time? I’ve seen a few not particularly convincing references but I’m intrigued by the possibility that he might have done rather well out of a business which, for a long time, was very much a Mafia operation.
    That’ll be a Kafflick Mafia I presume. Wait until the Bears hear about that! It’ll be (in their best Connery accent)….

    “- Geez, l knew it! That’s all you need, one thieving Pape on the team!”

  35. Barry C Loner says:

    You have to have been with football club directors, discussing Bank facilities, to understand why LBG might feel inspired to pen a letter. As I have said before on this blog, I had the misfortune of negotiating such matters with errant clubs in a past life. It is simplest to conclude that Directors could not count. The notion that you might want to balance cash in and cash out really never featured in the forward cash flow. Rather, the Club took the view, no matter how small they were, that the Bank would not risk the negative PR of refusing to renew facilities.

    Rangers, by extension, created this problem. As we now know, the notion that “Sir David risked more than £100m of his own money pursuing the European dream” was utter nonsense, but, nonetheless, the effect of the post Souness splurge was that many clubs abandoned all notion of youth development, and joined in on the fashion of hiring whatever exotic sounding foreigner they could find. You very quickly find yourself, in such circumstances, in a bizarre world where Steve Archibald is hiring in busloads of Spaniards hoping that he can move them on at a profit before the cash runs out.

    I have long lamented the role of the football authorities in all of this. At a banal level, two of clubs I looked after, heading very quickly for the abyss, were hit with what was, for them, massive SFA fines. A conversation I had with a SFA blazer where I tried to explain that a fine into a club with no money and frozen bank facilities was not the wisest of moves. Their reaction (“tough, pay it or we will fine you more”) was another illustration that football and finance were simply not in the same room.

    But, worse than this, the authorities seemed blissfully unaware of the chaos that was enveloping many of the clubs throughout the leagues. Successive years of losses, hiring new players on unaffordable contracts, budgeting for further losses (irrespective of cup runs) meant that an unhealthy proportion of clubs were reliant on bank indulgence to keep breathing. I have absolutely no idea what the football authorities were up to through all of that. To my mind, every club should be required to submit a balanced budget to the league, along side a viable debt reduction plan (if necessary).

    The on the hoof reaction of the authorities to the developing shambles at Ibrox – a dish 20 years in the making – should see the SFA high tailing it over to Kilmarnock (for example) to understand exactly where they sit with the bank. On the basis of what I have read, their debt is totally unsustainable. But the authorities are reactive, aren’t they, filled with innumerate “football people” and almost imprisoned by a media populated by men who claim relentlessly they know nothing about money (small tip: – if you have £3 in your pocket you cannot afford that £4 sandwich – it really is that simple) and who make no effort to learn.

    Which takes me neatly to Bill Miller. In all the piffle written as the media rallies round the new flag (the man has now acquired the dignified moniker of MR. Miller), there is precious little discussing a few unpalatable facts. Come 1st June, or more correctly on the next pay day, Miller has to come up with £2-3m to fund players contracts. Then again on 1st July. And again on 1st August. He does this with no cash in, unless of course ra Berrz rally round and buy up 40,000 season tickets over the next couple of weeks and provide the working capital. So, in addition to the £11m cash in to acquire, this guy who knows nothing about football has cash out of £6-9m over the next 3 months. He has a playing squad that he is either contractually bound to pay, or who have get out clauses seriously depleting their transfer values. is anyone asking serious questions about forward cash flow, other than on this blog? How long before the Daily Retard runs the story about a “war chest” and fills the back pages with signing targets?

  36. twopanda bears says:

    So LBG sends a letter to the Chairman of the 10 SPL clubs? Could be because they all have birthdays this week? – or May Day Celebrations?, – or advising them on a reduction in interest rates / easy terms for a new loan next season? Happens all the time.

  37. D&P’s preferred bidder statement thoroughly fisked by Den – and with rather less excess wordiness than if I had done it!

    Well worth a read.

    Carthago delenda est!

  38. tomtom says:

    Now that it’s all eleven SPL clubs that will decide the fate of RFC rather than the six man panel will it be done on the old established “black ball” basis rather than show of hands.

    Could be like the scene from Only Fools and Horses were Delboy is told by Boycie that his application to join the Mason’s has been “blackballed”. Del asks “what lousy ****** blackballed me?” “All of them” replies Boycie.

  39. delbhoy says:

    Douglas cameron says:
    05/05/2012 at 5:35 am

    Perhaps it is early on a Saturday morning and I am not fully awake yet but I had difficulty following your logic about football rules and cheating by gaining a sporting advantage being dealt with by different rules.

    Not sure of the point you are making are you saying that rangers should not be penalised by the football authorities for cheating but leave it to the courts/financial regulations?

    If a small club makes a clerical error in the registration of a player and he plays in a cup tie the sanction is a football one because they are expelled from the competition that year. That is the ‘rules’ of the game. So you are saying that a club that has consistently broken the rules over 10 years but the football authorities should ignore this.I don’t think so Sandy…sorry Douglas.

  40. Roddy says:

    Think you’ve misread the d Cameron post, Del.

  41. Douglas cameron says:


    I am saying there are 2 punishments. On one hand there is financial/legal penalties for the financial misdeeds of the directors/company. On the other is the football regulations by which the club should be punished. It is 2 distinct sets of rules even if there is cross over in the acts they ultimately punish.

    Re what I posted on rm I said pretty much what I said on here save annoyance at a post not appearing. As I stated earlier maybe that was my fault since I have been able to post subsequently. Nothing i said was out of order. Do i approve of the language and the view everyone on here is malicious? No. The responses were interesting though as they highlighted what my main gripe was ie the way the comments on here have changed. A number of people has been interested in the debate here but had been lost as readers by the loss of perspective and the slide of the conversation to just being about ensuring jelly and ice cream all round. I understand where those guys are coming from and it is why I very very rarely attempt to have a debate here.

    Btw nobody ever did offer a view on miller vein able to use plc tax losses which was why I posted yesterday.

  42. Douglas cameron says:

    Bloody iPhone I meant being able to use tax losses

  43. delbhoy says:

    Douglas cameron says:
    05/05/2012 at 10:22 am


    My fault missed the point you were making. I did say it was early in the morning!

  44. Para Handy says:

    Barry C Loner says:
    05/05/2012 at 9:20 am

    It is simplest to conclude that Directors could not count. The notion that you might want to balance cash in and cash out really never featured in the forward cash flow.
    Barry, having experienced the other side of the fence, the budgeting process in football clubs below the SPL is mainly based on crowd projections. These are obviously subject to many factors and it was evident to me that the main driver was along the lines of, “If we don’t budget at that level we can’t put out a competitive team so the crowds will fall and then where will we be?”

    Lo and behold, the team wasn’t competitive and guess what, they were right but now they had a bigger hole to fill…

    Listening to people who ran businesses and had significant experience of accounting (including liquidation expertise) discussing the budget and financial performance of a football club was like overhearing a conversation between the donkey in Shrek and the three blind mice…

  45. weelogic says:

    @ Douglas Cameron

    An Administrator or Liquidator could, in theory, sell the tax losses. It’s rare, but we did it a few times when I was in the profession. However, they sit with the old company and would have to be part of a fairly complex hive down, with tacit HMRC approval. The old co is in stasis until the CVA nonsense is quietly forgotten, and I would be very surprised if Hector issued a tax clearance letter on the hive down of the losses given the background to this case.

  46. Good Morning.

    I find myself extremely worried this morning about the mental stability and the general wellbeing of Alex Thomson amongst others. Fellow posters Richard Wilson, Barca and perhaps some others seem to be on the verge of……………………………………..well?

    Alex Thomson has tweeted that he has somehow garnered the notion that Lloyds Bank group have written to their client clubs saying something about the Rangers/SPL position. can you imagine that? Poor Thomo must be completely deranged, as I am quite sure that the nice people at Lloyds didn’t copy him in on the corresspondence, so he must have just had a bad dream.

    Then again, maybe someone, somehwere has said something? Whatdya Think?

    Barry C Loner makes a good point above– Football Directors don’t necessatily understand double entry book keeping, and the notion that you have to earn what you want to pay for. Yet, with no disrespect intended to Barry himself, the same could be said for those who somehow or other allowed Sir David to borrow what Lloyds have described as virtually inexplicable sums to run a football team and a conglomorate! Rangers never did earn anything like the money that was borrowed, spent and written off, only to be reborrowed,spent and written off again. Nor did MIH.

    Yet I stress again that within the football rules there is mention of the word AUDIT whereby what the clubs submit by way of financials seem to be the subject of some kind of stress test by the football authorities. No one has ever been able to tell me who carries out these tests, or how, but going by Barry’s post, there would appear to be very few in football who are fit for the job.

    So, we have football people who can’t really understand the concept of proper bookeeping, an all powerful media tapping and bank favourited multimillionaire and a bank who lends to virtually all other clubs and who have now been shown to have had some serious practice and ethics issues in the past resulting in fines, censures and sanctions from the Banking Aurhorities.

    Mmmmm anyone see a recipe for abuse?

    So Alex Thommo thinks there is a letter floating about– presumably giving advice to their clients about how they should view the Rangers/SPL situation.

    Could it be, that Lloyds group are so exposed to Scottish football that they actually have a “policy” that they wish to see followed on this issue? If so, then are we looking at the decisions re Rangers really being taken by the bank ( behind closed doors and out of sight ) rather than by the clubs, the SPL and the SFA?

    Worse still. is this the first time that a bank (HBOS springs to mind) have adopted a policy on Scottish Football– a policy that may just have had an effect on how Scottish Football is run, develops and progresses?

    Earlier on, Richard Wilson highlighted the strange cases of Paul Ritchie, Theo Snelders and Nacho Novo, and so expanding on a theme I have touched on previously. Football Players just don’t turn up at a club and play- ( or not play in the case of some). They have to be contacted, agenets negotiated with, fees and salaries asked for and rejected.. until an agreement is reached as to the rate of pay and the length of contract and so on. None of it happens by accident.

    It may just be the case that that entire process is about to come under the spotlight as a result of the big tax case judgement. I have no doubt that as a result of that judgement, some former players will be getting phonecalls from intrepid reporters about why they were paid through EBT’s, how that came about, who was involved, why they had two contracts and so on.

    Some reporters may even recall being called up and given a wee hint of a story that player x was about to move to club y– just to set the game afoot.

    You never know, some former players– ones known to be of a certain moral code or with deep seated beliefs in certain areas may just be prepared to tell all they know if it is shown that they innocently or inadvisedly got caught up in an illegal practice.

    As Barry hints up above, a few spivvy wide boys could run rings around your average football Director when it comes to finances and I dare say contracts– including bank terms and transfer agreements.

    Why did certain players sign for Rangers and just never play? Why did clubs sell this player or that at that time?

    Will we be able to go through the eventual list of EBT players and find an 11 who did not muster 100 games for Rangers between them?

    Even outwith the EBT ranks Messrs Ritchie, Webster, Snelders, Gow and certain others must now wonder why they were signed and paid handsomely not to play at all.

    Chairman and Directors may wonder about those who sat along side them on SFA/SPL committees who said nothing about strange prectices at Ibrox but who were perhaps involved in the buying of players from their club on terms which the clubs could not have refused– whether they liked it or not— because their transfer policy may well have been influenced by the policy of the bank– yes the bank that has been censured, the bank that has gone bust, the bank that is subject to various class actions and indeed criminal investigation– and of course the bank of the purchasing club to whom it gave loans which made the rest of Scottish Football seem like — dare i say it– the Penny Arcade?

    No Thomo has lost the plot clearly.

    Next he will be asking if there were any relatives of football people working in the bank and seeing all sorts of reds under the bed.

    However someone somewhere has been talking….. and it will be very VERY interesting to hear what they have to say!!!!

  47. Ianc says:

    Mmmm BOS/Lloyds Starters (for sure) and Finishers?

  48. Private Land says:

    New post up

  49. richard cranium says:

    just listened to the cosgrove/spiers thing…..excellent by cosgrove.

    this comparison of the SPL to the irish league is ridiculous…..I live in Ireland , Irish ‘soccer’ fans (they actually call fitba that) , to a man, follow english EPL football in a way that those in Scotland just wont.We follow fitba teams that are connected to our towns or communities, in Ireland we have the G.A. that does that.Its a misleading…no stupid comparison.

    If Sky walk out…..we go back to 80’s fitba with better stadia and no hooliganism, 3pm saturday kick offs maybe even qualifying for a WC or two……..whats the matter with that?

  50. Ryan says:

    3 more bidders now interested!!!!!!!!!!!


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