A Permanent Embarrassment And An Occasional Disgrace

The late, great Ian Archer wrote the famous words in the title above for an article in The Glasgow Herald in October 1976. Rangers supporters had just rioted in Birmingham following a friendly with Aston Villa. Back then, football clubs generally were shamed by the actions of fans. I doubt that Archer could ever have imagined the scale of boardroom malfeasance that now surrounds Rangers. The revelations of how the club funded its success in recent years make a mockery of our game as a fair sport. The damage done goes far beyond mere trophies. Almost every other club tried to keep pace with Rangers by throwing fortunes at often second-rate foreign players while ignoring the need to develop domestic talent.

When making claims about the damage created by Rangers previously, some accused me of exaggeration. Yet after yesterday’s events- including the court drama that overturned the club’s 12-month signing ban- few observers could avoid drawing the conclusion that Rangers are now simply a disaster for the Scottish game.

Sporting integrity has been shredded. Speaking of which- have Rangers complied with the SPL’s demands for access to the commercial documents regarding the ‘unofficial payments’ issue yet? If not- why not? There comes a point where you have to start wondering what documents were destroyed by those “Shred It” machines for which the club has not yet paid.

Scottish football creditors will get almost nothing in the proposed CVA. In the choice of paying football creditors to limit punishment from the SFA & SPL versus the certainty of HMRC refusing to sign off on the deal, Duff & Phelps have chosen to screw the clubs who sold players to Rangers the past year or so.  They will never get the money they were promised. (More on the HMRC’s conditions for a CVA later).

All manner of underhand methods appear to have been a routine part of putting in a shift at the top of the marble staircase for at least a decade.

And now, just when things seemed as if they could not get much worse, Rangers have invoked the threat of mutually assured destruction for the SFA & SPL. As has been well documented elsewhere, going to court to get the SFA’s 12-month registration ban thrown-out places all of Scottish football in jeopardy.  FIFA and UEFA will not take this lying down.

In all of this pandemonium, there has not been anything vaguely like an apology from the club or the individuals responsible for leading our game to the precipice. There has been nothing except snarling arrogance plus a stream of veiled threats and intimidation from people who should really know better.

Throughout this entire saga, I have not wanted Rangers expelled from Scottish football. I did not think that it was even remotely possible and I would have questioned whether it would have been in the best interests of the game. I did want an acknowledgement of what happened. I did want meaningful punishment. However, there comes a point where enough is enough.

Is the SPL such a roaring financial success that its current formula must be preserved at all costs? No. Is it possible that with the dead-weight of Rangers’ boots lifted from the Scottish game that attendances at many other clubs will rise along with their fans’ hopes of actually winning something? Absolutely.

Those who argue that Scottish football cannot succeed without Rangers have failed to quantify this fear-mongering. Yet posters on blogs like this one have demonstrated- in numerical detail- just how few additional home fans need to start attending at most clubs to wipe out the benefit of Rangers’ away support. The TV deal? It is not as if it delivers fabulous riches to any club as it stands.  Clubs can trim costs (as they should) and would survive fine in the short-term.  In the medium and long-run, there is every reason to believe that Scottish football would be revitalised. The last time Rangers were in “crisis”, Scottish football thrived- with Aberdeen and Dundee United regularly sharing the spoils, financial as well as sporting, with Celtic during the early and mid-1980s.

There comes a time when Scottish football must act to prevent further damage. In doing so, it has a chance of making the stain of embarrassment less permanent. Of the options available, a one year ban from all competitions would seem to be a starting point for considering apt punishment. The next penalty down the list of official sanctions- exclusion from the Scottish Cup- would be far too lenient for a club that appears to have completed the entire 2011/12 season without paying any PAYE or NIC. Other clubs had to cut costs and make tough decisions to get through the year. Other clubs had to take roughly half of their staff budget and hand it over to HMRC. Even in administration, Rangers got to avoid cutting their playing squad by screwing the British taxpayer over yet again. Allow them off with a wrist-slap and many fans will just see Scottish football as a form of professional wrestling with Rangers FC as the scripted winner.

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.

5,597 Responses to A Permanent Embarrassment And An Occasional Disgrace

  1. Not The Huddle Malcontent says:

    Some thoughts…given HMRCs stated reason for rejections (RFC’s less than glorious track record)

    would they have rejected the CVA if the settlement amount was 99p in the £ (you know, about £120m in total)

    Are they rejecting it on principle or the amount offered?

    If it is on the principle – as their reasoning suggests – then why wasn’t this brought to a head on Feb 14th and millions saved?

    then onto Charlie green….if he does get the “assets” for £5.5M this week – what does he get? The stadium, the training ground and the right to pay a squad of players a huge amount each month. What he doesn’t get is a team with a league to play in, he has to renegotiate every commercial deal the club was involved in (will JJB pay as much as £3M a year this time around given the circumstances?) he has lost huge revenue streams but very little of the cost structure. he doesn’t know if they will be in the SPL, SFL or even if they will be playing in the Govan equivalent of the Highland League. Will they have an SFA license? if so, will that license bring with it any sanctions coming the way of RFC for the EBT/Dual Contracts? What about bringing the game into disrepute? They could find themselves suspended/ejected entirely from the game

    I don’t see how they can play in the SPL next year. No books, no finance in place, heavy sanctions, no guarantee they can survive the season.

    nope,looks like a year out at least and then start at the bottom of the pile

    Oh, and will Hector be wanting a VAT security deposit after the recent nonsense?

  2. spartacusthethird says:

    If you go down to ‘Ra Hoose’ today
    your in for a big surprise

    If you go down to ‘Ra Hoose’ today
    you’ll never believe your eyes

    The Teddy Bears, they have no cash
    they have nowhere to sing the sash

    Todays the day that Hector
    closed the coffin

  3. Goosy says:

    2:12 PM on 12/6/2012

    W.A.T.P. = Where Are The Padlocks

  4. RT @hoopsghirl88: 140yrs ago 4 young men had a dream 2 start a football club. They had no strips, no stadium, no ball. it’s pretty much came full circle

  5. miki67 says:

    Amongt all the facades being presented by the toxic ones it should be remembered that the facade of iPox is a ‘listed’ structure….it should make a great facade for a hostelry for the upcoming Commonwealth Games.

  6. AllWhyteOnTheNight says:

    Do you think the Duffers will come out and apologise for being so confident from day one that they would get a CVA agreed when every other insolvency practitioner in Scotland knew they had no chance.

    Silly question.

    If they had admitted from the start that the only way out was a sale to a newco they wouldn’t have been able to run up such exorbitant fees chasing all sorts of legal cases down blind alleys etc.

    I have said it several times, I don’t think they are incompetent, I think they have been at it.

    Total chancers.

  7. blu says:

    Hoopy 7 says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:22 pm

    Hoopy lots of your contributions have been clear and incisive but I don’t kow where you’re going with this line. In reality, Rangers and Scottish football are small beer – it’s not as if the naked greed and corruption of a few people is going to be on the next Bilderberg meeting agenda. Strangely, I believe that the processes currently in place will deliver a fair outcome. Rangers phoenix won’t simply appear in SPL 2012-13. Rangers 1872 will be stripped of titles and trophies awarded in the period they were mis-applying EBTs. There, that’s better.

  8. easyJambo says:

    Long Time Lurker says: 12/06/2012 at 1:51 pm

    Jim Delah*unt‏@JimDelah*nt
    Clyde 1 SSB special tonight (Tues) at 6pm. Hugh Keevins and Darrell King with me plus all the reaction to today’s Rangers news.
    Also a Sportsound special on at 18:10 with Jim Spence in the chair. I think JS is the better option than listening to HK and DK saying that they have known all along that it would all end in Liquidation.

  9. Arabest says:

    The consensus on RM seems to be application to SFL, rather than application to SPL. Can anyone explain just who would actually ‘apply’? Who are RFC at the moment? D&P? Green? Whyte? Ally and Sandy? The shareholders? The RFFFFFFFF? or is there really no such entity anymore?

    Sorry if this question is unanswerable…but I cannot see through the fog at the moment.

  10. Hugh McEwan says:

    I now believe that the sale of the assets to Green will be allowed to go through. I can understand the tactics of doing that.

    Then BDO will be in place to forensically examine everything which has haapened to get Rangers into this position. Including the actions of Duff and Phelps themselves. Thye will also be looking at what assets are held elsewhere and by whom.

    As I said a few nights ago, HMRC will be using all of the powers available to them to resolve this matter. I include both their civil and criminal powers in that. They will seek to obtain as much money as possible, both directly from Rangers through the liquidation, and from individuals who have assets which are vulnerable to them.

    They will be maximising the revenue, whilst at the same time making it clear. You don’t feck with the wongs. There are a lot of worried people now, including high profile businessmen, lawyers, accountants, insolvency practitioners, directors etc.

    Today is a good day.

  11. weeminger says:

    easyJambo says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:33 pm

    Unfortunately I’m restricted to FM listening at that time, so HK and DK is the only option I have. 😦

  12. WOTTPI says:

    In all the celebrations no mention has been made in relation to the apparent situation where Craig Whyte now looks like he will be pusued by HMRC, Ticketus, the SFA, The Police for his speeding and his Wife for alimony amongst many others.

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.

  13. justshatered says:

    Surely now somebody/someone in the SPL or SFA has to say something and make some decision!
    This fiasco has now dragged on for four months in crisis mode while every single person in authority within our sport has done nothing.
    Statements need to be made by the SFA regarding a licence for a new club to play football in Scotland.
    The SPL need to make a stment regarding the two contracts issue as well as the cancelling of any proposed share transfer to a new club.
    This scandal has dammaged our entire sport and now requires to be brought ot an immediate conclusion for the good of Scottish football.

  14. Billy the Tim says:

    Workers Required….Demolition experience preferred. Salary £0. Unlimited Hours– No TeaBreaks or Lunchbreaks. 24 hour shifts Available. ……

    Apply to Moonbeams Demolition Company. (registered Tax evaders)

  15. Jim says:

    The End

    This is the end
    Beautiful friend
    This is the end
    My only friend, the end

    Of our elaborate plans, the end
    Of everything that stands, the end
    No safety or surprise, the end
    I’ll never look into your eyes…again

    Can you picture what will be
    So limitless and free
    Desperately in need…of some…(st)ranger’s hand
    In a…desperate land….

    .…The blue bus is callin’ us
    Driver, where you taken’ us

    ….This is the end

    / Red Lichtie

  16. gash67 says:

    AS they are out if administration can they now buy players


  17. andypandymonium says:

    Hugh McEwan says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:36 pm

    Hugh…….perhaps I am as dense as a MSM smoke-screen, but if the “football assets” are sold off to newco for the fixed fee, what is there left to liquidate to raise any significant inflows for the creditors?

  18. VertWolf says:

    Is it possible Green has carefully (or should that be carelessly ie without care) priced his offer for the purchase of the assets at a level certain to be rejected by BDO? – he then gets to walk away with hands still clean whilst simultaneously making a handsome profit on the loan he made to RFC(IA) – a fly mouthful of flesh from the moldering carcass

  19. Auldheid says:

    weeminger says:

    12/06/2012 at 2:38 pm

    easyJambo says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:33 pm

    Unfortunately I’m restricted to FM listening at that time, so HK and DK is the only option I have
    If on Internet and oiutside UK try access from here


  20. JJ says:

    SpecialsWon on 12/06/2012 at 2:18 pm said:
     3 7 Rate This
    Green buys assets, New Club is entered into fixtures next season. Wears Blue Strip, same badge, plays at Ibrox.

    What’s changed? Other than Rangers escaping zillions in debt and sanction for actions of past Club; dual contracts, non payment of tax, going to the CoS?

    No New Club in the SF/PL!! But don’t bank on that.


    I would not normally respond to trolls, especially such rubbish efforts. However I’m in an expansive mood so here goes.

    What has changed?
    1. Lost history – new club
    2. No European football for 3 years
    3. Lost history – new club
    4. All decent players leave because contracts fall
    5. Lost history – new club
    6. No decent players in (see 2)
    7. Lost history – new club
    8. Probable sanction if back in SPL
    9. Lost history – new club
    10. Bragging rights surrendered for all time
    11. Uncertain, expensive and drawn out litigation (Even in liquidation, there will be a bun fight over who had ownership of what asset)

    Did I mention the loss of all history?

  21. tigertim says:

    WOTTPI says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:39 pm

    Couldn’t have happened to a nicer bloke.
    This guys a hero to a lot of people.
    Notice the parent company haven’t made any comment, starnge innit!

  22. General Tilly says:

    ‘Do not rejoice in his defeat, you men. For though the world has stood up and stopped the bastard, the bitch that bore him is in heat again.’
    – Bertolt Brecht

    The liquidation of Rangers FC is nigh upon us. Thanks in no small part to RTC and some of the other fine contributors to this blog, the moral bankruptcy of this deservedly dying football club, those who ran it, and those who purported to run it, has been laid bare for all to see. HMRC have chosen the righteous and just path and have applied their rules without fear and favour.

    But I firmly believe that this campaign has only been fought to the halfway point. As we take satisfaction from today’s news, there will be elements at work trying to agitate on behalf of a new club which may emerge. They will try and claim that this club is the same one as the old one in all respects (save that of money owed to creditors). They will insist it must have a place in the SPL,for financial reasons, but in reality because they think of themselves as an ‘elite’ and therefore that the football club which they choose to give their allegiance must be given a primacy which it simply does not merit and which, were this any other country in the world, would not be countenanced.

    These elements must, for the good of the future of the game we all love, be thwarted.

    This blog has been a source of solid, factual information from the start ; it must continue to be so. I sense that RTC – whoever he or she is – will be content to take a well deserved break as the predicted liquidation takes its course. If that is his/her decision then I will not grudge it. However I hope that other contributors will be allowed to continue to shine a spotlight on the players who must now take centre stage – the Scottish footballing authorities. Regardless of the efficacy otherwise of the various forthcoming attempts by various spivs and charlatans to resurrect a Clone Rangers from the wreck of the old club, the authorities have a moral duty to apply their rules in the same way that HMRC have. And hopefully, operating under the close observation of sites such as this, they will be ‘encouraged’ to do so.

    Finally while others scorn the medium of football phone-ins and contact with the eternally disappointing journalists of the Scottish MSM, I would advocate that we continue to challenge their inaccuracies and spin – which all too often seems to suit the agenda of the aforementioned elements. Let’s continue to strive to get the truth out there.

    Yes to Integrity
    No to a Clone Rangers Newclub in the SPL.

  23. gaz says:

    Hullo everybody. Just got in.

    So…any news today?

  24. FIFA says:

    Do you think that the RFF will pick up the tab for a couple of tons of jelly & ice cream ,well they dont need the cash now and its a small way to say sorry ,slurp.

  25. 61patrick says:

    New Post
    Come on over 🙂

  26. Jim says:

    justshatered says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:39 pm
    Surely now somebody/someone in the SPL or SFA has to say something and make some decision!
    This fiasco has now dragged on for four months in crisis mode while every single person in authority within our sport has done nothing.
    Statements need to be made by the SFA regarding a licence for a new club to play football in Scotland.
    The SPL need to make a stment regarding the two contracts issue as well as the cancelling of any proposed share transfer to a new club.
    This scandal has dammaged our entire sport and now requires to be brought ot an immediate conclusion for the good of Scottish football.


    I’m with you. I believe that RFC(IA) should be suspended from membership of the SFA whilst matters are now clarified. The likely failure to provide audited accounts is sufficient reason.

    The future of RFC(IA) can then be settled by the various stakeholders without the pressure of a looming football season.

    When things are eventually settled then RFC or whatever new entity emerges can apply for a lifting of the suspension and re-entry into the SFL.

    / Red Lichtie

  27. Gwared says:

    “That’s their problem although I cannot say i’m not enjoying what is happening to them at the moment”. Ally McCoist in 1994
    Karma Sally!

  28. gaz says:

    General Tilly says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:52 pm

    Tilly, can you re-post this on the new thread please?

    It’s magnificiently stated.

  29. easyJambo says:

    I’ve had a look again at the Duffers proposal of 29th May and I’m a bit confused about the funding of a newco. There is no “loan” involved. The figures indicate £5.3M will be paid for “Intellectual Property / Goodwill, Player Contracts and Stock” with £0 for the Freehold Property. In liquidation £0 applies to the IP /Goodwill & Contracts while £4.59M is paid for the Property assets.

    Am I reading this right that under the Duffers newco proposal, that the property assets remain with the oldco, under any fixed and floating charge, and could be sold separately by the liquidators?

    Notes from the porposal document

    3. The sale consideration under the New Company scenario has not been apportioned. Under the Liquidation scenario, the club ceases to trade and therefore the player contracts terminate and registrations revert to the SFA and therefore may have no value. There is assumed to be no residual value in any Intellectual Property or Goodwill as the club has ceased to trade.
    4. The estimated realisable value of the freehold properties is based on the Joint Administrators’ agents valuation less holding and disposal costs based on a period of two years. It is possible these costs could exceed the gross realisable value rendering the properties onerous and without value.

    Note that the share tranfer from Whyte to Green was dependent on a successful CVA, so Whyte remains owner of the Oldco until it is liquidated.

    I think there are a few twists and turns to this tale still to be made

  30. Hugh McEwan says:

    andypandymonium says:
    12/06/2012 at 2:46 pm

    In reality there won’t be an awful lot as far as I am aware, but that’s not really what Mr Cohen will be there for. Unless of course he is repatriating assets from elsewhere.

    Pure guess work obviously.

  31. Macfurgly says:

    The BBC have noticed…


    The liquidator can also sell the assets and the business to pay off the debts and undo any dealings or trading which he deems to be void.
    BDO will decide on the fate of Ibroke etc.

  32. Hugh,

    Not sure that I can agree that the assets will now be sold to Green for a variety of reasons. It may of course ultimately happen but there are a number of reasons to suggest that it will not be so.

    For a start, if BDO take over the mantle of Insolvency practitioner in charge, I would imagine they will want to do the professional thing and have valuations of all the assets etc to hand so that the creditors can see the professional and independent back up to any proposed sale.

    Do we really see those valuations– of all assets of whatever kind– only coming to £5.5M?

    Further, I think others will now come out of the woodwork and offer for those assets. Everyone knows Green’s Price– others will come along and try and top that and so there is likely to be some kind of bidding war– albeit with not so many players perhaps.

    Various business types in and around Glasgow and elsewhere can see the value of assets, of sale and leaseback arrangements and so on. If any of these express interest or intent, then BDO can be criticized for not having the proper back up docs re sale and for not investigating alternative recovery strategy.

    Also, looking at Cohen’s CV and the very points you have mentioned, D&P and perhaps Green may well be tainted and be seen as part of any underhand dealings. No one will know until BDO get in and get their teeth about the situation. It would be folly to sell immediately to Greene only to then uncover that he has links to others who are in some way tainted.

    Remember that he has steadfastly refused to name his backers. HMRC want to chase the Whyte’s of this world and Green’s arrival out of the blue always was a little suspicious especially as others were being asked for exclusivity payments and he seemed able to carry out due diligence [procedures without money, hindrance or too much effort.

    What all this screams out for is a proper clean, fully open and transparent asset sale– complete with valuations, marketing, figures and analysis.

    Good for Rangers Creditors, good for the reputation of the insolvency process and ultimately good for football no matter who buys what in the end.

    If that turns out to be Green and Co all and good as well.

  33. right! what did I miss?


    Lets not get too excited. It is playing out as many have debated on here (and other informed sites) for months. Still lots to run though I feel. The line was cast many many months ago, few nibble and then some bites……. lets see what the ‘catch’ brings 😉

    Excellent post by BRTH again. Interesting times for some, scary times for others!

  34. hocvince says:

    Just heard some comments on the Radio Clyde News. Was that Colin Hendry I heard saying that without Rangers there will be no Old Firm? Sounds like a win-win situation then.

  35. PG says:

    hocvince says:
    12/06/2012 at 4:11 pm

    an desperate, bankrupt man talking of his club and former employers in their insolvency death throws

  36. Stanblack says:

    what mickey mouse organisations are Regan and Doncaster running whereby RFCnew can take part in the vote for their membership to the SPL,what a joke!!

    Show some leadership the two of you and place RFCnew at best in the SFL3. Neither of you are fit for purpose and should not be running the Scottish game. Every time there is a difficult decision, the silence is deafening. Another thing, Regan, stop tweeting, you are supposed to be the Chief executive of the SFA , act professionally.

  37. longtimelurker says:

    Right guys been out all day but the champagne’s chilling in the fridge and I’m about to start a mammoth read-a-thon now between here and KDS from 9am this morning.

    I’ve some jazz on the hi-fi and will see all of you in about two hours.

    PS, did anyone catch CH4 news? 😉

    Mr Murray be afraid be very afraid for Hector has your number Mr Murray!

  38. james larkin says:

    just read hughie’s statement
    “…”I can understand HMRC deciding that football clubs which do not pay their taxes need to be punished, but by effectively banning Rangers from Europe for three years all that will happen is that there will be less revenue generated by the club and consequently less money paid over to the taxman.”…

    I KID YOU NOT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    what a FUD.

  39. james larkin says:

    according to the bbc’s matt conaghan

    RANGERS DO HAVE A VOTE (to allow a newcompany into the SPL)

    Can Rangers newco get back in to the Scottish Premier League?

    When the company is liquidated, its registrations with the Scottish Football Association and the Scottish Premier League will be terminated. The new company will not automatically inherit the old registrations.

    The newco would have to request a transfer of Rangers’ share in the SPL. The SPL will then vote on whether to admit the newco to the top-flight. The SPL rules require eight of its member clubs to vote in favour of a share to be transfered to another company or club. This would require seven other SPL clubs to vote in favour of transfering the oldco’s share to the newco, since Rangers will have a vote.

  40. james larkin says:

    What happens to the club’s history?

    The Rangers Football Club PLC is a public limited company registered in Scotland (company number: SC004276) and was incorporated on 27 May 1899. When the current company is officially liquidated, all of its corporate business history will come to an end.

    When this happened to Airdrieonians in 2002, all of the trophies, titles and records associated with the club discontinued – a new club, Airdrie United FC took over. Airdieonians’ official history ended in 2002, then Airdrie United’s took over.

    The answer lies principally in the eye of the beholder – some supporters will view the new Rangers as the same Rangers, while others will feel the old Rangers no longer exist

  41. james larkin says:


    wee billy{boy] dodds will be ok…his money was put in the EBT…after the tax was paid !!

  42. FIFA says:

    ehhhhh who switched the light off for this guy.

  43. mechyfitter says:

    My first thoughts on the rejection of the cva,and the start of liquidation was that justice and fair play are getting the upper hand in this sordid affair.However my scepticism is starting to overtake my initial views.
    I still believe that the newco will be in the spl next season,as the SPL/SFA,will change the goalposts to appease the hordes.I hope I am wrong

  44. mechyfitter says:

    Just received a text from a angry bear who growled “f… the sfa,we are going to the conference league in england…etc,etc,……THEY JUST DO NOT UNDERSTAND,DO THEY ???

  45. remember all you club chairmen, you decision makers, you shareholders, you supporters groups, you fans etc…… YOU must:

    “bow to the economic might of the Ibrox club and vote in favour of their inclusion”

    Remember those words!!!!

  46. Trimm Trab says:

    @northsound2: NEWS It’s reported Aberdeen are planning to vote against letting a newco Rangers into the SPL.

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