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Big Tax Case verdict: the reality

Posted on November 21, 2012 by

There’s already been an avalanche of cobblers talked about yesterday’s surprise verdict of the First Tier Tribunal on alleged tax evasion by Rangers. RFC fans are triumphantly howling vindication for their claims that the whole thing was a giant conspiracy, insisting the verdict shows the club hadn’t been cheating for a decade and that it should still be playing in Scotland’s top division. The club’s former chairman even told Scotland Tonight that it wouldn’t have gone into administration at all, let alone liquidation, if not for the pressures caused by the infamous “Big Tax Case”.

The Scottish media, meanwhile, is mostly painting a picture of unadulterated victory for, and terrible injustice against, the Ibrox club. But let’s see if we can cut through the persisting fog, establish some solid facts and lay a couple of myths.

1. The tribunal’s decision was split and may yet be appealed by HMRC.

Self-explanatory. Let’s play to the final whistle, eh?

2. The tribunal DID find Rangers guilty on some counts of illegal EBT use, and there were dozens of others that Rangers didn’t contest.

As far as we can gather no figures have as yet been released publicly on the extent of these. The tribunal stated that the sum originally thought to be owed in tax – £48m plus interest and penalties – should be “reduced substantially” by its findings, but didn’t specify what that actually meant in pounds and pence.

Rangers may well still be guilty of millions, or even tens of millions, of pounds’ worth of tax evasion, and fielding players you can’t afford is still cheating.

3. The tribunal found many EBT deals were indeed loans, not payments.

But, um, can anyone explain to us why footballers on £50,000+ a month need loans? What on Earth could anyone be buying in Scotland that £50K a month won’t cover the instalments on? And if they don’t need loans – which they clearly don’t – what IS the purpose of getting them? That’s a rhetorical question, obviously. The purpose is dodging tax.

(Also, when will they be paid back, and to whom, given that Old Rangers is about to be liquidated? Did Charles Green get these lucrative “debts” with the assets?)

4. When the club went into administration it owed creditors £61 million, NOT counting the Big Tax Case money.

“Administrators Duff & Phelps have accrued operating charges and legal fees of over £5.5m and hold secure creditor status. The finance firm Ticketus is owed £26.7m, while HMRC is owed £21.5m in unpaid PAYE tax and National Insurance. The total amount of money owed to unsecured creditors is listed as over £55m.”

Rangers were losing millions of pounds a year, despite being in the SPL with access to substantial prize money and lucrative European competition. It even managed to continue to lose millions when in the hands of the administratorsa remarkable state of affairs, almost without precedent. It was simply not a viable business, and had no way of paying down its huge debts. It’s impossible to see how it could have avoided going into administration with or without the BTC.

5. “If not for the BTC, Rangers could have exited administration via CVA.”

Demonstrably not true. To succeed a CVA needs to be approved by 75% of creditors (by value). At £21.5m out of £61m, HMRC had roughly 35% of the debt and was not prepared to accept a CVA, which means that the maximum possible vote in favour was 65%. The CVA would still have failed.

(As an unsecured creditor HMRC would have nothing to gain by accepting. The amount of money in the creditors pot is small, and after Duff & Phelps’ fees will be close to zero. The assets were theoretically worth far more in a fire sale, and many serious questions remain to be answered about why Charles Green was able to buy them uncontested for a tiny £5.5m.)

6. “Everything would have been fine if Craig Whyte hadn’t stopped paying PAYE and NI when he took over.”

It’s true that the PAYE/NI debt run up exclusively by Whyte was what technically triggered the administration process. But that debt represents, as we’ve seen above, just over one-third of the club’s liabilities. Without it, Rangers would still have owed £40m+ and had no way of paying it back. The club would still have been unviable, and administration would still have loomed on the horizon.

Sooner or later, had Craig Whyte not stepped in, the club would have folded under the weight of the £18m debt to Lloyds Bank, which the bank was no longer prepared to indulge (see below). Nobody else was beating down David Murray’s door to take Rangers and the Lloyds debt off his hands, although he was by now desperate to offload the club – finally giving it away for £1. When he’d attempted to raise the cash from “loyal” fans via a share issue, it failed spectacularly, with Murray himself eventually having to take up around 98% of the shares.

(Some Rangers fans insist that the club wouldn’t have been up for sale in the first place if it didn’t have the Big Tax Case hanging over it. But we can easily establish that this is nonsense. This Telegraph piece from October 2009 shows that Lloyds had already been effectively controlling the club that year in highly aggressive pursuit of their money, and seeking a buyer. HMRC didn’t start their investigation into possible illegal EBTs until months later, in the spring of 2010.)

Whyte paid the Lloyds debt off with the money from Ticketus, and in doing so bought Rangers a few more months of life when nobody else would. Casting him as the villain and Murray and the fans as the innocent victims is laughable.

So let’s get some perspective. Rangers Football Club was an economic basketcase, circling the drain long before Craig Whyte showed his face, even regardless of the Big Tax Case. The FTT has found that the club WAS cheating both the taxpayer and the rest of the SPL by paying players illegally in at least some cases.

When the “oldco” club is finally liquidated, very little money will be recovered for creditors. The taxpayer – your schools, your hospitals, your libraries – will have been robbed of at least £22m. Ticketus will have been robbed of almost £27m. Countless small creditors – local businesses, small shareholders – will have been robbed of smaller sums which might still be enough to bankrupt them. Fans with debentures will have been robbed. Other football clubs will have been robbed of trophies they might have won if Rangers had been properly ejected for breaking the rules.

(We’re still waiting on the reconvening of the SFA’s Appellate Tribunal – remember that? – and the SPL’s investigation into dual contracts, which isn’t directly affected by the FTT verdict. Even if the EBTs were legal in themselves, they have to be declared to the SFA, and failure to do so fully is a rule breach carrying severe penalties.)

The bottom line is that Rangers have still cheated, and would still have collapsed. In effect, then, the First Tier Tribunal’s judgement – even if it’s not successfully appealed by HMRC, which it may well be – changes the score but not the result.

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132 to “Big Tax Case verdict: the reality”

  1. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Stu,
           You yourself stated previously on here that the reason the CVA was rejected was so that HMRC could then go after Murray et al when the case was settled.  You can’t have it both ways now the case is lost. If their view of likely success at Tribunal was more realistic they would have allowed CVA.
     
    The club would have very likely sold much easier without the bogus tax case hanging over them.  Thus avoiding Whyte the shyster making a poor situation unrecoverable. Murray does not get off Scot free due to previous poor management and in selling to Whyte without proper due dilligence.
     
    If the EBT/Loans are accepted as loans by the tribunal then why won’t they be seen in the same light by SPL/SFA. I doubt their proof requirements exceed the taxman. I think you are backing a loser there. Some of those mentioned as being paid and not loans were not actually players.
     
    As to the moral rights and wrongs of it , I think we’d need to check every businesses tax situation before we start pointing that finger.
     
    There is zero chance of an HMRC appeal. That is wishful thinking.
     

    There is no conspiracy and the club was being poorly managed financially but to now pass off the BTC as a mere side issue in the whole downfall of the club is wholly disingenuous.
     

  2. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “You yourself stated previously on here that the reason the CVA was rejected was so that HMRC could then go after Murray et al when the case was settled.”

    Well, that’s what HMRC stated, not me. And it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’d have accepted it in other circumstances – given the size of the pot and their status as unsecured creditor, they’d have gotten next to bugger-all. It’s well-documented that they’re playing hardball with the tax affairs of football clubs these days.

    “The club would have very likely sold much easier without the bogus tax case hanging over them. “

    Maybe. But that’s still just a hypothetical assertion. (And “bogus” is really pushing it.) There was no queue of buyers – remember how fast Bill Miller ran away when he saw the books? The situation pointed out in the post remains the case, namely that Rangers were tens of millions in debt EVEN DISCOUNTING THE BTC, and losing millions more every year. Why would anyone want to take that on?

    “If the EBT/Loans are accepted as loans by the tribunal then why won’t they be seen in the same light by SPL/SFA.”

    Because the SPL/SFA investigations aren’t into EBTs, they’re into dual contracts, as noted in the piece. Those are not permitted under SFA rules whether they’re legal in tax terms or not.

    “As to the moral rights and wrongs of it , I think we’d need to check every businesses tax situation before we start pointing that finger.”

    Whataboutery.

    “There is zero chance of an HMRC appeal. That is wishful thinking.”

    An awful lot of people are a lot less certain about that.

  3. Brendan
    Ignored
    says:

    THe SFA/SPL will find that Rangers (the club that has died and is no more) had side letters with players that were contractual and did not inform the SFA about those contractual payments which is against the rules of the SFA and is considered cheating.  THe Rangers lawyer admited during trial that the side letters were contractual, so they are guilty bang to rights for breaching SFA rules and will be punished accordingly.  Hopefully by stripping the titles and cups they cheated to win.

  4. Patrick
    Ignored
    says:

    Very good blog. To Kenny Campbell – leaving aside the highly dubious decision of the FTT (why does a multmillionaire footballer need loans equivalent to their substantial salary? And why are these supposed discretionary loans written in to contracts, and set up on a systematic and substantial scale?) and your frankly unfounded assertion that “there is zero chance HMRC will appeal, you do know that Whyte actually stopped paying tax just to keep the lights on at Ibrox? There was no massive increase in investment in the team/infrastructure at the club. Rangers from about May 2011 to April 2012 were in a financial situation where they actually had to avoid paying tax to stay afloat. Such situations do not arise out of nothing. They are the result of imprudent and careless administration.

  5. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Dear Brendan and Patrick….lol really
     
    Stu,
         Whataboutery ? If its tax related then its either legal or its not. The loss of the BTC and you shift from legal to moral questions on whether they should have had loans. That looks like desperation rather than objectivity.
     
     

  6. velofello
    Ignored
    says:

    C’mon Rev Stu, Stick with the politics. we have lots of persuading to do.Leave this with tabloids and the punters in the pubs. 
    Me, I cannot get past first base, why make millionaires of people kicking a ball about a park?  

  7. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “C’mon Rev Stu, Sick with the politics.”

    http://wingsland.podgamer.com/why-we-write-about-rangers/

  8. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Can i take it from your umming and ahhing round the box that was your reply that you accept the club without BTC would have much more likely just suffered administration and would have easier been sold ?

  9. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “If its tax related then its either legal or its not. The loss of the BTC and you shift from legal to moral questions on whether they should have had loans.”

    The legal question isn’t settled until HMRC either decline to appeal or lose. The FTT found that SOME of the EBTs were illegal. And you can’t just bat away a legitimate question by saying “Oh, what about other companies?”. Nobody’s excusing any other tax avoidance. But you’ve dodged the question – why does someone trousering £50,000 a MONTH need a loan?

  10. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Can i take it from your umming and ahhing round the box that was your reply that you accept the club without BTC would have much more likely just suffered administration and would have easier been sold ?”

    Er, given that that’s pretty much the exact opposite of what I’ve just said, no you can’t.

  11. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Kenny says:

    As to the moral rights and wrongs of it , I think we’d need to check every businesses tax situation before we start pointing that finger.

    Really, Kenny?

    So before you start on one tax case you need to know the details of every tax case?

    I’ve never heard of that scenario before.

  12. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m not able to answer why someone with 50K per month needs a loan as I get substantially less than that. My point is that it seems to be only relevant now that its not a tax liability. Tax avoidance and evasion are different beasts entirely.
     
    As with many other of your Rangers predictions your objectivity gets lost behind your own prejudices. Anyone who disputes that a business is more difficult to sell if it has a potential 60M tax bill lacks something on the imagination front.
     
    Administration would have been a much simpler situation without the additional 60M, clearly Rangers were a going concern, however stutteringly.

    The current attendances show that even in the 4th tier the club has potential.

  13. stringlug
    Ignored
    says:

    As to the idea that this might negate the SPL inquiry. This taken from Kerrydale Street forum:

    ” Then, Mr Thornhill submitted, the employee should be
    taxed not on the emolument but on the benefit. It was irrelevant, he continued,whether the Remuneration Trust benefit was contractual. He conceded that where it
    derived from a (footballer’s) side-letter it was contractual,
     but not in the cases of bonuses paid to employees of other Murray Group companies. Murray’s own QC acknowledging that the sides letters given to footballers formed part of their contracts. The side letters were not disclosed to the SFA/SPL “

  14. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “So before you start on one tax case you need to know the details of every tax case?
    I’ve never heard of that scenario before.”


    I have no idea what you mean from that comment

  15. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Administration would have been a much simpler situation without the additional 60M, clearly Rangers were a going concern, however stutteringly. The current attendances show that even in the 4th tier the club has potential.”

    Sorry, but that’s rubbish. The club was NOT a going concern, that’s the whole point. It was losing millions of pounds a year on top of an already large debt. How was it ever going to turn that round? It wasn’t “stuttering”, it was dying.

    Current attendances are indeed unarguably impressive, but the club was losing a fortune with even HIGHER crowds in the SPL, paying substantially more for their tickets, and with far more other revenue. It has potential now precisely because it’s wriggled out of £61m of debt, and because much of the wage bill has departed specifically as a result of the CVA failing. Any successful CVA would have had to maintain the bulk of those wages, making the proposition less attractive still to any prospective purchaser.

  16. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “I’m not able to answer why someone with 50K per month needs a loan”

    Then you’re not in a great position to rubbish the speculation and suspicion, or say that HMRC definitely won’t appeal.

  17. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Administration was viable and liquidation was avoidable without the BTC, the BTC must have hugely influenced the eventual outcome, to now pass it off as a side issue requires an incredible suspension of belief.
    The wage bill would have been cut by necessity as it was seen to be effectively cut before liquidation and the contracts were made null and void. How comfortable it would have been is another thing. Certainly the playing staff would have changed.
     
    Actually the end point I think today is better from a footballing sense. Rangers trying to exist as a zombie club in the SPL would have been worse than playing in SFL3.
     
    Its been very enjoyable watching other fans grasping for straws of hope for their own incorrect predictions over the last 24 hours. I can imagine them all at Donstalk and Kerrydale St reading their screens slack jawed….
     
    A moment of hilarity in an otherwise dark season.
     

  18. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Then you’re not in a great position to rubbish the speculation and suspicion, or say that HMRC definitely won’t appeal”.
     
    I’m at a loss to see the logic in that conclusion unless as a freelance journalist on 50K per month you are better qualified than me to say you are certain they will appeal.
     
    They won’t appeal as they will fear further humiliation, HMRC prefer negotiated settlements and need won tax cases to keep companies in line. Big losses like this are poor for morale and cause HMRC big issues with credibility. There is also very little for them to gain from winning. I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is if you are :O) I’m basing my view on their past actions, you are basing it on what you’d like to see happen.

  19. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Administration was viable and liquidation was avoidable without the BTC”

    Just saying that isn’t making a case for it. Explain how. The club lost £4m in a few months while in the hands of administrators, which is extraordinary given that one of their primary duties is to pare costs to the bone. And that was WITH the first-team squad taking a big voluntary temporary pay-cut.

    “The wage bill would have been cut by necessity as it was seen to be effectively cut before liquidation and the contracts were made null and void.”

    Eh? A successful CVA doesn’t make contracts null and void, that’s the point of it. The contracts were only voided when the CVA failed and the club was consigned to liquidation. If Rangers had just sacked players to cut the wage bill they’d have been sued out of existence.

  20. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “I’m willing to put my money where my mouth is if you are :O)”

    I’ll happily wager you a tenner that HMRC will appeal. I’d make it more, but I can’t afford it as I only make £50,000 a month and need loans to survive…

  21. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Players took a voluntary wage cut, some tore up their contracts. Some would have been sold/let go. Players would have been told you need to go or the club goes bust, if it goes bust you don’t get paid anyway. That is how the wage bill would have been managed.

  22. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Players took a voluntary wage cut, some tore up their contracts. Some would have been sold/let go.”

    Why weren’t any sold in administration? And the players took a voluntary TEMPORARY wage cut (was it even a cut, rather than a deferment?), which is a very different thing.

  23. walshy
    Ignored
    says:

    If all was above board , why the need for side letters ?  why did agents/players want in writing that these erm Loans were in fact wages they were entitled to.  Knowing the players had these side letters on their contracts, Murray knew the game was up, so he offered 10m to HRMC to make them go away, why ? if noting was wrong why offer 10m. Well he was playing for time, time to get rid of the club before this all came out and found guilty.

     The side letters on the players contracts were as good as a written confession of guilt, that they were not loans but contractual payments for doing there job, playing football.

     In the judgement RFC got hammered for hiding these side letters from the footballing Authorities these side letters of contractual payments were deliberately hidden from the SFA.  They were part of the players contract and should have been submitted with the rest of the players contracts.

    Withholding these side letters that detailed contractual payments, broke the rules where ALL monies paid to a player had to be registered, they hid part of these payments thus the players were not registered and ineligible to play in any football games in Scotland and Europe.

     The fact that 2 of the panel ignored what was in front of them, Side Letters and said not guilty on some of the payments was a shock not only to the 3rd member of the panel but everyone and their granny.

      If others had a Sally McCoist in their mist, maybe he would get front page and radio and major TV time to come out and DEMAND to KNOW WHO ARE THESE 2.
     

  24. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “The fact that 2 of the panel ignored what was in front of them, Side Letters and said not guilty on some of the payments was a shock not only to the 3rd member of the panel but everyone and their granny.”


    As i said, slack jawed staring at their screens :O)

  25. realshocks
    Ignored
    says:

    “I can imagine them all at Donstalk and Kerrydale St reading their screens slack jawed….”
    Now, that made me laugh. I did, in fact ‘go slack jawed’ when I read the result on Celtic Minded. It was seen as a foregone conclusion that Rangers would lose the Big Tax Case, then BOOM: ‘Rangers win!’ (a phrase we won’t be hearing in any meaningful football context for some time) – it was a shock.

    Picking through the bones of this thing is not my speciality in any shape or form, but I do get the impression that ‘win’ is not perhaps the best word here, and if applied it would surely be a pyrrhic victory.

    The document explicitly states that Rangers had contravened SPL rules. This has in effect left those deciding on the fate of titles gathered during the period under discussion with no choice but to strip those titles. I understand that there is a forceful movement through the media to stop this happening – in fact this is the single most important issue to the fans – but Lord Nimmo Smith’s verdict is considerably easier now. The titles are gone bar the shouting.
     

  26. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Why weren’t any sold in administration?
    Club was grasping onto the lifeboat of hope that it could be turned around(Sugardaddy McSheik? )…..football doesn’t always attract sound business decisions.
     
    In summary, the BTC overshadowed everything in the sorry tale. the potential liability scared the bank, it put off potential buyers and caused HMRC to reject the CVA as they were hoping to pursue folks for criminality. The CVA agreement would have ruled this possibility out. 
     
    What we see now is Rangers win the case and all of a sudden the BTC is somehow not really that important. “Aye right”

  27. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Kenny

    “So before you start on one tax case you need to know the details of every tax case?
    I’ve never heard of that scenario before.”

    I have no idea what you mean from that comment.

    ——————–

    Did you even read my first post?

  28. Jeannie
    Ignored
    says:

    I don’t have any real interest in the whole Rangers thing and, to be honest, if all football disappeared tomorrow I’d be happy enough……BUT….I’m intrigued about the whole idea of how some employees have received their remuneration.

    I may not have understood this properly, so feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but it appears that the company saved money by calling employee remuneration “loans” and thereby avoided paying the tax and NI which would have been due had the remuneration been classed as normal salary?  Otherwise, why would they not just pay employees in the normal way?

    Is it legal or not?  If it’s legal, why don’t our cash-strapped councils, for example, just pay all employees in this way – they could cut down substantially on, say, teachers’ wage bills  by calling their salaries loans – so no tax, NI and possibly employer pension contributions would be payable.  That would make considerable savings and allow more teaching posts to be created with the money saved. Perhaps the unions would be happy, too, with the creation of these extra teaching posts. 
    But there again, if everybody could be paid in loans, who would then pay the taxes to pay for our teachers “loans” in the first place? 

    Yeah, might be better if everybody just paid their fair share.
     

  29. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Did you even read my first post?”
     
    I just checked 3 times and see only 1 post .I not only read it but I cut and pasted it and said I didn’t understand the point you were making about multiple tax cases. 

  30. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “What we see now is Rangers win the case and all of a sudden the BTC is somehow not really that important.”

    Because it’s not, for reasons painstakingly laid out in the post. The club was bust with or without the BTC. The playing staff wasn’t worth £61m or anywhere remotely close to it – they’d have been lucky to get £10m from player sales, and the chances of getting into the Champions League with what was left would have been tiny. And without CL money, SPL Rangers couldn’t survive.

    (And let’s remember what happened to crowds the last time Rangers went an extended period without winning many trophies.)

    It remains to be seen whether Rangers is financially viable even now, shorn of all its debts and much of the wage bill. It’s early days, and nobody’s seen Charles Green’s balance sheet yet.

  31. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Is it legal or not?  If it’s legal, why don’t our cash-strapped councils, for example, just pay all employees in this way


    Its no longer legal, it used to be legal (in that it wasn’t illegal) although I’d agree its not exactly moral.

  32. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Because it’s not, for reasons painstakingly laid out in the post.”

    Using your figures 55M of the 61M is related to transactions/mismanagement under the Whyte/Administrators. My point still stands, if the BTC had been settled earlier or dropped the club would have been easier sold with just 18M of bank debt. The bank would also have been a lot less nervous about the exposure without the tax liability.
     
    This 18M liability was swapped for the 26M Ticketus money by Whyte to finance the takeover. Murray says he was unaware of that.


    I agree a restructuring was required but to patently ignore the effects of a what was potential a 75M tax bill liability(including penalties)on the business misses the point entirely.

    The BTC limited options as long as it was outstanding. It certainly would have made the bank less co-operative

  33. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Using your figures 55M of the 61M is related to transactions/mismanagement under the Whyte/Administrators. My point still stands, if the BTC had been settled earlier or dropped the club would have been easier sold with just 18M of bank debt.”

    Perhaps, but how far back in history are we going to go here? Murray had been trying to flog it for ages, and nobody wanted to invest in the share issue, so the idea that someone would have bought the entire club – knowing that they’d have to flog off all the half-decent players and incur the fury of the support to have even a hope of squaring the books – seems to be wishful thinking over reality.

    After all, if we’re playing the What If? game, what if the club had just stuck to the same rules as everyone else in the 1990s rather than trying to buy its way to success with other people’s money like a spoilt child? Imagine how much healthier the Scottish game might be today if Murray had never darkened Ibrox’s door.

    However you slice it, ultimately none of this is anyone’s fault but Rangers’. Not HMRC, not the media, not a handful of bloggers, not the other SPL clubs, not even Craig Whyte. Murray planted the timebomb under his own feet.

  34. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    After all, if we’re playing the What If? game, what if the club had just stuck to the same rules as everyone else in the 1990s rather than trying to buy its way to success with other people’s money? Imagine how much healthier the Scottish game might be today if Murray had never darkened Ibrox’s door.
     
    and the mask slips…. ;o) lol .
     
    So we now agree the BTC was significant and with it hanging there they were always doomed….

  35. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “So we now agree the BTC was significant and with it hanging there they were always doomed….”

    No, we don’t.

  36. Bobby Peru
    Ignored
    says:

    “Rangers were a going concern”

    The most absurd comment that I have read in this whole fiasco. Rangers were literally a busted flush and have been well and truly flushed.

    Can we now get on with the Commonwealth Games without this shame hanging over Scotland.

  37. Krafty Kris
    Ignored
    says:

    Sometimes the comments section is better than the article

  38. pmcrek
    Ignored
    says:

    As bad as “why do footballers on 50k need loans?” is, it is alleged Mr Murray himself, an entrepreneur who in 2008 was worth an estimated £720 million, apparently used the scheme to the tune of £6 million over the years.

  39. Jeannie
    Ignored
    says:

    There seems to be a feeling that this company has been treated unfairly and in comparison with how HMRC treats similar cases, this may or may not be justified, for all I know.  I don’t feel competent to comment on this aspect.
    But I would say that from my point of view, as someone who pays their taxes, if anyone is entitled to feel they have been unfairly treated, it is actually me, as well as all those other people who dutifully pay their taxes without complaint.  We pay our taxes because we recognise we have a responsibility to support the things that benefit both ourselves, our families and our fellow citizens, such as education, child care, health, transport, etc.  If those who earn large amounts of money do not pay their share, then an even larger burden falls on those of us who earn a lot less.
    For me, this is the real unfairness.  And if you have treated your fellow citizens in an unfair manner in the first place, by not paying your fair share of taxes, then you might not get much sympathy from them when you claim you are being treated unfairly by HMRC.

  40. Domhnall Dods
    Ignored
    says:

    This is the same sort of scheme that Jimmy Carr was vilified for isn’t it? I so if it was almost universally described as immoral for him, how come do many people think it’s ok for even more highly paid entertainers (ie footballers) to do it? 

    Se 

  41. Fat Boab
    Ignored
    says:

    If someone end’s up in court, charged with 20 counts of arson, and is found guilty of only 2, then surely that person is still an arsonist?  

  42. Boorach
    Ignored
    says:

    To put this in perspective there was an item on drivetime this afternoon on poverty in Scotland. Unfortunately I was distracted by other things but I believe in general it related to the callous way in which disabled people are being deprived of benefits (pending appeal, a large number of which are upheld) and forced to live in penury.

    This is a situation that each and every one of those obscenely well paid individuals who actively avoid (I much prefer EVADE) paying their full share of tax has crontributed to be they footballer, comedian (?) or banker.

    Regarding GRFC I personally don’t give a tinker’s toss if it never achieves SPL status again and while acknowledging they are currently attracting a large support it remains to be seen how many will be willing to travel to Peterhead, Elgin etc, etc in the cold, dark days and midweek evenings of January, February and March.

  43. Seasick Dave
    Ignored
    says:

    Jeannie said:

    For me, this is the real unfairness.  And if you have treated your fellow citizens in an unfair manner in the first place, by not paying your fair share of taxes, then you might not get much sympathy from them when you claim you are being treated unfairly by HMRC.

    In a nutshell, Jeannie. Very well said.

    I got fined a substantial amount by the darlings at HMRC last year because I erroneously paid my tax bill online into the wrong HMRC account. Although they had my money they still fined me for ‘not paying on time’ and charged me interest.

    Obviously, if I was a multi millionaire footballer with a nice wee scheme to avoid paying my taxes then such a situation would never have happened.

  44. polzthoughts
    Ignored
    says:

    My question to Rangers fans is: what, if Whyte hadn’t bought the club, would you have liked to have seen happen?
     
    Before you answer, try to remember that the club was already £18m in debt to the bank and was also already beholden to Ticketus and they needed remedial work around the stadium – catering, a lick of paint here and there, etc.  Also, recall that you spent several million (as it turned out, you didn’t, and the new club are still paying) that summer on players, so it’s not as if you were particularly held back by a frugal policy.
     
    My understanding gained from every single time I speak to a Rangers fan over the last few months, is that you would have another David Murray swoop in with untold millions ready to spend, spend, spend on an unsustainable future.
     
    Is this about right?

  45. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “try to remember that the club was already £18m in debt to the bank and was also already beholden to Ticketus”

    The Ticketus debt paid off the bank debt. They weren’t both in place at once.

  46. Jeannie
    Ignored
    says:

    Oh…and just in case anybody thinks I’m anti-Rangers, I’m not.  I dislike all football equally and feel aggrieved when anybody doesn’t pay appropriate tax, irrespective of what they do for a living.

  47. polzthoughts
    Ignored
    says:

    “The Ticketus debt paid off the bank debt. They weren’t both in place at once.”
     
    Yeah, in the same vein that the Big Tax Case was the only money that Rangers were due to HMRC, you’re correct.
     
    Apart from that, Rangers were already using Ticketus before Whyte came on board.

  48. Ronald Henderson
    Ignored
    says:

    Jeannie: Well said, and I agree entirely. I frankly don’t give a damn about football, the players, the teams or their supporters. We spend far too much time worrying about this stuff.
    Fat Boab: ‘Arson’ is an English legal term. The proper term to use in Scotland and in Scots Law is ‘Wilful fire raising’ or ‘Incendiarism’.
    A further example is ‘Burglary’ which is also an English legal term. The Scots legal term is ‘Housebreaking’.
    See how we’re all becoming brainwashed into accepting English culture?
     

  49. Exiled...
    Ignored
    says:

    There are a number of issues here which seem to be getting lumped together for expediency but should be considered separately.

    Firstly, Rangers Football Club, prior to SDM’s ill-fated sale to Craig Whyte, were not in a disastrous financial state if you disregard the potential debt from the Big Tax Case (which it now seems likely that we can). Yes, they owed around £18 million to the bank and had accumulated other small debts, and were clearly operating beyond their means and incurring a deficit month on month, but the sale of two or three of their most highly rated players would have negated most of those problems whilst keeping the team near the summit of Scottish football.

    Unfortunately, the spectre of the BTC ensured that only a trickster such as Whyte would take a risk investing in the club, and from there it went downhill with the Ticketus deal and the non-payment of the ongoing tax burden leaving the club in a terrible financial position with the perceived status of outlaws. But the club as a whole shouldn’t be judged by the corrupt actions of one crooked short-term owner.

    With regard to the ongoing SPL investigation into “dual-contracts”, whether they contravene some or other rules or not, surely the real question is whether they were tied to the EBTs, and were therefore an attempt to avoid paying money that was legally owed, thus creating an on-field advantage by freeing more money to strengthen the playing squad and thus make success more likely. It’s important to recognise that a system of dual-contracts, of itself, does not confer any on-field advantage if it is not being used to defraud the taxman, so if we look at the dual-contract issue in conjunction with this BTC verdict, it seems that no on-field advantage was gained, and therefore, whilst retrospective disciplinary action against the liquidated oldco may be justified, it would be inappropriate to nullify any on-field achievements, as it now seems that they were achieved without any (or certainly without significant) illegal assistance.

  50. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Firstly, Rangers Football Club, prior to SDM’s ill-fated sale to Craig Whyte, were not in a disastrous financial state if you disregard the potential debt from the Big Tax Case (which it now seems likely that we can).”

    As you were writing that I was adding this paragraph to the article:

    “(Some Rangers fans insist that the club wouldn’t have been up for sale at all if it didn’t have the Big Tax Case hanging over it. But we can easily establish that this is nonsense. This Telegraph piece from October 2009 shows that Lloyds had already been effectively controlling the club all year in highly aggressive pursuit of their money, and seeking a buyer. HMRC didn’t start their investigation into possible illegal EBTs until months later, in the spring of 2010.)”

  51. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “With regard to the ongoing SPL investigation into “dual-contracts”, whether they contravene some or other rules or not, surely the real question is whether they were tied to the EBTs”

    No, it isn’t. The rules about full contract disclosure are there for numerous reasons. To give one example, a player found guilty of some misconduct or other might be fined two weeks wages. If the full terms of their contract have not been disclosed, that sum will be substantially less than it ought to be, lessening the punishment and fraudulently depriving the fining body of money.

  52. polzthoughts
    Ignored
    says:

    “Yes, they owed around £18 million to the bank and had accumulated other small debts, and were clearly operating beyond their means and incurring a deficit month on month, but the sale of two or three of their most highly rated players would have negated most of those problems whilst keeping the team near the summit of Scottish football.”
     
    Rangers had been run by David Murray, extra football income aside, at a loss of around £15m per season since 1997.  The ten years to, and including 2008, arguably the most affluent Scottish football would be for some time, had Rangers post cumulative losses of £161m.  
    In that time, Rangers posted profit twice: in 2005 and 2008.

    The latter included parts of the sale of Alan Hutton and the income from a run in both the Champions League group stages and also to the Uefa Cup final (they played in front of approx. 400,000 home fans in Europe that season and banked another £13m directly from Uefa).

    That season, 2008, their annual report shows a profit of £7.7m on player trading and yet an overall profit of half a million less.

    Think about that for a minute…
    They most certainly banked considerably upwards of £20m from participation in Europe that season and made a profit of £7.7m on player trading, yet posted only £7.2m profit.
     
    Ostensibly, Rangers were an utter basket case of a business who had become almost wholly reliant on Champions League money to stay afloat.

  53. Exiled...
    Ignored
    says:

    Stuart – if you are arguing (as I suspect that you are) that RFC, through dual-contracts, gained so much from paying smaller fines over the years that it enabled them financially to attract better players and thereby alter the destination of trophies, then I believe you are clutching at straws. Ultimately, if Rangers illegally avoided handing over substantial sums of money to HMRC  and thus were able to make game-changing forays into the transfer market because of this, (and if the dual-contracts were somehow part of this “scam”) then I would accept that trophy-stripping could potentially be justified. However, I believe that the BTC verdict is indicative of this not being the case.

  54. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “if you are arguing (as I suspect that you are) that RFC, through dual-contracts, gained so much from paying smaller fines over the years that it enabled them financially to attract better players and thereby alter the destination of trophies”

    No, of course I’m not. I’m arguing that the reasons dual contracts are against SFA rules have nothing whatsoever do to with the legality of EBTs, contrary to your original assertion.

  55. polzthoughts
    Ignored
    says:

    I think you’ll find that the BTC verdict is indicative of nothing of the sort.  Not, at least, until the actual benefits derived from the ones deemed illegal are shown.
     
    But lets just have an example of how even a relatively small amount (I think the annual amounts paid to Mr Evesham should suffice) could be a very big game changer.
     
    Mr Evesham received £600k p.a latterly via the trust, saving the club £400k pa on PAYE.  His ‘contracted’ salary was £667k, btw.
     
    Half way through this last contract, Rangers signed Kris Boyd for, you guessed it: £400k.
     
    But you can’t use that [particular EBT] as an example, I hear you say.  Well, yes I can, it was only illustrative of a figure.  However, that aside, Rangers made an insurance claim in 2005 against Klos’ Mr Evesham’s wages when he got injured.  Read that again, against his WAGES.
     
    What was the annual wage submitted for insurance purposes?
     
    Clue: it wasn’t £667k.
     
    So, tax dodging or, erm, a rather curious insurance claim?

  56. Exiled...
    Ignored
    says:

    Stuart – I don’t believe that I asserted the link between EBTs and dual-contracts – I actually questioned whether there was a link. I don’t pretend to fully understand the technicalities of this case. My point was that IF the dual-contracts were somehow part of a wider attempt by RFC to avoid paying substantial amounts of tax, and that, as a result, they were implicit in handing Rangers a significant on-field advantage that could influence the destination of trophies, then trophy-stripping would not be an outrageous idea. However, I am not persuaded that RFC have been shown to have done anything illegal that has given them such an on-field advantage, so whilst a symbolic retrospective punishment against the “oldco” may be in order if the dual-contract situation is proven, I can’t see where revisionism regarding the destination of trophies won is justified.

  57. polzthoughts
    Ignored
    says:

    Exiled – what monetary figure would be your cut-off point for removing titles or not?

    Or, how many improperly registered players?

  58. Bill C
    Ignored
    says:

    o/t Newsnight tonight was another well put together subliminal attack on the SNP and the nationalist movement. Whoever produces this programme, will surely be in for a bonus from Broadcasting House. A programme Pravda would be proud of!

  59. Ted
    Ignored
    says:

    Sorry Rev, without you and others like you, the Ibrox robber barons would still be in the SPL.  So, very well done for that excellent result and ignore the Sevco numpties.! 

  60. Morag
    Ignored
    says:

    What was subliminal about it?  Explicit attacks on “nasty, nasty Cybernats” who are really upsetting people with the filth they’re throwing at them didn’t seem that subliminal to me.
     
    Do you think Alex Salmond likes being called everything from Jowly Eck to Pol Pot?

  61. Barney Thomson
    Ignored
    says:

    There is nothing more certain than that HMRC will appeal this decision. It is a 2-1 majority of a mere tribunal only one of whom even addressed case law history in coming to their decisions (guess which one).

    The decision flies in the face of the Ramsay (1982) principle, as enhanced by Furniss v. Dawson in 1984. These two judgments of the House of Lords are the bedrock on which the anti-avoidance procedures of HMRC are built.

    I expect HMRC would welcome the escalation of apppeals in this case all the way to the HOL. This wouldgive the final decision, which inevitably will be in their favour, the same status as the Ramsay and Furniss cases.

  62. Hoopercelt1967
    Ignored
    says:

    Cheated the tax man to win title with money they never had with money that belonged to HMRC.CHEATS and ALWAYS  will be CHEATS

  63. polzthoughts
    Ignored
    says:

    Barney, yep.
     
    In a couple of years, we might just see others citing Hector v ZombieNation FC as legal precedent.

  64. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “(Some Rangers fans insist that the club wouldn’t have been up for sale at all if it didn’t have the Big Tax Case hanging over it. But we can easily establish that this is nonsense. This Telegraph piece from October 2009 shows that Lloyds had already been effectively controlling the club all year in highly aggressive pursuit of their money, and seeking a buyer. HMRC didn’t start their investigation into possible illegal EBTs until months later, in the spring of 2010.)”


    Murray was replaced as chairman in Oct 2009, shortly after Smith went public and said the club were being run by the bank. Rangers formally announced publically in April 2010 they were under investigation. This does not mean this is when they were first aware they might have had a problem. I think the club was up for sale before then but the BTC effectively ruled out any reasonable sale.
     
    I have to laugh at some of the half arsed comments and especially the lack of imagination in their choice of moniker. I mean who could have imagined Brendan,Patrick and the imaginative HooperCelt1967 were not happy with the result.
     
    I have no truck with Jeanie’s point and agree wholeheartedly. Part of the problem in the UK today is that corporate tax avoidance has become the norm. Its to me indefensible and nowhere do I defend it. The argument over evasion and avoidance is a coverup. Taxation should be simpler and more straightforward.
     
    My point is that in the main article the effects and impact of the BTC are dismissed out of hand, purely I believe as the case has been lost. To say the BTC has little bearing on the eventual outcome is utter tripe. The argument is made here to try and convince the writer himself that he wasn’t wrong in some way.
     
    If its any consolation Stu I too was sideswiped by the verdict.
     
    I don’t see anyone arguing strongly that Rangers were not a financial basket case but plenty of clubs are and continue to function. Football is for whatever reason a business that seems to be run in a parallel universe.

    On a more sombre note, I find it quite disheartening that an article on Rangers has them flocking to the site, yet the Scottish independence struggle against media and Westminster government misinformation doesn’t seem to incite the same passion.

    My offer of a charity bet on the HMRC takeup of an appeal still stands. I mean you were so certain :O)

  65. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    I already said I’d happily undertake a wager.

  66. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    OK no appeal before end of June 2013 50 quid to charity of the winners choice ? We need an end date or you’ll never need to pay out. 7 months is a pretty big window.

  67. Aplinal
    Ignored
    says:

    First an expression of interest.  I am, and always have been, a Celtic supporter.  For over 50 years I have followed the club, and its intense rivalry with Rangers.  I am saddened for all the genuine Rangers fans who have also followed their club through good times and bad times.  I don’t think it comes much worse than this.
     
    Scottish football is in a mess.  At the National and League level the structures are inadequate, the policy of the SFA is a joke, and many (most?) clubs actually run at a loss.  This can not go on.
     
    I was astounded by the BTC decision and think that the HRMC have no choice but to appeal.  Then we will see.  But in the meantime let’s not be silly about things.  It seems that for years Rangers (and probably many other clubs) were “over trading”.  Their available income was insufficient to support on-going costs and commitments.  Many companies over trade, but they can trade their way out of the mess if they have a sufficiently profitable product.  I can only judge on what I ave read, but it seems that the Rangers business model did not in fact have a sufficiently profitable product.
     
    In the commercial word managers take hard choices.  Why is is in football than normally sensible businessmen (it is usually men not women) suspend all their acumen and allow stupidity to blind them to obvious failings in their approach to the BUSINESS of football.  A fan is probably NOT the right person to own a club. 
     
    Inflated player wages leading to a need for continued success (at all costs?) can make what seems like a “dodgy” scheme into a “good accounting” idea.  Rangers are where they are due to poor management decisions, greed for success at any cost, and a casual disregard for the rules of the SPL.   This story is not yet over.
     
    Tony
     

  68. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Kenny, you can’t just keep making assertions in place of arguments.

    “Murray was replaced as chairman in Oct 2009, shortly after Smith went public and said the club were being run by the bank. Rangers formally announced publically in April 2010 they were under investigation. This does not mean this is when they were first aware they might have had a problem. I think the club was up for sale before then but the BTC effectively ruled out any reasonable sale.”

    The Telegraph piece says that in reality the bank had been running the club and looking for a buyer since at least January 2009. That’s a year and a quarter before the EBT investigation was public knowledge, yet there was no serious interest in buying the club.

    The BTC might have made a sale less likely after that (though why, if Murray was so sure Rangers would win?), but the simple inescapable fact is that nobody wanted to buy Rangers beforehand anyway. Your fantasy of a rich sugar daddy coming along if only it wasn’t for that pesky meddling BTC just doesn’t stand up to the facts.

    “My point is that in the main article the effects and impact of the BTC are dismissed out of hand, purely I believe as the case has been lost. To say the BTC has little bearing on the eventual outcome is utter tripe.”

    The losing of the case clearly makes no practical difference to anything, because Rangers are already in liquidation and New Rangers are already in SFL3. It’s an academic point. And it demonstrably made no difference to the club going into administration, because the club was completely bankrupt regardless of the BTC. We can play What If? all day, but it won’t get us anywhere.

    Yet again: Craig Whyte didn’t fail to pay the club’s PAYE and NI because he’d spent all the money at the pie stand. He failed to pay it because the money wasn’t there. He gained nothing from the club going bust, he’d have paid the bill if he could. Ultimately it was PAYE/NI, Ticketus/Lloyds and football debts that put Rangers into admin, not the BTC.

    “I don’t see anyone arguing strongly that Rangers were not a financial basket case but plenty of clubs are and continue to function.”

    Because ultimately those clubs have someone prepared to bankroll their losses, or they’re in debt but structurally profitable and therefore have the ability to trade out of debt. That was not the case with Rangers, just like it wasn’t the case with Portsmouth, and Portsmouth went down the dumper too.

    “On a more sombre note, I find it quite disheartening that an article on Rangers has them flocking to the site, yet the Scottish independence struggle against media and Westminster government misinformation doesn’t seem to incite the same passion.”

    This ties in to my conversation with Indy yesterday. Articles about football draw people to the site who would otherwise not read a political one, and stats suggest that a minority – but a healthy proportion – of them then stick around. And the very high probability is that for every independence-supporting Rangers fan you might unfortunately upset, there’ll be at least half-a-dozen non-Rangers fans who might be open to persuasion on the political side.

    That said, while yesterday was the site’s biggest-ever single day, still fewer than half of its pageviews came from the Rangers story.

    “I mean who could have imagined Brendan,Patrick and the imaginative HooperCelt1967 were not happy with the result.”

    I’ll give you the last one. But I can’t say I’m happy with the insinuation that anyone called Brendan or Patrick must automatically be a Celtic fan/Irish/Catholic. I don’t think you’re a bigot, but you’re using their language there. Please be careful.

  69. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “OK no appeal before end of June 2013 50 quid to charity of the winners choice ? We need an end date or you’ll never need to pay out. 7 months is a pretty big window.”

    As I understand it, HMRC has 56 days to decide whether to appeal, so the end of January should be plenty time. And I’m only going as high as £20, because I’m skint and from personal experience don’t always assume that HMRC will act rationally. I’m in no way 100% certain that they’ll appeal, but having spent much of this morning reading Dr Poon’s dissenting judgement I’d certainly go 70-80%.

  70. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Rangers were the architects of their own demise. I admired Murray’s vision of trying to put the club into some European elite, it was either that or a slow gradual demise. The idea that we should just stick with what we know and keep away from the big boys is to me simply putting your head in the sand. Football has changed. Even I got a bit nostalgic the other night when they mentioned that Celtic won the European cup with 11 Scots, most of whom were from the Glasgow area. However that was a different game and its not coming back.
     
      This elite set of clubs exists today funded purely by money alone. The blame for that lies not with Rangers, they just tried to play the game as it was presented to them. The pursuit of football success via money seems akin to athletes using performance enhancing drugs. As we’ve seen in cycling and football, if you don’t join in you disappear and if you do join you can kill yourself. 
     
    I blame Rangers signing policies of the 80’s/90’s for a fair part of the downfall of the national team. Signing foreign players and letting young talent languish on the bench. The only positive thing is that today England are doing the same thing and going the same route. All funded by Sky.
     
    Murray failed in the attempt and in the end it killed the club. I don’t blame him for trying just for failing.

  71. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    OK by me.

  72. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Even I got a bit nostalgic the other night when they mentioned that Celtic won the European cup with 11 Scots, most of whom were from the Glasgow area. However that was a different game and its not coming back.”

    You don’t need to go back to 1967 for that. Aberdeen won the Cup-Winners Cup and Super Cup in 1983 with 11 (13) Scots under a Scottish manager.

  73. Tearlach
    Ignored
    says:

    I have very little insight into the machinations of Scottish football, but I always wonder about the assertion that the game in Scotland is in such a state – both nationally and club level – because structurally we are doomed, as a result of being in the shadow of the English leagues.

    This is trotted out again and again (not least by BBC pundits), and often used as a reason why the Old Firm “have” to compete at that level to survive, and indeed as a reason why the Old Firm should be playing in the English set-up. Fair enough at face value, but then I just look at Portugal, a country the same size as Scotland, sitting in the shadow of arguably a better league set up – Spain – and a better national side. Yet Portuguese teams – both league and national – have consistently played at a much better level than Scotland for the past forty years. 

    Its a genuine question. What have the Portuguese done that we can learn from? Looking at Countries like Portugal, the Netherlands and Denmark, all sitting beside very large rich footballing nations like Spain and Germany, what have they done that Scottish football can learn from?

    And before someone give the obvious answer – independence – from where I sit Scotland has always been effectively independant in footballing matters, so it must be more than that…..      

  74. tartanfever
    Ignored
    says:

    Kenny Campbell says:
    21 November, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    “Because it’s not, for reasons painstakingly laid out in the post.”
    Using your figures 55M of the 61M is related to transactions/mismanagement under the Whyte/Administrators.My point still stands, if the BTC had been settled earlier or dropped the club would have been easier sold with just 18M of bank debt. The bank would also have been a lot less nervous about the exposure without the tax liability.

    You’ve repeated this assertion a  couple of times in your posts – and while it may have an element of truth your forgetting the bigger picture in the most naive manner.
    Murrays businesses were/are all failing, he had no cash – only value dwindling assets and throughout the Murray group the debt to Lloyds  sits at somewhere between £300-£400 million. 
    Thats the real reason for the bank being nervous about Murray. 

  75. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Its a genuine question. What have the Portuguese done that we can learn from?”

    Not directly answering the Portugal question, but Graham Spiers did a pretty good analysis the other day:

    http://www.heraldscotland.com/sport/opinion/spiers-on-sport-the-decline-of-scotland-as-an-international-football-team.1353347443

    I can’t imagine that independence would have any noticeable effect on the state of Scottish football, nor indeed have I ever seen anyone suggest it would, other than that it would definitely remove any prospect of FIFA forcing the four UK nations to amalgamate.

  76. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Tartanfever,
                     Only the bank could answer that. My point still stands BTC was a very big issue, the loss of the case legitimately throws up the question . If the BTC was not raised would Rangers be in the position thery are in today? I say very likley no , the write says its not relevant. So we disagree.
    Murray’s overall business issues just add to the situation they don’t negate the impact of the BTC.

  77. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “My point still stands BTC was a very big issue, the loss of the case legitimately throws up the question . If the BTC was not raised would Rangers be in the position thery are in today? I say very likley no , the write says its not relevant.”

    No, I say that they definitely would be still in the position they are today, because the things that put them there – the fact that they were financially unviable and nobody wanted to buy the club to address that situation – both existed well before the BTC ever did.

  78. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/3b8beeb4-5474-11df-8bef-00144feab49a.html#axzz2CwivWXBT
     
    Shows the point Tartanfever made. The fact is that Murray was in trouble and as he broke his banking covenants the Bank could make demands on how he ran all his businesses. That is what increased the bank influence at Rangers. As per this article they owned 24% of Murray.

    I’ll say again that I’m not complaining that Rangers were brought down by the nasty taxman. They were the architects of their own demise.
     
    I agree its impossible to say what might have happened. However  to say that a potential 60M tax bill had no real impact on the eventual outcome seems to require a stretch of the imagination that is beyond me. We won’t agree so I’ll draw a line under my input. 
     
    You can thank me later for setting up the Aberdeen Cup winners and Super cup comment for you. I know how you boys like to look back at the good old days.

  79. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “You can thank me later for setting up the Aberdeen Cup winners and Super cup comment for you. I know how you boys like to look back at the good old days.”

    Hey, our “good old days” of winning a European trophy are still 11 years more recent than yours… 😉

  80. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    That’s a blow I can say with certainly was landed….

  81. Otis B Driftwood
    Ignored
    says:

    Not even James Thurber’s most famous character would have conceived the fanciful notion that HMRC will not appeal against the FTTT decision (perverse, IMO): there is simply too much at stake for the public purse, and the cost of the appeal to the Upper Tier will be a fraction of that of the FTTT, as no new evidence will be led.

    To claim otherwise is truly struthionine (sic.) in nature.

     

  82. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    Bill C and Morag mentioned Newsnight last night, about cybernats.  I missed it, wasn’t about us was it?  😀
     

  83. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    Rev Stu’s a dandy as well!  A man of taste. 😀
     

  84. Doug Daniel
    Ignored
    says:

    This has maybe (probably?) been brought up already, but I think Kenny’s having a laugh if he thinks that Rangers, sans-BTC, was ever going to find a buyer who wasn’t a charlatan like Whyte.

    Scottish football just isn’t attractive to the kind of sugar-daddies that have bought up the EPL teams as playthings. It doesn’t matter how big a team Rangers thought they were, the fact is they play in a second-tier league, with no glamour and no chance of signing up a bunch of mercenaries to effectively buy the Champion’s League. You can buy up a relatively dull EPL team and attract good players because all they care about is playing in the EPL, not which team they play for, and the TV money from the Premiership gives you something to play with. You simply cannot do that in the SPL, as Romanov and his crew of Average Joe Lithuanians proved.

    Charles Green has come in now because he was able to start from a clean slate and do things on the cheap. He wouldn’t have come near Rangers if it had been the old club with even its pre-Whyte debts.

    It’s understandable why Rangers fans are intent on using this ruling as an attempt to revise history, but the truth is Rangers were running on the fumes of the debt bubble that burst in 2008. It’s Lloyds trying to recapitalise and call in their debts that was killing Rangers – the BTC just euthanised it to make the pain end quicker.

  85. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “I admired Murray’s vision of trying to put the club into some European elite, it was either that or a slow gradual demise.”

    This isn’t an argument I really grasp. Demise as measured by what? Murray vastly overspent on what was necessary to restore Rangers to a strong position in Scotland. In doing so he crushed domestic opposition that simply couldn’t keep up with Rangers’ spending – these sides had about a tenth of the resources to draw on that Rangers did BEFORE Murray started blowing millions he didn’t have as well – and ruined themselves trying, and in doing so he ironically weakened his own club.

    If you play hopeless near-bankrupt opposition 10 weeks out of every 11 (or 11 out of 11, considering Celtic’s state in the early 90s), of course you’re going to come unstuck when you meet Red Star Belgrade, never mind Real Madrid. Even the best players in the world need to keep their skills sharp by being tested week-in week-out, and Gascoigne was too busy pretending to play the flute and shitting in people’s underwear, because he barely had to turn up to outwit the St Mirren defence.

    (Even at their peak, who did Rangers ever beat of the European elite? Leeds United was probably as good as it got, and Leeds were just doing the same thing Rangers were – living vastly beyond their means, and eventually suffering much the same fate as a result. Those who think Rangers will cruise back to prominence might want to take a salutary look at Leeds’ subsequent experiences.)

    Rangers got carried away lording it over the rest of Scottish football after a pretty lean decade. There was no need to get into massive debt to chase the Champions League – they could have dominated the Scottish game and grown organically into a competitive Euro side. They’d probably never have won the CL, but then they never won the old European Cup either so it’s hard to call that a “demise”. Smaller clubs have made the CL final over the years – Porto, Valencia, Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen, Borussia Dortmund – so you don’t have to be one of the mega-elite to compete.

    Greed and triumphalism killed Rangers. The inscription on their gravestone will be “If Celtic spend a fiver, we’ll spend a tenner.”

  86. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Rev Stu’s a dandy as well! A man of taste. :D”

    For some reason Aberdeen fans seem to be noticeably the most pro-independence, as a rule, of all Scottish football clubs. I wonder if it’s proximity to the oil, and therefore a clearer appreciation of just how wealthy we could be?

  87. Len McCoy
    Ignored
    says:

    Despite how this story is being reported, the evidence now clearly states that there is indeed a tax liability with these E.B.T.s in at least 35 instances, that’s more than three complete football teams worth of players. This damning evidence is merely being buried under a wave of positive spin. It has also been officially acknowledged that side letters do indeed exist and the situation could considerably worsen for Oldco Rangers if H.M.R.C. successfully pursue an appeal. There is a great deal of mileage left in this saga yet and it is very far from being over.

  88. velofello
    Ignored
    says:

    I liked the bit in a comment here that Lloyds were aggressively pursuing Rangers over their overdraft.
    Is that the same bank that has our bailout money? And wasn’t it the case that Rangers’ banker was the Bank of Scotland up until the banking crisis arose? So when the Bank of Scotland went belly up thanks to the disastrous mortgage lending policies of their partner Halifax (a reverse takeover it was termed), Lloyds were encouraged to assume control of the B of S. and Rangers then found themselves with a less considerate banker. Murray PLC were also hit by the banking crisis.
    So lets see.
    Tax payers money bails out LLoyds, Lloyds then “attack” a Scottish sports business of considerable standing supported by some 50,000 people whose tax money arguably went towards bailing out Lloyds. HMRC are also in the the hunt, although for them it is a marathon, 8 or 9 years?, safari.
    Meantime we have international corporations ‘internationalising” their profits and so paying little or no UK tax. international corporations that sell direct to the public, commodities, such as cups of coffee, that would be available to the public anyway if these corporations left the UK right now.
    And of course we have our elected politicians and they’re avarice for money.

    i’m not making a case for Rangers. Rangers are a business and it is for the directors to administer the business with prudence. Inadequate cash flow will kill a business whereas a position of unprofitable trading can be remedied. Rangers have some 50,000 paying customers, now that is some potential cash flow. Attempting to be competitive against teams such as the SKY funded teams of the English league seems to have been a trading strategy error.
    i think the focus of the discussion here is wrong. Think,on a Uk canvas, why Rangers? Their bank overdraft was manageable surely given a good cash flow and necessary adjustments to profitability. What assistance did Lloyds afford their customer over the EBT issue with the HMRC? Any?
    Anyone know the overdraft of Manchester United? 

     

  89. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    @Rev Stu
     
    Yes, I think it has got something to do with the oil.  Before they made the real breakthrough in the central-belt (2007, 2011), SNP strongholds were mostly in the North, North-east.  The Old Firm supporters seem to be mostly unionists, laughably so in the case of many Celtic supporters, who have a strong association with the Republic of Ireland.

  90. Aplinal
    Ignored
    says:

    Seriously OT, but two good articles over on the Herald by Bell and MacWhirter about a future Scotland.  Worth the effort, even if it boosts the Herald’s ‘hits’ 🙂
     

  91. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “For some reason Aberdeen fans seem to be noticeably the most pro-independence, as a rule, of all Scottish football clubs”
     
    Certainly the most vocal on blogs I read but noise doesn’t always equal quantity. I mean if you are only getting a few thousand fans a week then even if they are all SNP members its just a blip 😉
     
    I always put it down to the dark winter nights and long periods of Monastic like contemplation.

  92. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Tax payers money bails out LLoyds, Lloyds then “attack” a Scottish sports business of considerable standing supported by some 50,000 people whose tax money arguably went towards bailing out Lloyds.”

    Perhaps, but how do the tax receipts from 50,000 Rangers fans stack up against the tax the club itself was depriving the taxman of, even if some of that was legal? More to the point, though, Lloyds was arguably simply trying to return the club to some sort of financial discipline, thereby protecting jobs and tax receipts in the longer term.

    “Anyone know the overdraft of Manchester United?”

    Man Utd is an incredibly bizarre case. I still don’t really understand how a completely solvent club was able to be bought by a guy who basically didn’t have two beans, and then loaded all the borrowing he’d bought it with onto the club, sending them from in the black to massively in the red overnight. Nevertheless, Man U is still structurally profitable, despite the costs of servicing the vast debt the Glazers dumped on it, and will get even more so when the colossal new Sky deal kicks in. Rangers simply weren’t.

  93. Doug Daniel
    Ignored
    says:

    If Aberdeen is really more pro-indy than other places, I would suggest it’s a simple case of proximity, rather than oil. In fact, one of my biggest gripes about Aberdeen is that so many people in the oil industry are actually AGAINST independence, because despite it being completely ridiculous, the fact is they have done pretty well under the current situation, and people who live comfortable lives rarely want to risk rocking the boat.

    Considering how poor public transport is in the (former?) oil capital of Europe and how little public spending we get – despite the massive contribution the city makes to the economy – there shouldn’t be a single unionist in the whole city. And yet, there are many…

  94. G H Graham
    Ignored
    says:

    O/T … Labour MSP mounthpiece Michael McMahon given Holyrood 1 day suspension for inappropriate language/behaviour in chambers …
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-20443372

  95. Bill C
    Ignored
    says:

    @ Morag – You’r right (not for the first time!) it was pretty vicious stuff from the ex Labour adviser.

    @ mutley79 – Macwhirter tells it like it is in Norway, an excellent article which should be used by the YES campaign. I think that when journalists like Macwhirter start to see the light of independence we are beginning to turn the corner.  I just  have a feeling (in me waters, as me mammy used to say) that we are starting to win the argument. All the unionists seem to have left is lies, smears and distortions. Straws in the wind and all that.  

  96. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    @Bill C
     
    What did the Labour adviser say?  Are they not happy that despite having the media on their side, with honourable exceptions (Bell, Hassan, McWhirter, Riddoch etc), they have to put up with dissent on the internet?

  97. muttley79
    Ignored
    says:

    @G H Graham
     
    O/T … Labour MSP mounthpiece Michael McMahon given Holyrood 1 day suspension for inappropriate language/behaviour in chambers


    No surprise there, with this individual.  Their bitterness has been extremely evident since a certain event in May 2011

  98. Bill C
    Ignored
    says:

    @ mutley79

    He was scathing of us i.e. ‘cybernats’. You know the type, nats who roam the internet  and who actually having the audacity to question why Scotland should remain in the union.  As Corporal Jones used to say “They don’t like it up ’em”!

    I think I have it recorded, will check it out and get back to you with some quotes. 

  99. Bill C
    Ignored
    says:

    @mutley79

    The ex Labour advisor said the cybernats have been operating below the surface in Scottish politics for the last few years and that it is is nasty and abusive stuff and that he has known some politicians who have  been quite distressed from the stuff that has been thrown at them.   

    Poor souls, what bullies those nasty cybernats are. Aye right!    

  100. velofello
    Ignored
    says:

    Rev Stu; reference back to the view I expressed “stick to politics”, i did then read the article you referred me to “why we write about Rangers”- I hadn’t read any of the Rangers stuff .
    Reading that article we seem have have parallel childhood experiences however I can add that I did play for a Celtic and wore the hoops etc. No not Glasgow Celtic, a “colonies” clone. When I returned to Scotland i quickly gave up football despite “expressions of interest”. The thuggery and the entrenched views of the Old Firm supporters weren’t for me.

    To pick you up on your response of Rangers “depriving the taxman even if some measures were legal”.
    Legal! What does that word mean in the UK with respect to money?
    The City of London dealings? Bankers bonuses?
    Iraq?
    Sky funding English football? You know SKY, of the News of the World, phone taps etc.
    MPs expenses? 
    A better expression than what is legal,  would be what is wholesome?
    So I repeat, a sports company of national standing in Scotland is “got at” over smallish debts, and the Scots joe public adopt their entrenched views and argue among themselves on the trivia of it all.
    Consider the wider significance. The Rangers affair, a bit dispiriting and arguably confidence sapping to the public here? Too wee too etc.

  101. ronald alexander mcdonald
    Ignored
    says:

    1st Tier tax tribunuals are notorious for producing weird decisions. It’s the 2nd and 3rd tiers where the real experts made judgement.

    Highly likely that HMRC will appeal.     

  102. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    Interestering piece – with a lot of narrow points / assumptions to create a position

  103. orkers
    Ignored
    says:

    When someone has his scone stolen he reacts badly.

    You’ve been peddling this line for a long time and it’s understandable that you’re upset that it didn’t turn out the way you hoped.

    Better saying nothing at all Rev Stu as it inevitably makes you look a sore loser. 

    I hope to god you aren’t equally wrong about Scotland voting ‘Yes’ 

  104. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    I’m sure if I ever work out what any of that means it’ll cut me to the quick.

  105. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    2. The tribunal DID find Rangers guilty on some counts of illegal EBT use, and there were dozens of others that Rangers didn’t contest.
    As far as we can gather no figures have as yet been released publicly on the extent of these. The tribunal stated that the sum originally thought to be owed in tax – £48m plus interest and penalties – should be “reduced substantially” by its findings, but didn’t specify what that actually meant in pounds and pence.
    Rangers may well still be guilty of millions, or even tens of millions, of pounds’ worth of tax evasion, and signing players you can’t afford is still cheating.

    Do you truthfully believe the substantially reduced figure would be “tens of millions”

    Then signing players you can’t afford ???  Have you special information on this?

            

  106. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Do you truthfully believe the substantially reduced figure would be “tens of millions””

    I haven’t a clue what it could or couldn’t be. The FTT report gave no clues whatsoever. A reduction of £20m would be “substantial”, but would still leave £28m plus interest plus penalties, which is tens of millions.

    “signing players you can’t afford ?”

    They went bust, and players are by a huge margin the biggest part of their wage bill, so it would seem a reasonable assertion, yes.

  107. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    4. When the club went into administration it owed creditors £61 million, NOT counting the Big Tax Case money.

    “Administrators Duff & Phelps have accrued operating charges and legal fees of over £5.5m and hold secure creditor status. The finance firm Ticketus is owed £26.7m, while HMRC is owed £21.5m in unpaid PAYE tax and National Insurance. The total amount of money owed to unsecured creditors is listed as over £55m.”

    Rangers were losing millions of pounds a year, despite being in the SPL with access to substantial prize money and lucrative European competition. It even managed to continue to lose millions when in the hands of the administratorsa remarkable state of affairs, almost without precedent. It was simply not a viable business, and had no way of paying down its huge debts. It’s impossible to see how it could have avoided going into administration with or without the BTC

        Where did you get £61m , when it went into adminstration?   Last accounts around £50million……what makes you think Rangers were losing millions ….didn’t they not report a profit in the 2011 accounts?    How wasn’t it viable …it had over £125m worth of fixed assets……. surely selling all the big players would have yielded
    at least £15mlliion …….this business had £50+ mllion turnover …the cost base was too high…lower the base  was the option….surely that was possible

  108. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    signing players you can’t afford ?”
    They went bust, and players are by a huge margin the biggest part of their wage bill, so it would seem a reasonable assertion, yes.

    Eh?   …. they went bust because of the contingent liability …nothing to do with wages of the players

  109. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Sigh. The paragraph starting “Administrators Duff & Phelps” is a link which tells you where the £61m figure comes from. It comes from D&P’s own CVA document, made up of £5.5m in secured creditors – D&P themselves – and over £55m to unsecured creditors, total over £60.5m.

    As for why players weren’t sold to reduce the debt and cost base, ask Duff & Phelps. Would like to know where you arrive at £15m from, though. List us the players and what you think they’d have fetched. (Bearing in mind that any prospective purchaser would know the club was desperate to sell, and that there’d also be a possibility of picking them up for nothing if they just waited a few weeks.)

  110. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    Ask Duff & Phelps ?    Is this the level of response I should expect?   I’m asking the author

    SIGH SIGH
        4. When the club went into administration it owed creditors £61 million, NOT counting the Big Tax Case money.

    Went being the key word 

  111. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    6. “Everything would have been fine if Craig Whyte hadn’t stopped paying PAYE and NI when he took over.”
    It’s true that the PAYE/NI debt run up exclusively by Whyte was what technically triggered the administration process. But that debt represents, as we’ve seen above, just over one-third of the club’s liabilities. Without it, Rangers would still have owed £40m+ and had no way of paying it back. The club would still have been unviable, and administration would still have loomed on the horizon

    Massive assumptions here …seems a bit one sided  

  112. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    Like I said earler decent blog …but laced with massive assumptions ….I don’t expect any other response that what I’m getting  …..just can’t work out how stuart thinks the business was going down the tubes without the BTT – seems to me a bit of agenda

  113. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    The Directors do not recommend the payment of a dividend (2010: nil).

    Unaudited Consolidated Balance Sheet

    as at 30 June 2011

                                                               2011            2010

                                                              GBP’000           GBP’000

    FIXED ASSETS

    Tangible assets                                         116,856         118,688

    Intangible assets                                         8,626          11,594

    Investments                                                   –               –

                                                            125,482         130,282

    CURRENT ASSETS

    Stock                                                         2               2

    Debtors                                                   5,899           5,640

    Cash at bank and in hand                                  8,893             348

                                                             14,794           5,990

    CREDITORS

    Amounts falling due within one year                    (49,065)        (27,568)

    NET CURRENT LIABILITIES                                (34,271)        (21,578)

    TOTAL ASSETS LESS CURRENT LIABILITIES                    91,211         108,704

    CREDITORS

    Amounts falling due after more than one year           (20,369)        (37,938)

    NET ASSETS                                               70,842          70,766

    CAPITAL AND RESERVES

    Called up share capital                                  10,879          10,879

    Share premium account                                   120,973         120,973

    Capital reserve                                           9,185           9,185

    The Rangers Bond                                          7,736           7,736

    Revaluation reserve                                      57,207          57,770

    Profit & loss account                                 (135,138)       (135,777)

    SHAREHOLDERS’ FUNDS                                      70,842          70,766

  114. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    You’re losing me, Joe. How the hell should I know why Duff & Phelps didn’t sell off players? All I’ve done is reported the known facts – the club was £61m in debt at the point it went into administration. Cutting and pasting a load of balance-sheet gibberish that I’ll wager you can’t make head nor tail of doesn’t impress me.

  115. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    £15 was ony an estimate …which I think was on the low side …but I don’t have a crystal ball
    I’d estimate

    S Davis  £3m
      McGregor £3m 
    Whittaker $2m  
    Naismith £4m
        
    Laugherty  £1-2m
    Edu £1m-£2m

    Seriously though – I think you should be more concerned about ommtting them for your doomsday scenario …rather asking for my estimates no?
     
        

  116. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    Rev. Stuart Campbell says:
    22 November, 2012 at 8:08 pm

    You’re losing me, Joe. How the hell should I know why Duff & Phelps didn’t sell off players? All I’ve done is reported the known facts – the club was £61m in debt at the point it went into administration

    The D&P fees were “accrued”  at the point of adminstration their figure was an estimate!!!!  Oh dear

    Anyway £55 or £62 mlilion is a manageable debt to a company with £50million sales   

  117. Appleby
    Ignored
    says:

    Cheers Stu for another batch of cracking football drama coverage. I’m not a real football fan by any means, but you’ve made this very interesting to me with your articles, so you must be doing something right. Your combination of researched facts and analysis, without being too dry makes it read that much better than any other source.

  118. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    “Anyway £55 or £62 mlilion is a manageable debt to a company with £50million sales”

    Er, not if your sales are £50m and your costs are £65m it’s not.

  119. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    stuart … think you better get an accountancy qualification ….yiu are all about the place here

  120. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    Ticketus would be payable over the term of the season ticket sales period , hmrc would give you a time to pay positon ….as mention the need was to lower the cost base for sure or sell some assets , name rights rtc.

  121. Rev. Stuart Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Joe, if this vague, empty, irrational waffle is all you’ve got I’ll leave you to it. If Rangers could have been saved so easily by flogging a few players, why wasn’t it?

  122. Kenny Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Ronald Alexander MacDonald
    1st Tier tax tribunuals(SIC) are notorious for producing weird decisions. It’s the 2nd and 3rd tiers where the real experts made judgement.
    Highly likely that HMRC will appeal.  
     
    I’ll have to take that at face value as I’m happily no expert of workings of HMRC beyond what I read in the Private Eye. I do know that much of what they do in the public eye as this case is revolves around the public perception of how successful they are. They do not like losing big cases. Can you add any more clarity as to why specifically first stage tribunals are notorious for weird decisions. I suspect a lot of the internet wisdom that is circulating is wishful thinking.

  123. Gary McGregor
    Ignored
    says:

    Given the crosshairs of Murray’s legal rottweilers appear to be shaping up for action from Charlotte Square, it is indeed a brave man (or should that be foolish ?) who uses the term “cheats” post tribunal verdict.
     
    Just ask the Glasgow Herald.

  124. pa_broon
    Ignored
    says:

    I know nothing about football and the ins and outs of Rangers etc, frankly I think its all a bit River City.

    On these EBT things, going back to something Jeannie said about loans being used in place of wages thus saving millions in tax and NI payments. I’ve always considered my salary to be a loan, I get some money every month and come the end its all gone.

    I’ve managed to keep a roof over my head, feed myself and look after aged parents and fend off attack from extremely thick family members. In the process, the vast majority of my money has in fact been returned to the government, (I work for the NHS in Scotland.)

    So for me, it already is a loan, I never see it as my own money because in any given month, I actually have very little say in how it’s spent.

    “Hello, this is the bank of government, would you like a loan this month?”
    “Oh yes please!” I say.
    “What is the purpose of the loan?” they ask.
    “Life in general.”
    “how much would you like.” they enquire.
    “Just the usual although I don’t suppose you could manage a wee bit more than last month?”
    “No.” they say with finality.
    “Oh well.”
    “Would you be interested in some PPI, in case you lose your job?”
    “…!”

  125. douglas clark
    Ignored
    says:

    pa_broon,
     
    The essential question is not whether or not Rangers cheated. Apparently they didn’t. What is more to the point is why everyone is not allowed to arrange their tax affairs in such an, ahem, equitable manner. That means you and me and anyone else reading this.
     
    There are far bigger fish to fry than Rangers. I would like to assume that an independent Scotland will not give ‘tax breaks’ such as this to anyone whosoever in the future. And that includes inwards investors such as Donald Trump.
     
    Nor should we allow the likes of Starbucks or others who appear to be able to use the law in ways that put debt on us and not on them.
     
    The whole tax evasion / avoidance industry should be shut down.

  126. Juteman
    Ignored
    says:

    Robin McAlpines latest article is interesting, and  has relevence to this subject.
    http://reidfoundation.org/2012/11/we-must-stop-a-corporate-coup-in-scottish-politics/

  127. Joe McAvinue
    Ignored
    says:

    Stu      I didn’t really expect anything else … so funny that you think I’ve been irratonal after everything you’ve posted…nevermind…I suppose attack is the best form of defence.

    My view on your last question is 

    I don’t know the precise reasons that no one came in for Rangers , I don’t think Murray believed enough that his company was going to win the BTT and with his group not prepared to underwrite the contingency …what sane business would take this on would be my best guess.
      

  128. Jim Campbell
    Ignored
    says:

    Is there a “Statute of Limitations” in Scottish football.
    Can we bring Third Lanark back ?

  129. Jimbo
    Ignored
    says:

    Boo hoo, never seen so many demented people in my life. RANGERS WON THE TAX CASE ON PRINCIPLE UNDERSTAND!!!!! i dont think you do???

    I know that’s hard for the bigots who’s lives revolve around hating Rangers to understand, but at least be man enough to admit your crying like wee weans who have skint their knee’s over this decision.

    Rangers did not cheat we used a legal loophole just like every other company or football club in the world has at one point in time.

    The spl won’t strip any titles and hand them to teams who were beaten fair and sqaure on the park so keep dreaming zealots.

    EBT are loans not income, dry your eyes and move on bigots.

  130. hoopercelt1967
    Ignored
    says:

    boo hoo jimbo.the facts are rankers cheated got away with it,but hmrc have appealed and  gonna reverse decision of the dead liquidated club.newclub  dont have history,no titles, like airdrieonions and clydebank,so jimbo, stop grasping at staws for your defunkt cheats , get over it,take your pills ,go to bed,and dream about your zombies giant killig to win div 4,and let rankers rest in peace ,instead of grasping at straws  like the dead zombies you are

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    Ignored
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    Do you mind if I quote a few of your posts as long as I provide credit and sources back to your blog? My website is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would genuinely benefit from some of the information you present here. Please let me know if this ok with you. Thanks a lot!
    Hello would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a fair price? Many thanks, I appreciate it!
    Awesome website you have here but I was curious if you knew of any community forums that cover the same topics talked about here? I’d
    really like to be a part of community where I can get opinions
    from other experienced individuals that share the same interest.

    If you have any recommendations, please let me know.
    Thanks!
    Hi there! This is my first comment here so I just wanted
    to give a quick shout out and say I really enjoy reading your blog posts.
    Can you suggest any other blogs/websites/forums that deal with the same subjects?
    Thanks a ton!
    Do you have a spam issue on this blog; I
    also am a blogger, and I was curious about your situation; we have created some nice practices and we are looking
    to exchange techniques with others, be sure to shoot me an email if interested.

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article author for your site. You have some really good posts and I feel I would be a good asset. If you ever want to take some of the load off, I’d
    really like to write some material for your blog in exchange for a link back to mine.
    Please blast me an email if interested. Cheers!

    Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than
    just your articles? I mean, what you say is important and
    all. However think about if you added some great images or video
    clips to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and video clips, this site could definitely be one of the most beneficial
    in its field. Great blog!
    Fascinating blog! Is your theme custom made or did you download it
    from somewhere? A design like yours with a few simple tweeks would really make my blog shine.
    Please let me know where you got your design.
    Cheers
    Howdy would you mind stating which blog platform you’re using? I’m going to start my own
    blog in the near future but I’m having a difficult time selecting between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution and Drupal. The reason I ask is because your design and style seems different then most blogs and I’m looking
    for something completely unique. P.S My apologies
    for getting off-topic but I had to ask!
    Hey there just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The words in your article seem to be running off the screen in Opera.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with browser compatibility but I figured I’d post to let you know.
    The design and style look great though! Hope you get the
    issue solved soon. Many thanks
    With havin so much written content do you ever run into any issues of
    plagorism or copyright infringement? My website has a lot of unique content I’ve either created myself or outsourced but it seems a lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any solutions to help protect against content from being ripped off? I’d definitely
    appreciate it.
    Have you ever considered writing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites?
    I have a blog based upon on the same subjects you discuss
    and would really like to have you share some stories/information.
    I know my subscribers would value your work. If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an e mail.
    Hi there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to check it out. I’m definitely loving the information.
    I’m bookmarking and will be tweeting this to my followers! Outstanding blog and fantastic design and style.
    Fantastic blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers? I’m hoping to
    start my own website soon but I’m a little lost on everything. Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there that I’m totally confused
    .. Any ideas? Appreciate it!
    My developer is trying to convince me to move to .
    net from PHP. I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using WordPress on
    numerous websites for about a year and am anxious about switching to another platform.
    I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Does your blog have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d
    like to send you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great website and I look forward to seeing it improve over time.
    It’s a shame you don’t have a donate button! I’d definitely donate to this
    fantastic blog! I suppose for now i’ll settle for bookmarking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to new updates and will share this site with my Facebook group. Chat soon!
    Greetings from Idaho! I’m bored to death at work so I decided to check out your website on my iphone during lunch break.
    I love the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m amazed at how fast your blog loaded on my phone .

    . I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, fantastic blog!
    Hiya! I know this is kinda off topic however , I’d figured
    I’d ask. Would you be interested in trading links or maybe guest writing a blog post or vice-versa? My site addresses a lot of the same topics as yours and I think we could greatly benefit from each other. If you happen to be interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Wonderful blog by the way!
    Right now it looks like Drupal is the best blogging platform out there right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you’re using on your blog?
    Exceptional post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this topic? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.

    Appreciate it!
    Hey there! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering if you knew
    where I could locate a captcha plugin for my comment form?
    I’m using the same blog platform as yours and I’m
    having difficulty finding one? Thanks a lot!
    When I originally commented I clicked the “Notify me when new comments are added” checkbox and now each time a comment is added I
    get three e-mails with the same comment.
    Is there any way you can remove people from that service?
    Thank you!
    Good day! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and starting a new project in
    a community in the same niche. Your blog provided us beneficial information to work on.
    You have done a wonderful job!
    Greetings! I know this is kinda off topic but I was wondering
    which blog platform are you using for this website?
    I’m getting sick and tired of WordPress because I’ve had issues with hackers and I’m looking at alternatives for another platform. I would be great if you could point me in the direction of a good platform.
    Hey there! This post couldn’t be written any better!

    Reading through this post reminds me of my good old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him.
    Fairly certain he will have a good read. Thank you for sharing!

    Write more, thats all I have to say. Literally, it
    seems as though you relied on the video to make your point.
    You obviously know what youre talking about, why throw away
    your intelligence on just posting videos to your site
    when you could be giving us something informative to read?

    Today, I went to the beach front with my children. I found a sea
    shell and gave it to my 4 year old daughter and said “You can hear the ocean if you put this to your ear.” She
    put the shell to her ear and screamed. There was a hermit
    crab inside and it pinched her ear. She never wants to go back!

    LoL I know this is completely off topic but I had to tell someone!

    The other day, while I was at work, my cousin stole my iPad and
    tested to see if it can survive a 40 foot drop, just so she
    can be a youtube sensation. My apple ipad is now broken
    and she has 83 views. I know this is completely off topic but I had to share
    it with someone!
    I was wondering if you ever thought of changing the structure of your blog?
    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you
    could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it
    better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having one or 2 pictures.

    Maybe you could space it out better?
    Hello, i read your blog from time to time and i own a similar one and i was just wondering if you get a lot of spam comments?
    If so how do you reduce it, any plugin or anything you can suggest?
    I get so much lately it’s driving me insane so any assistance is very much appreciated.
    This design is wicked! You obviously know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Great job. I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool!
    I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your website.
    It’s a very easy on the eyes which makes it much more pleasant for me to come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a developer to create your theme? Exceptional work!
    Howdy! I could have sworn I’ve been to this blog before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m definitely delighted I found it and I’ll be bookmarking and checking back often!
    Hello there! Would you mind if I share your blog with my zynga group? There’s a
    lot of people that I think would really enjoy your content.

    Please let me know. Thanks
    Hey, I think your blog might be having browser compatibility issues.
    When I look at your website in Opera, it looks fine but when opening in Internet Explorer, it has some overlapping.
    I just wanted to give you a quick heads up! Other then that, excellent blog!

    Wonderful blog! I found it while browsing on Yahoo News.
    Do you have any tips on how to get listed in Yahoo News?
    I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks
    Hello there! This is kind of off topic but I need some guidance from an established blog. Is it difficult to set up your own blog? I’m not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick.
    I’m thinking about creating my own but I’m not sure where to begin.

    Do you have any tips or suggestions? Thanks
    Hi! Quick question that’s completely off topic. Do you know how to make your site mobile friendly? My weblog looks weird when browsing from my apple iphone. I’m trying to find a template or plugin that might
    be able to resolve this issue. If you have any suggestions, please share.

    Thank you!
    I’m not that much of a online reader to be honest but your blogs really nice,
    keep it up! I’ll go ahead and bookmark your website to come back later. All the best
    I really like your blog.. very nice colors & theme. Did you create this website yourself or did you hire someone to do it for you? Plz reply as I’m looking to design
    my own blog and would like to find out where u got this from.
    thank you
    Wow! This blog looks just like my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Outstanding choice of colors!
    Hi there just wanted to give you a quick heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly.
    I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different web browsers and both show
    the same outcome.
    Hi there are using WordPress for your site platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own.

    Do you require any coding knowledge to make your own blog?
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Hi there this is kinda of off topic but I was wondering if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or if you have to manually code with HTML.

    I’m starting a blog soon but have no coding expertise so I wanted to get advice from someone with experience. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
    Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any issues with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing several weeks of hard work due to no backup. Do you have any solutions to stop hackers?
    Hey! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be ok.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new posts.
    Hi! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing
    everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?
    Hello! Do you know if they make any plugins to assist with Search Engine Optimization? I’m trying to get my blog to rank for some targeted
    keywords but I’m not seeing very good results. If you know of any please share. Kudos!
    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was curious what all is required to get set up?
    I’m assuming having a blog like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any suggestions or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you
    Hmm is anyone else having problems with the images on this blog loading? I’m trying
    to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.
    I’m not sure exactly why but this site is loading very slow for me.
    Is anyone else having this issue or is it a problem on my end?
    I’ll check back later on and see if the problem still exists.
    Hi! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone 4!
    Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts!
    Keep up the superb work!
    Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an really long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not writing all that over again.

    Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!



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